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PANTHERS SWEEP 2021 TRACK & FIELD TITLES

Guam High made a clean sweep for the 2021 title, winning both the boys and girls Thursday evening.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The Guam High Panthers celebrated a double championship, winning the 2021 boys and girls ISA High School Track and Field Championships at the JFK Track in Tumon.

The Panthers, under head coach Joe Taitano, brought home 17 gold medals to secure the championship.

Boys team results:
1. Guam High Panthers – 195 points
2. JFK Islanders – 136 points 
3. GW Geckos – 51 points
4. Tiyan Titans – 48 points
5. Simon Sanchez Sharks – 28 points
6. Father Duenas Friars – 19 points 
7. Guam Adventist Academy  – 16 points
8. Okkodo Bulldogs – 15 points
9. Southern Dolphins – 2 points

Girls team results:
1. Guam High Panthers – 195 points
2. Simon Sanchez Sharks – 99 points 
3. JFK Islanders – 79 points
4. GW Geckos – 65 points
5. Okkodo Bulldogs – 26 points
6. Guam Adventist Academy – 18 points
7. Tiyan Titans – 13 points
8. Academy Cougars – 12 points

The 2021 ISA High School Track & Field Championships was held at JFK High School on May 27, 2021 ( photo by Bout It Productions )

As they have done all season, the Panthers dominated the sprinting and relay events. The stars of the evening were Andre Johnson and Kailee Guerrero, each athlete won four gold medals for the Panthers. Both sprinters won gold in the 100m, 200m, 400m and team relay.

“Since day one, we all came out and just grinded,” said Johnson. Johnson, a senior, said his team worked hard to achieve their goals and described this season as “unforgettable”.

Sameha Wilbanks took home three gold medals for the girls team in the distance races, winning gold in the 3000m, 1500m and 800m races.

“Our girls have such a tight bond. We get together before our races and pray. We feel that God brings us together as a team,” said Wilbanks.

Wilbanks also said the team owes a debt of gratitude to head coach Joe Taitano.

“I haven’t had many coaches in my life, but he is definitely the best coach I’ve ever had.”

“He’s fast too! We were running a 10K and I looked up and I just saw him sprinting at one point,” joked Wilbanks. “He is just so supportive and God has put him in his position for a reason.”

The JFK Islander boys team gave the Panthers a run for their money. The Panthers and the Islanders won every Gold medal except for the Shot Put which was taken by Carlos Poppe from the Guam Adventist Academy.

The Islanders dominated the long distance races with freshman phenom Hugh Kent winning gold in the 3000m, 1500m and 800m races. Kent is coming fresh off winning the cross country individual championship last month.

“Coming from cross country, coach put me through more speed workouts and less long distance workouts,” said Kent. “I think I did pretty well and I’m looking forward to being faster next year.”

Kent’s teammates Isaac Valdez and Mark Imazu each came in second and third, respectively, in all three races (3000m, 1500m, 800m). The future is bright for the Islanders with Valdez (freshman) and Imazu (junior) returning next year.

The GW Geckos came in third place for the boys division. Nathan Castro and Christian Ruder combined for two silver and two bronze medals for the Geckos who steadily improved throughout the season to achieve a respectable third place finish.

The 2021 ISA High School Track & Field Championships was held at JFK High School on May 27, 2021 ( photo by Bout It Productions )

Pineda/Mendiola win hurdle event

Jovan Pineda from JFK won the boys hurdle events, winning the 110m and 300m hurdles. The same results were in the girl’s division with a lone athlete winning both events. Teyha Mendiola PR’d in the 100m and 300m hurdles to help the Sharks accrue valuable points to win second place in the team event. Mendiola had two Golds and a silver (4×400 relay). 

Loryn Techaira from JFK won the girls shot put with a throw of 8.01m. Shirleen Espinueva won gold in the discus for the Sharks with a throw of 25.59m. Guam Adventist Academy javelin thrower Bridgette Oh had a PR of 24.40m to win gold.

Randy Angoco from Guam High won the discus with a throw of 30.58m, a PR throw, to win gold in the event. Travon Jacobs from Guam High did not break his own record in the javelin but still won gold in the event with a throw of 44.65m.

Jalen Thach from Guam High beat out teammate Jacobs in the long jump to win with a distance of 5.72m. Jacobs won silver with a distance of 5.61m. In the triple jump, Pineda won his third gold medal with a jump of 12.00m.

Maria Cruz from JFK won the long jump event with a distance of 4.22m. In the triple jump, Aliya Jones took home the gold for Guam High with a PR jump of 9.88m. 

To view all results, go online to the website below:

https://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/meet/434238/results

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The Guam Legislature recently paid homage to Michael Reidy, who passed away stateside in March. Reidy was instrumental in getting Guam into the Olympics in 1988 as well as a founding father of the island’s paddling community.

 

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Nadine Del Carmen graduated from Santa Clara University on June 11. She was named captain of the Santa Clara women’s tennis team in her senior year and she will be attending Georgetown University in the fall to pursue her masters and will be playing for the Hoyas women’s tennis team.

 

 

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