Tania is NMI’s top finisher


Team Marianas members pose for a group photo after completing the 5-kilometer race in the 2017 Asia Pacific Invitational Cross Country Championships held last weekend at the John F. Kennedy High School in Tamuning, Guam. (Contributed Photo)

Tania Tan became the top finisher for Team Marianas in the 2017 Asia Pacific Invitational Cross Country Championships held over the weekend at the John F. Kennedy High School in Tamuning, Guam.

Tan, a junior at Saipan International School, was the 23rd runner to cross the finish line in the women’s 5-kilometer race that was topped by participants from the American School in Japan with ninth-grader Saga Wihman besting her teammates and 98 others.

Tan registered a time of 23:18.4, which was 40 seconds better from the 24:01 she posted in the second leg of the Northern Marianas Athletics’ 2017 All Schools Cross Country 2 held last Oct. 7 at the Airport Road.

Agape Christian School’s Ella Zhang finished 35th (24:48.40), while Malika Miyawaki of SIS came in 40th (25:29.6). Min Yu (28:58.6) and Tianbo Zhang, who came in at 76th and 83rd places, respectively (29:36.8), were the other members of the CNMI girls squad that ended up eighth overall in the team event.

Wihman recorded the fastest time in the division with her 20:45 to lead the 1-2-3 finish for ASIJ, as Marina Ten Have (21:00.4) and Emma Wingfield-Hayes (21:03) joined her in the podium. ASIJ, which also had runners finishing 10th and 14th places, ruled the team event with an average time of 21:38.6.

Seisen International School of Japan was the second best overall squad at 22:27.6, while the International School of Sacred Heart was third at 23:17.2. Guam High School, one of the seven teams from the hosts, was the fourth best (23:25.6).

In the men’s division, Kaiping Wang and his Agape schoolmate Lue Xiong crossed the finish line together at 22:05.2 to place 76 out of 136 runners in the race ruled by Christian Academy of Japan’s Takehiro Murai (17:41.7).

Leonardo A’DeLima of St. Mary’s International School had a time of 17:42.7 and ASIJ’s Declan Falls touched the tape at 17:43 to complete the Top 3.

Clayton Izuka was at 83rd (22:15.4), Alex Park at 89th (22:38.1), Jehyuk Jung at 99th (23:20.2), and Dawei Cai at 126th (26:09.8) for Team Marianas’ boys squad.

CAJ (18:07.2), ASIJ (18:15.9), and SMIS (18:32.1) were the Top 3 teams, while Team Marianas was ranked at No. 14 with an average time of 22:28.9.

Father Duenas Memorial School, George Washington High School, John F. Kennedy High School, Okkodo High School, Simon Sanchez High School, Southern High School, Taejon Christian International School, Tiyan High School, Yongsan International School, Faith Academy Philippines, Seoul American School, and Palau High School also competed in the weekend races.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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