The youngest athletes of the Saipan International School Geckos raced to the top of the elementary school division and the girls middle school division in the fourth and last 2022-2023 NMA-PSS All Schools Cross Country qualifier last Saturday at the Commonwealth Ports Authority field near the airport.
The Geckos stuck it to their competition as they collected 24 points in the elementary school boys division, garnered 16 points in the elementary school girls division, and had 21 points in the middle school girls division.
In second place in the boys division, Brilliant Star School had 50 points, followed by Agape Christian School with 61 points.
Quido Jambor of SIS came in first in the individual race with a time of 7:33, followed by Kanoa Owens of Garapan Elementary School with a time of 7:44, while Reyviel Escarlan came in third with a time of 7:47.
Oleai Elementary School accumulated 35 points and was second place in the elementary school girls division, with Mount Carmel School in third with 91 points.
Leilani Ruszala of SIS scorched the competition as she came in the fastest of the elementary school girls division with a time of 7:54. She was followed by Kaylen Taflinger of Oleai Elementary School with a time of 8:08, and Scarlett Burrell came in third with a time of 8:26.
For the middle school girls division, Agape Christian School came in a close second with 22 points, and Tanapag Middle School came in third with 59 points.
Sara Barman of Tanapag Middle School came in first in the middle school girls division with a time of 15:50, followed by Barbara Wang of ACS at 15:59, and Lucy Hong of ACS as well at 17:33.
SIS headmaster Dr. Ron Snyder is already looking forward to the upcoming championships.
“I am really excited about the upcoming championships. The powerhouse of Agape HS boys is back and will produce some amazing results and competition for the reigning champions MHS. HS girls and MS girls [have] been very competitive and will produce some close results. The SIS elementary team is young—most under 9 years old but they have been tremendously persistent and I think we have a great shot. This will be an exciting meet with some real nail biting finishes.”
Like the third qualifier, this qualifier had a total of 274 runners take part in the event; and as the previous qualifiers, the high school division course was three miles, the middle school division course was two miles, and the elementary school division course was one mile.
The championship is less than two weeks away from now on Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Saipan Country Club.
Northern Marianas Athletics is coordinating the event along with the Public School System Athletic Program.