Schools participating in the 2020-2021 Public School System/Northern Marianas Athletics All Schools Cross Country Series have until Nov. 2 to submit their entries per age groups.
The Nov. 2 deadline applies to the six qualifying races next month, as Nick Gross, director of the PSS Student Support Services Athletic Program, wanted the early distribution of the runners’ bib numbers to minimize, if not avoid personal interaction during the races and follow the safety measures in place against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools are allowed to enter a maximum of six students in every race per age group plus one alternate. The elementary division covers the U11 age group and schools can sign up a co-ed team, while the U14 (middle school) and U18 (high school) categories have separate races for girls and boys.
The qualifying races for the elementary division will be held on Nov. 6, 13, and 20, with schools divided into groups to avoid crowding at the CPA Airport Field. Saipan International School is grouped with Brilliant Star School, Koblerville Elementary School, William S. Reyes Elementary School, and Saipan Community School, while Agape Christian School is with San Vicente, Kagan, Mt. Carmel School, and Isla Montessori.
The middle school and high school qualifiers are scheduled for Nov. 7, 14, and 21 and schools will also be put in small groups for safety measures. SIS will compete against Agape, Marianas High School, and Mt. Carmel in the U18 girls division, followed by the boys group. For the middle school division, it will be SIS, Agape, Francisco M. Sablan, Hopwood Middle School, Mt. Carmel, and SCS runners in the girls race first before the boys contest.
Runners who will make the grade in the series of qualifiers will advance to the 2020-2021 Public School System/Northern Marianas Athletics All Schools Cross Country Championships set for Dec. 4 (elementary) and Dec. 5 (high school and middle school).
Team title and individual honors will be at stake in the finale with only the times of Top 4 finishers from each school to be considered in determining the winners in the three age groups. Rota and Tinian runners are also invited in the championship race and must turn in their roster no later than Nov. 24.