SIS tops HS girls and ES cross country

Posted on Sep 28 2022


Some of Saipan International School’s high school cross country team members pose for a photo before the third All Schools Cross Country Qualifier last Saturday at the American Memorial Park. (LEIGH GASES)

Saipan International School Geckos topped the high school girls and both elementary school divisions in the third 2022-2023 NMA-PSS All Schools Cross Country qualifier at the American Memorial Park last Saturday.

The high school Geckos girls team conquered the early morning 3-mile dewy course with a team score of 17 and plowed through the competition in the elementary school division with a team score of 29 for boys and 23 for girls.

The Top 3 for the girls high school division were Kaithlyn Chavez of SIS at 22:08, followed by teammate Tiana Cabrera at 24:08, and Mary Zhu, of Agape Christian School, at 26:10

In the elementary school boys division, Quido Jambor of SIS topped it at 8:02, followed by the Torchbearers’ Reyviel Escarlan at 8:10, and Kanoa Owens of Garapan Elementary School at 8:14.

In the elementary school girls division, three SIS girls made the Top 5 in the 1-mile run. Lovel Spaeth of Brilliant Star School came in first at 8:19, followed by Kaylen Ruth Taflinger of Oleai Elementary School at 8:27, then followed by SIS girls Scarlett Burrel at 8:44, Leilani Ruszala at 9:07, and Windsor Gross at 9:14.

In the boys high school division, the Torchbearers remained undefeated throughout the whole season as they conquered with a team score of 25. They were followed by Marianas High School with 45 points, and Saipan Southern High School with 49 points.

Pony Tang of MHS came in first with a time of 19:57, Jireh Wang of ACS came in second at 20:30 and Cody Shimizu of MHS came in at 20:39.

In the middle school girls division, the Torchbearers dominated the 2-mile run with a team score of 18, followed by the Geckos at 32 points, and Dandan Middle School with 46 points.

Addalee Taflinger of Dandan Middle School came in first with a time of 15:34, followed by Barbara Wang of ACS at 16:25, and Lucy Hong of ACS as well with a time of 17:50.

The middle school boys division was dominated by Dandan Middle School with 47 points, Grace Christian Academy with 51 points, and Hopwood Middle School and SIS tied with 52 points came next.

Michael Miller of GCA came flying in first at 13:13, followed by Landen Taflinger of Dandan Middle School at 13:47, and Raffy Cai of ACS at 14:15.

SIS headmaster Dr. Ron Snyder said this about the team’s performance, “I wish I could have been there for this meet but I am really happy to see the teams progressing. I think this will be an amazing championship and look forward to many personal bests. Go Geckos!” said Snyder, who is currently in Europe.

Run Saipan president Edward Dela Cruz Jr. told Saipan Tribune that hosting the event “was amazing and an honor again to serve Northern Marianas Athletics, PSS, and our students once again this year. This is our second time in partnership with PSS, and NMA to run a cross country meet. Last year we held our first qualifier at Ladder Beach and ran around the airport perimeter fence line.” 

“All of us at Run Saipan were ecstatic to see the students have so much fun and look forward again to next year. Thank you to all the volunteers, NMA, and Run Saipan personnel, and especially the coaches and parents for making it another great event. Special thanks to American Memorial Park for the venue,” he said.

A total of 274 runners took part in the event.

The next qualifier will take place this Saturday, Oct. 1, 6am, at the Saipan Country Club. The championships will be held on Oct. 15 at the same location.

NMA is coordinating the event along with the Public School System Athletic Program.

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at

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