Strong run for Team Marianas


Team Marianas members jump for joy after a strong showing in the 2018 Asia Pacific Invitational Cross Country Championships held over the weekend in Guam. (Contributed Photo)

Team Marianas’ female runners made it to the Top 3 of the 2018 Asia Pacific Invitational Cross Country Championships held over the weekend in Guam.

Saipan International School’s Tania Tan, Stella McCallion, Anika Snyder, and Malika Miyawaki and Marianas High School’s Therize Millare and Jerlyn Castillo combined for 140 points in the five-kilometer individual race last Friday at the John F. Kennedy High School grounds to rank third out of the 12 women’s teams in the annual tournament. Last weekend’s Top 3 finish surpassed the women’s squad’s performance in the 2017 race (seventh place).

Team Marianas also fielded male runners in the individual race and Tinian High School’s Tyler Santos, Agape Christian School’s Lue Xiong, Chenxuan Yang, and Kaiping Wang, MHS’ Ken Song, and SIS’ Kuu Nishimura teamed up for an eighth place finish out of the 16 groups that competed in their division.

All 12 members then raced in the co-ed relay event (10K) held at the Ypao Beach Park and they were ranked fourth, giving Team Marianas the No. 4 spot in the overall rankings—four notches up from their finish last year.

“This was a tremendous improvement! I don’t think the CNMI has ever done this well,” said Rony Snyder, who coached the women’s team.

Synder added that the CNMI’s female runners were the fastest in Micronesia, beating their counterparts from Guam and Palau. Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and the Philippines were also represented in the AsPac meet.

Tan gains All-Island honors
Tan was the top finisher among the CNMI female runners in the 5K race and earned a spot in the elite All-Island Team.

The SIS senior timed in at 21:58.2, breaking the 23:18.4 she recorded in last year’s race. Tan was ranked No. 10 out of the 101 female runners that completed the race. The SIS student, who was surprised with her achievement, joined the Top 15 runners on the podium to receive their medals for making it to the All-Island Team.

“I felt shocked but happy and excited to make it to the All-Island Team. Placing in the Top 10 makes me feel relieved and happy because I can say that all the hard work I put into training has finally paid off. The race was tough, as there were a lot of strong runners. The course was also slightly different than last year, as we had to run on the track this year so I had to adjust my pacing a bit at first, but in the end everything was good. The girls pushed me to run faster during the race as well as the rest of the team, coaches, and friends/family cheering for me on the sidelines,” Tan said.

Recording the second-best time for Team Marianas in the women’s division was McCallion after registering 23:22.4. Snyder, Millare, Castillo, and Miyawaki submitted 23:45.8, 24:13, 24:16.2, and 25:54, respectively.

In the men’s race, Santos was the best finisher for Team Marianas with his 19:12.1 (No. 27 overall out of 155 finishers). Xiong came in next after recording 20:22.5 and was followed by Song (20:28.3), Yang (20:55.7), Wang (22:11.3), and Nishimura (22:19).

In the co-ed relay, Tan and Santos paired and had the fastest time on the team after checking in at 43:56.9.

American School in Japan won in the relay and also ruled the men’s and women’s 5K races en route to taking the overall championship. St. Mary’s International School/Seisen International School was ranked second overall, while JFK finished third.

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

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