Saipan International School and Agape Christian School runners left for Japan early Saturday morning to represent the CNMI to the 2019 Asia Pacific Invitational Cross-Country Championships.
Geckos head coach Ron Snyder is set field 11 SIS runners in the individual 5-kilometer race (men’s and women’s) scheduled for today and 15K relay set for tomorrow. Both events will be held at Urayasu-shi Sogo Koen in Tokyo.
Asia Pacific returnees Anika Snyder, Malika Miyawaki, Kuu Nishimura and Ken Song led the SIS squad and were joined on the team by Tiana Huang-Cabrera, Charles Henry McDonald III, Samuel Culp, Jinju Thompson, Robbie Schorr, Jon Paul Sablan, and Cheng Paul Xiong. Agape’s roster, on the other hand, was made up of Kobe Yang, Eunice Xu, Shi Yihong, Jiamei Xu, Zhourui Han, Vivian Wu, Aiyuan Pang, Weixiu Yang, Haozhe Shan, Xinxhi Liang, Shijie Cao, Teng Zhang, and Yutian Luo with Pastor Kok Pang as head coach.
Snyder and Miyawaki were part of the Team Marianas (with fellow Geckos Tania Tan and Stella McCallion and Marianas High School’s Therize Millare and Jerlyn Castillo) that finished third overall in the girls division of the Asia Pacific event held at the John F. Kennedy High School in Guam last year. Tan also made it to the elite All-Island Selection.
Ron Snyder coached the winning squad in 2018 and was confident of their chances to earn All-Island honors this year. The Top 15 runners in the men’s and women’s 5K will make it to the All-Island Selection and receive medals, while organizers will also recognize the Top 3 finishers in the men’s and women’s (individual combined scores) and relay.
“I am very proud of the development of all the runners throughout the season. They have shown an amazing amount of improvement and I believe there is a good chance that we will have several All-Island athletes this year,” Snyder said,
“Ken Song, Kuu Nishimura, and Kobe Yang on the boys team and Anika Snyder and Malika Miyawaki on the girls team are repeat competitors at API. They have used this experience to turn themselves into the top runners on the island. Thank you to NMA for its support of our student athletes as we go off to represent the CNMI,” the SIS headmaster added.
Northern Marianas Athletics helped facilitate SIS and Agape runners’ participation in the Japan race.
Before competing in Japan, the SIS and Agape runners raced in the 2019 All Schools Cross Country Championships last Friday at the Saipan Country Club.