TRAC looking for triathlon coach

Posted on Jul 20 2021


Triathlon Association of the CNMI president Manny Sitchon, second from right, poses with other masters swimmers during Saipan Swim Club’s Triple Crown Open Water Swim Series held last July 12 in the waters off Kilili Beach. (Mark Rabago)

The Triathlon Association of the CNMI is leaving no stone unturned in its search for a coach for the CNMI National Triathlon Team for the 2022 Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games.

TRAC president Manny Sitchon said they have several candidates in mind to coach the national team. He said the prospective national triathlon coach will not only be expected to mentor the team but also develop the sport from the grassroots level up.

“Right now we are in the process of searching for a triathlon coach. We have in mind Cho Kaon, who is a Korean pro triathlete who always joins the Tagaman. He also brought a lot of tourists to the CNMI in the past,” he said.

He said another prospective coach is from Manila, Philippines, while another is many-time XTERRA Saipan Championship contender Arland Macasieb.

“We have plenty of good coaches from the Philippines. There’s also someone from the U.S. who is a Filipino-American in Arland [Macasieb].”

Sitchon said whoever gets the nod as the next CNMI National Triathlon Team coach will have to conduct triathlon seminars in schools to promote the participation of students not only for the 2022 Pacific Mini Games but also to find the next generation of triathletes.

As far as tryouts are concerned, the TRAC official said the group will conduct one in the coming weeks. He also volunteered that while the CNMI has a lot of triathletes, most of them are ineligible for the Mini Games.

To be eligible for the Mini Games according to the Pacific Games Council manual, an athlete must be a U.S. passport-holder and must have resided in the CNMI for five years.

Sitchon said TRAC would’ve loved Mount Carmel School star athlete Andrei Kaithlyn Chavez to try out for the national team, but at only 15 years old she might not be eligible, age-wise, for the 2022 Mini Games.

Earlier this month, Papua New Guinea’s Stephen Damien was appointed the technical delegate for the triathlon events at the 2022 Mini Pacific Games in the CNMI. Damien has been organizing triathlon events since the mid 2000s with his first Pacific Games technical duties happening in the 2009 Pacific Mini Games in Cook Islands.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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