Ready, set, go


Elementary school students race to the finish line during last year’s Public School System/Northern Marianas Athletics All Schools Cross Country Series at the Saipan Country Club. (Contributed Photo)

After months of preparations and carefully taking into consideration everyone’s safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020-2021 Public School System/Northern Marianas Athletics All Schools Cross Country Series will finally hit the CPA Airport Field today.

The first major interscholastic competition of the season will kick off with the elementary division (U11) races, which will feature 51 runners from eight schools.

Safety measures will be strictly implemented before, during, and after the races, including social distancing rules. PSS and NMA marked the course yesterday to guide runners and keep their distance from each other all throughout the race. There will be starting boxes and runners will head out to the course in two heats.

Heat 1 will be for runners representing William S. Reyes Elementary School, Saipan Community School, Brilliant Star School, and Saipan International School and the race will start at 4:15pm. Heat 2 race kickoff will be at 5pm and will feature students from Agape Christian School, Mt. Carmel School, Kagman Elementary School, and Isla Montessori School.

Each school is allowed a maximum of six runners (plus one alternate) and the squad should be co-ed with at least two female and two male members. Students-runners must complete the 1.1-mile course in 25 minutes or those who will not make the cut-off time will be escorted out of the field and marked did not finish on the results table. Finishers must quickly exit the CPA Field after their respective races, as NMA and PSS are discouraging large crowd gathering during the event. Spectators are not allowed to enter the start/finish area, while runners must wear masks before and after their races, and coaches/officials must wear masks at all times.

Race officials work on marking the CPA Airport Field in preparation for this afternoon’s opening leg of the 2020-2021 Public School System/Northern Marianas Athletics All Schools Cross Country Series. (Contributed Photo)

Middle school races draw 43
The same safety rules will be applied for tomorrow’s middle school competition, which attracted 43 participants.

The boys division (U14) race will go ahead first at 7:35am, while the girls will take the field at 8:05am. Cut-off time for the 2.1-mile race is 30 minutes.

Agape, which won the championship both in the boys and girls middle school races last year, will have nine runners in the first leg of the series. Barba Wang, Serena Chen, Ruth Zhang, and Esther and Jenny Xu are the members of Agape’s girls crew, while Peter Peng, Boxin Chen, Danny Cheng, and Joseph Li will run for the Torchbearers’ boys team.

Others competing in the U14 divisions are SIS, Mt. Carmel, Saipan Community, Hopwood Middle School, and Francisco M. Sablan Middle School.

FMS has a strong seven-student team (including alternate) in Froilan Wabol, Tony Satur, Daniel Santos, Charles Rodreges, Payton Basa, Christian Lucero, and Cedric Catacutan. For its girls team, FMS will be banking on Narita Sellem, R-nessa Shorey, Maya Rebuenog, and Teneasha Diaz.

SIS has a complete team in both boys and girls division. Christian Newman will lead the Geckos in the boys race and will be teaming up with Casey Chambers, William Lee, Peter White, and Kyle Kramer. The SIS girls squad, on the other hand, has Savita Sikkel, Rebecca Eaton, Phoenix Gross, Hoo Wang, Eva Lizunova, and Ziting Wu.

Mt. Carmel has only four runners in siblings Mark Jainier, Julie Anne, and Andrei Kaithlyn Chavez and June Yi, while Hopwood is fielding three—all in the boys race—Charles Guiang, James Xing, and Tyrone Manipon. Saipan Community has the least number of entries in the middle school division with only David Ye and Hilah Bacani joining this Saturday morning’s races.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.
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