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GUAM ATHLETES READY FOR IRONMAN 70.3 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

Led by Manami Iijima, Guam has 10 triathletes taking on the Ironman 70.3 World Championships

(feature photo of Prof. Michelle Santos and Manami Iijima is courtesy of the University of Guam)

By John Wesley

Several local triathletes have a big weekend ahead of them as they compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The athletes qualified for the distinguished race by doing well in the inaugural IM 70.3 Saipan and the extremely tough IM 70.3 Subic Bay, both races were in March of this year.

The race, named the 70.3, is also known as the half-ironman. The reason being the 70.3 miles covered in the race is just half the distance covered in a full-ironman race (140.6). Racers must first complete a 1.2 mile swim before cycling for 56 miles and then finishing off with a 13.1 mile half-marathon run.

Guam men’s champion Art Guerrero

All three legs of the race must be completed within 8 hours and 30 minutes.

Guam residents will be proud to know that the island will be well represented by many of the island’s best triathletes.

Leading the way is recently turned professional Manami Iijima. Many know of Iijima as a long time competitive swimmer that started winning local running races. Iijima, with the help of Guam National Cycling Champion and fiancé Jon Martin, has made great improvements in cycling over the past year and now is Guam’s rising star in triathlon.

Recently crowned Guam National Triathlon champion Arthur Guerrero will also be competing this weekend. The veteran qualified by placing first in his age group at IM 70.2 Saipan. Also toeing-the- line at the championship is Dr. Michelle Santos, professor at the University of Guam. Santos is part of the group that took advantage of the nearby Saipan race to secure her spot in Tennessee.

Other racers making the trek are listed below. You can follow all the race action on www.ironman.com. The women’s race begins at approximately 7:30 am EST on Saturday (9:30 pm ChST) and the men’s race takes place at 7:30 am EST on Sunday, September 10th.

FEMALES

Guam’s Lani Sablan

Manami Iijima, Bib #1575, Female 25-29
Qualifying race: IM 70.3 Subic Bay, 1st in age group
Laura Nadeau, Bib #1392, Female 30-34
Qualifying race: IM 70.3 Subic Bay, 2nd in age group
Rachel Martin, Bib #1374, Female 30-34
Qualifying race: IM 70.3 Saipan, 1st in age group
Leilani Sablan, Bib #1184, Female 35-39
Qualifying race: IM 70.3 Saipan, 3rd age group
Michelle Santos, Bib #466, Female 50-54
Qualifying race: IM 70.3 Saipan, 1st in age group

Jayme Bograd, Bib #1002, Female 35-39
Qualifying race: IM 70.3 Saipan, 1st in age group
*Guam resident representing USA

MALES
Arthur Guerrero, Bib #612, Male 50-54
Qualifying race: IM 70.3 Saipan, 1st in age group
Rick Leone, Bib #663, Male 50-54
Qualifying race: IM 70.3 Saipan, 2nd in age group
Oliver Cerbo, Bib #870, Male 45-49
Qualifying race: IM 70.3 Subic Bay, 9th in age group
Kilhak “Killy” Kunimoto, Bib #198, Male 65-69
Qualifying race: IM 70.3 Subic Bay, 1st in age group

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COMING SOON …

  • IIAAG & ISA Championships
  • YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE KICKOFF June 4
  • GSPN Boys Volleyball All-Star Game
  • Pacific Mini-Games in Saipan

QUICK HITS

Sisters CiMara-Lei (10th) and CiHara-Lei (9th) Wessling both made the Academic All-District Team playing for Veterans Memorial High softball team in Converse, TX.
They are the daughters of former star quarterback and pitcher Chris ‘Cool Breeze’ Wessling and wife Missy.
CiMara-Lei was also named the league’s Newcomer of the Year after the family moved from Dallas to San Antonio.
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Austia Mendiola made it to the California state pairs finals in collegiate beach volleyball before losing to Monterey Peninsula.
Playing for San Diego Mesa College, Mendiola and her partner made it to the finals out of 32 top women’s college teams in the state.

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