Connect with us

GSPN

GUAM WOMEN’S VA’A GRAB BRONZE IN ENDURANCE

Guam Va’a wrapped up their competition days Thursday afternoon with a double-header distance featuring the men’s 15-mile endurance followed directly by the women’s 10-mile.

By Robert Balajadia

Colonia, Yap – Guam Va’a wrapped up their competition days Thursday afternoon with a double-header distance featuring the men’s 15-mile endurance followed directly by the women’s 10-mile. The men’s team finished 5th while the ladies picked up a bronze medal coming in 3rd place.

Guam’s paddlers racked up five total medals, including two silver and two bronze from their Day 1 races.

Guam’s ladies medal thrice

Palau’s women would not be denied as they made a clean sweep of the Va’a competition, but Guam’s gritty ladies weren’t going to be denied a podium pose in the 10-mile endurance race. Finishing in a little over an hour and a half, Guam secured bronze despite battling Yap’s grueling heat.

“The hardest part of the race today was definitely the heat. It does take a mental toll on you as much as a physical one so we needed to make sure we kept splashing out teammates to stay cool. We had to paddle smart,” said Michele Salas, the steerer for Guam’s team.

In hindsight, Guam’s ladies managed to medal in each event they participated in, which is a wealth in itself. The hard work of nine months didn’t go unnoticed and Guam’s ladies are proud.

“We just didn’t know how things were going to turn out condition wise and it’s all a learning experience when you come to a new environment. We worked hard and we’re happy what we came away with. It was a great turnout for us,” added Michele.

Feeling the heat

Guam’s men’s Va’a team was set to roll out on their 15-mile endurance race at 8:30 am. A lengthy delay in a tour of the course pushed back start time to 11:18 am, with Yap’s sun in full effect. Guam got off to a good start before Yap and Pohnpei started to create separation within the first five miles.

Guam held the 3rd place spot for the first eight miles, but the return trip proved too difficult to overcome as CNMI and Palau started to make their move. Yap came in 1st with a large lead followed by Pohnpei’s 2nd place finish. CNMI rounded out the medal count and a final 500 came down to Palau and Guam as Palau was able to get the edge.

Guam undoubtedly gets hot as well, but the lunch time heat is not a condition the paddlers often train for.

“We train either in the early morning or during the evening, but today’s race was right between 11am to 1 pm and we were not really ready for those kinds of conditions. It was really really hot today. However, we came out and did out best and we did not give up,” said veteran Johnny Palomo.

Guam gets a good start at the start of the 15-mile endurance race! (photo by Michael Ebio)

Despite not medaling in the distance event, Guam Va’a showed they’ve still got some of the best in the boat in the Marianas.

The team had also decided not to leave until at least the 25th as they wanted to support the rest of Guam’s teams still playing in the games.

“We’re very proud of what we have accomplished. We’ve been training hard since November of last year so coming back home with medals is something we’re definitely proud of,” added Palomo.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Ad

GPS Sports Calendar

January

February 2024

March
SU
MO
TU
WE
TH
FR
SA
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
Events for January

1st

Events for February

2nd

Events for February

3rd

4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Events for February

3rd

No Events
Events for February

5th

Events for February

6th

Events for February

7th

Events for February

8th

Events for February

9th

Events for February

10th

11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Events for February

10th

No Events
Events for February

12th

Events for February

13th

Events for February

14th

Events for February

15th

Events for February

16th

Events for February

17th

18
19
20
21
22
23
24
Events for February

18th

Events for February

19th

Events for February

20th

Events for February

21st

Events for February

22nd

Events for February

23rd

Events for February

24th

25
26
27
28
29
1
2
Events for February

25th

Events for February

26th

Events for February

27th

Events for February

28th

Events for February

29th

COMING SOON …

  • 3rd Quarter Sports: Rugby, Boys Basketball, Softball, Tennis in full swing!

 

 

QUICK HITS

Shawn Bamba won the Arizona state wrestling championship while siblings Jussiah and Justyn took third place in their divisions at state.
Shawn (12th) won the 150-lb division while Jussiah (11th) took bronze in the 120-lb class and Justyn (9th) took bronze in the 106-lb category.
All three were born on Guam before moving to Surprise, Arizona in 2014, where they all picked up wrestling in 2016.
Their parents are Justin and Shannon Bamba from Pago Bay.
—————————————————
Christian Delos Santos, son of Richard Delos Santos (Barrigada) and Norma Larimer Delos Santos (Dededo), won the Kentucky High School Athletic Association wrestling state championship in the 113-lb weight class.
His sister Naiya took 3rd place in the 100-lb girls division.

More in GSPN