Saipan Southern High School and Marianas High School split the top honors in the high school division of the 2014 McDonald’s/PSS All Schools Athletics Championship that concluded last Saturday after three days of competition at the Oleai Sports Complex.
The Manta Rays bagged the boys overall championship after collecting 148 points, qualifying in 12 of the 14 events in the high school division. Southern earned majority of their points from the running events, getting 23 in the 800M, 22 in the 3,000m, 14 in the 60m, 12 each in the 100m and 200m, 10 apiece in the 4x100m and 4x400m relay, and nine in the 400m. The team added six and eight points from javelin and shotput, respectively. Points were awarded based on how participants were ranked in the event with 10 going to the top finisher.
Southern, which was composed of Dylan Ackerman, Christopher Galvan, Seiya Eda, Amami Sakano, Elthan Wong, Joshua Mendiola, Nelton Skerei, had a close fight against the Jason Lampkin-led Kagman High School. The Ayuyus collected 140 points to settle for the runner-up honor
The Manta Rays earned their first victory in the annual tournament without a coach in tow.
“These guys are so determined to compete that they went to the series of qualifiers without a coach and now they are the champions,” said tournament director Elias Rangamar, who even teased the Manta Rays when he announced that it was MHS who took the boys championship and not Southern.
Eda and company were already celebrating at the call room before Rangamar intentionally made the wrong announcement, which he quickly retracted, as he congratulated the Manta Rays for their strong showing in the competition that kicked off last Thursday.
Southern, which finished only fifth last year, received the championship trophy at the awards ceremony from McDonald’s general manager Marcia Ayuyu and her son Joe. Also getting trophies were Kagman and third placer Tinian High School, which collected 62 points. Agape Christian School (33) placed fourth, followed by MHS (28), Marianas Baptist Academy (8), and Saipan International School (1).
In the girls division, MHS led Kagman and Agape in the podium. The Lady Dolphins were the runaway winners in the U18 division to extend their reign in the competition. They earned 211 points against the 70 and 60 of Kagman and Agape, respectively.
Suiting for the MHS’ girls team were Friendly Joy Pena, Zarinae Sapong, Alexandra Vergara, Sharmaine Alarzar, Panida Eitz, and Negahr Rastguiy, while Preston Basa coached the squad. The Lady Dolphins had representatives in all 14 events and took first place in majority of the competitions.
Three others schools joined the girls U18 division with MBA finishing fourth with its 28 points and Southern and SIS getting eight markers apiece.