Caleb Wang of Agape Christian School has his sights on a first place finish in the All Schools Cross Country finals this Saturday, Nov. 21, at the CPA Airport Field.
Wang topped the last leg of the series, last Saturday completing the three-lap course in a blistering pace of 20:01 in leading a sweep of ACS runners atop the podium of the boys U18 high school division.
It was the second time that the ACS 11th grader won a leg in the Cross Country series. He topped the opening leg last Oct. 24 with a time of 20:35 and skipped the second and third.
Wang, who was 14th overall and the top U18 runner in this year’s Saipan Marathon, is tipped to be the favorite to win the finals especially now that former CNMI long distance runner Seiya Eda had already graduated.
His 20:01 time in the 3.2-mile (5.1 kilometers) last Saturday was 14 seconds faster when he ruled the opening leg and better compared to the 21:38 and 25:08 of second and third leg winners Jason Wang (not related to Caleb) and Mark Lukun, both of ACS.
Wang also won gold medals in the 800-meter (2:28.89) and 3,000m (11:34.34) runs in the boys U18 division in this year’s Public School System/McDonald’s All-Schools Athletics Championship.
Jason Wang, who finished third when Caleb ruled the opening leg, was runner-up last Saturday with a time of 21:34, while Samuel Hu completed the ACS sweep for placing third the second time at 22:25 to improve his 23:22 record in the second leg.
Yang Sheng Ai, also of ACS, is expected to challenge last year’s winner and third leg top finisher Gabrielle Race.
Ai won the girls U18 division as she continues to shave off seconds from her previous times. She completed the final leg in 27:02, which was much better from her previous times of 30:36 (first leg) and 28:24 (second leg).
Her 27:02 time, though an improvement on her part, is still slow as Race, who only ran in the Nov. 7 third leg, had the best time this year at 24:11.
Nine other ACS female runners finished behind Ai with Andrea Feng coming in at second (32:20), while Wang Yi Qian settling for third (33:30).
Christian Villacrucis showed that he is the one to beat in the boys U15 division as he completed a sweep of the four legs as he again finished first last Saturday (12:37). He had times of 9:00, 12:56, and 13:12, respectively, in the first three legs.
Chen Hao Xu of ACS came in second (13:05), while Marianas High School’s Haruya Eda, Seiya’s brother, was third (13:36).
David Roberto, a runner-up twice to Villacrucis in the second and third legs, this time finished fourth with 13:45.
Lyu Xile of Saipan Community School (20:35), ACS’ Xu Lingling (21:03), and Saipan Southern High School’s Lucy Gu (29:18) were the Top 3 in the girls U15 division.
Taiga Sato ruled the boys U13 division at 14:02 followed by Dominic Torres (14:47) and Mateo Guerrero (15:19), while Therize Millare (16:18), Ruschel Vilario (16:57), and Nicole Kim (21:34) duplicated the feat in the girls U13 age group.