Marianas High School’s Josh Joson and Saipan International School’s Tiana Cabrera finished the 2020-2021 Public School System/Northern Marianas Athletics All Schools Cross Country Series in style after making a record run last Saturday at the CPA Airport Field.
Joson completed the 3.1-mile race course in the finale race in 19:44—the fastest this season—to take the top honors in the boys high school division. The MHS student is the lone runner to break the 20-minute barrier in the three-lap course, as he surpassed his time (20:15) in the third and last qualifying race (held last Nov. 21).
The 17-year-old had a record run in the last weekend’s championship race despite a participant’s repeated attempts to interfere with the former’s running path.
“It was kind of frustrating to see him doing the interference and I am just relieved that race officials saw his violations. Despite his tactics, I tried to stay focused and pushed myself harder,” Joson said.
Meanwhile, in the girls U18 division, Cabrera was the undisputed queen of high school races this season.
The SIS student finished the finals race in 22:09—her best record in the competition. Cabrera swept the first three qualifiers, submitting 23:19 in the opening leg, 22:32 in the second, and 22:45 in the third.
SIS grabs boys U18 title
The battle for the top team honors in the boys U18 division was a close one with SIS beating 2019 champion Agape Christian School in the tiebreak.
The team championship was decided by points awarded to the Top 4 finishers of each school and the squad with the lowest score won. The Geckos and Torchbearers ended up scoring 22 points apiece for the deadlock.
Rex Pixley handed SIS 2 points for his second place finish overall after reaching the finish line in 20:20. Samuel Culp (20:51) was ranked No. 4, while Charles McDonald (21:47) and Andrew Sablan (23:06) placed seventh and ninth, respectively.
Agape, on the other hand, got its points from third placer Ray Qi (20:35), No. 5 finisher Eason Tang (21:17), No. 6 Jason Cao (21:31), and No. 8 Samuel He (21:50).
To break the standoff, meet organizers took the results of SIS and Agape’s fifth-best finisher. Jimin Woo went on to deliver for the Geckos as his finish time of 23:31 put him at the No. 12 spot, three notches higher than Agape’s Peter Hu (24:05).
Joining SIS and Agape in the Top 3 in the boys team category was MHS, which had 35 points, while Mt. Carmel School collected 77 and placed fourth.
Agape keeps girls U18 crown
Agape gained 14 points to retain the girls U18 tiara.
The champion squad finished way ahead of its competitors, as runner-up SIS bagged 34 markers, and MHS and Mt. Carmel tallied 51 and 58, respectively.
Agape was the runaway winner in the division, as it had two runners making it to the podium with Cabrera. Emma Pang placed second with a time of 22:53, while Grace Si came in third after registering 23:21. Eunice Xu (23:35) and Elizabeth Xu (24:29) were ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, for Agape’s convincing win.
SIS, after getting a point from Cabrera’s first place finish, had Linxi Cai (28:25/No. 9 ranking), Jinnie Thompson (29:43/No.11), and Pyper Liske-Clark (29:59/No.13) completing the Geckos’ finishers roster.