Saipan’s young runners excel

Therize Millare cuts the finisher’s tape on the way to placing second overall in the women’s division 10K race of last Saturday’s Saipan Marathon. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The young guns delivered in the 10K event of last Saturday’s 2018 Saipan Marathon.

Saipan’s U18 runners made it to the Top 6 of the men’s and women’s divisions and gained top honors in the age group competition of the shortest race in Marianas Visitors Authority’s signature event.

Thirteen-year-old Rintaro Miyawaki was the fastest finisher among the island’s youth runners as he completed the 10K in 41:32. He was the third overall finisher in the men’s division behind last year’s champion and 2018 runner-up Keith Longuski (38:11) and South Korea’s Sungchan Park (37:45). Saipan resident Kosuke Sato (42:02), Japan’s Hideko Sasaki (42:35), and South Korea’s Sukjae Byun (42:46) rounded out the Top 6.

Miyawaki and the more than 500 10K participants ran from American Memorial Park to Beach Road, across Char’s Store near the Saipan Mayor’s Office and back to the starting line.

In the women’s division, three Saipan U18 runners placed in the Top 6 with Therize Millare coming in at second place behind South Korea’s Yunmi Lee. The 15-year-old Millare clocked in at 47:58 against the 45:46 of Lee.

Ten-year-old Kaithlynn Chavez was the youngest Top 6 finisher in the women’s field, placing at No. 4 after completing the 10K race in 50:29. Thirteen-year-old Coume Kaga was ranked fifth after submitting 51:10 and finished ahead of her mother Ayumi, who recorded 53:10. Ayano Braxton completed Saipan runners’ domination in the division after checking in at third place with her time of 49:25.

In the age group contest, Christian Villacrusis had the best time (44:36) en route to clinching the men’s 15 to 19 top honors. In the 14 and under category, the first place finish went to Akira Kadokura, who also broke the one-hour barrier with his 52:08.

The rest of the age group top finishers completed the 10K in less than an hour with Saipan’s Ketson “Jack” Kabiriel winning the men’s 40 to 49 division after logging 44:41 and Florence Antonio prevailing in the men’s 50 to 59 with his 46:49. Men’s 20 to 29 champion Suhan Ji of South Korea checked in at 47:22, men’s 30 to 39’s Leon Etienne of the U.S. posted 47:07, and men’s over 60’s Shoji Tsushima of Japan timed in at 48:08.

In the women’s division, the age group champions were U14’s Jiamei Xu (1:04:28), 15 to 19’s Linzhi Wu (1:04:29), 20 to 29’s Deenalin Crook (53:31), 30 to 39’s Heo Mee Seo (59:20), 50 to 59’s Seoing Chul Cho (54:06), and over 60’s Kozue Yamada (1:02:32).

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for 16 years. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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