Students stand out in Tagaman relays

Saipan Southern High School’s Dylan Ackerman goes for a strong finish in the 10K run leg of last Saturday’s Tagaman Triathlon. (ROSELYN B. MONROYO)

Saipan Southern High School’s Dylan Ackerman goes for a strong finish in the 10K run leg of last Saturday’s Tagaman Triathlon. (ROSELYN B. MONROYO)

Two students-led teams lorded it over in the relay races in last Saturday’s Tagaman Triathlon.

In the Half Ironman division (70.3), Saipan Community School’s Kento Akimaru and Marianas High School’s Erico Castro teamed up with adult runner Goshi Gato and won against six other pairs after the trio combined for 4:52:26. Akimaru started the squad’s campaign, completing the two-lap 1.9-kilometer swim course in the waters off the Pacific Islands Club at 20:41, the second fastest overall behind Korean National Team member and eventual men’s division winner Ju Seok Kim (19:47).

The Saipan Swim Club swimmer tagged Castro at the swim-bike transition area with a four-minute lead over two other teams and the gap widened, as the latter registered the division fastest time in the 90K bike race with his 2:44:00. Gato then anchored the squad to victory after timing in at 1:47:45 in the 21K run. The trio of Castro, Akimaru, and Gato was the only team to complete the grueling race under five hours.

Second placers Ketson “Jack” Kabiriel, Philip Gauang, and Manny Arron clocked in at 5:25:25. Kabiriel was the team’s swimmer and submitted 24:48, while Gauang and Aaron tallied 3:12:40 and 1:48:28 in the bike and run races, respectively.

The youthful pair of swimmer Lennusuke Suzuki and biker David Boyer joined forces with veteran runner Mamiko Oshima-Berger in finishing third overall and first in the mixed division. The group combined for 5:33:06 after Suzuki recorded 24:47, Boyer posted 3:25:04, and Oshima-Berger logged a field-best 1:43:15.

Other finishers in the Half Ironman relay were the teams of Anna Suber, James Abuy, and Toshiaki Satake (5:55:00); Jinnosuke Suzuki, Ricardo Antonio, and Enrique Evangelista Jr. (6:06:51); Sierra Kuisle, Raymund Tolentino, and Fred Remilloza (6:48:14); and father and son Ben and Benjamin Babauta (6:48:14).

In the Olympic distance race, students Kaito Yanai, Gerald Rangamar, and Dylan Ackerman bested six other teams.

Hopwood Junior High School’s Yanai negotiated the one-kilometer swim course in 10:29, the second fastest time behind Korean Eunkeong Sung (10:28), while Rangamar of Saipan Southern High School had the second best time in the 40K bike race with his 1:31:21. Southern’s Ackerman’s 56:52 in the 10K run was only the third-fastest in the field, but it was enough to give his team the lead in the relay division.

Ackerman reached the finish line at the American Memorial Park one minute and 11 seconds ahead of Steven Johnson, who had the fastest split time in the run leg with 55:26. Johnson teamed up with swimmer Steven Beyer (15:22) and biker Athena Andrews (1:29:05) and they combined for 2:39:53.

Coming in at third place with a time of 2:41:30 were swimmer Takumi Sugie (11:02), biker Samson Tan (1:35:11) and runner Cesar Danao (57:17). Other finishers were Rinto Takahashi, Tony Stearns, and Akiko Miller (2:55:29); Angel Marie Tan, Regina Sebial, and Glorybel Tan (2:55:35), Taiga Sato and David and Antonina Banes (3:04:36), and Vincent Seman, Ian Mulligan, and Galvin Deleon Guerrero (3:07:52).

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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