The Geckos 5000 took place last Wednesday in Marpi with Saipan International School’s Tania Tan and Agape Christian School’s Kobe Yang leading the finishers of the inaugural race.
Yang was the first placer overall in the 5-kilometer cross country run after rounding out the course in 22:37. Tan, on the other hand, was the first female to complete the race that started and ended at Banzai Cliff (with runners navigating through the boonies) after timing in at 23:45.
Yang led Agape’s 1-2-3 finish in the individual race, as Peter Wang came in at second after registering 23:08 and Jonathan Xiong notched the third place honors with his 23:09. Three other Agape runners made it to the Top 10 to give the Torchbearers the No. 1 rankings in the team event. Tony Zhang was at sixth place in the men’s division after checking in at 24:02, while Jeremiah Yuan finished fifth with his 23:55, and Arthur Liang took the No. 6 spot following his 25:37 time.
In other results, Ken Song was the best finisher for Marianas High School as his 23:04 gave him the No. 4 ranking in the men’s division. Oldie Roligat, Brad Tisa, and Alan Albert were the other MHS runners who competed the race and posted 25:48, 276:06, and 26:57, respectively.
As for SIS, Je Hyuk Jung recorded the fastest time in their group after crossing the finish line at the 26:02 mark (No. 9 in the men’s). He was followed by Kaden Church (27:32), Dylan Mister (26:29), Jewon Jung (28:50), Kuu Nishimura (26:16), and Michael Lee (42:05).
In the women’s division, SIS’ Anika Snyder joined Tan in the podium after logging the third-best time (24:59) in the group. Marianas High School’s Therize Millare was second in the division after posting 24:58.
Jerlyn Castillo, also from MHS, was ranked fourth after timing in at 25:48, while Leani Acosta was the third Lady Dolphin to participate in the race and clocked in at 37:41.
SIS had four other runners besides Tan and Snyder. Stella McCallion, Malika Miyawaki, and Dana Lee registered 26:35, 27:58, and 28:51, respectively, for the No. 5 to 7 finish, while Lucy Devey came in at No. 13 after recording 35:33.
Agape, on the other hand, fielded five runners in the women’s race with Elizabeth Xu leading the way for their team after timing in at 30:19 (No. 8 in the division). Other Agape students who rounded out the course were Amelia Yu (32:36), Vivian Wu (31:37), Iris Zhang 934:43), and Jenny Lin (31:37).
SIS hosted Geckos 5000, which the school plans to do annually, according to headmaster Ron Snyder. Students from SIS Rotary Interact Club and the school senior class helped run the event.
“It was a really hot, tough course, but all of the runners came through amazingly strong. I hope we can get more schools to join us in the future and that some other schools can offer invitationals of their own,” Snyder said.