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PANTHERS MAKE HISTORY IN WINNING SCHOOL’S FIRST API TITLE

Guam High boys wins first school API title

By Jay Leon Guerrero

The Guam High Panthers Boys Cross Country Team school history on Friday morning after winning the 18th Asia Pacific Invitational (API) Cross Country Team Championships. The Panthers averaged a time of 18:31 for its top five players to beat out the JFK Islanders on their home course. The Islanders finished with an average time of 18:36.

The only other team from Guam to win the API is the GW Geckos in 2007.

Beardsley demolishes the field

William Beardsley from St Mary’s International School (SMS) in Japan smoked the API course in 15:24. He has committed to run for Michigan next year. (photo by Matt Lorenzo)

Defending API individual boys champion William Beardsley from St Mary’s International School (SMS) in Japan took off from the start and never looked back. Beardsley finished with a blazing time of 15:24 to win the race and helped the SMS Titans to a third place team finish with an average time of 19:06.

Beardsley, a senior, has committed to attend the University of Michigan’s track team next year.

Four-time ISA champion Hugh Kent from JFK ran a personal best of 16:24. Kent finished last year’s event at 17:11. Nathaniel Carlson, the IIAAG Boys All-Island champion from Guam High, finished in third position with a time of 17:09.

Five Panther runners finished in the top 20 to clinch the team victory. Finishing after Carlson, a senior, were four underclasmen: Eldon Egbert (6th place), Wesley Augustine (11th place), Clay Martin (15th place), and Brandon Neilson (19th place). The future is looking good for Panther coach Joe Taitano and his young, talented sqaud.

Carlson had to overcome some obstacles during the race, but still managed to finish strong. He crossed the finish line bloodied after taking a fall during the first half of the race.

“I’m okay,” said Carlson, who had blood coming off a scratch from the right side of his neck. “At the time it happened, it hurt a little, but I just had to get up and keep going.”

Fifteen runners from the Northern Mariana Islands participated in the event with one male and one female runner making the top 10. Michael Miller from Marianas High School finished eighth and Kaithlyn Chavez from Saipan International School finishing fourth.

“I’m not used to this environment and this kind of competition. But it was a really cool event, and I had fun,” said Miller, who finished with a time of 18:37.

Miller said that after the races are complete, he’s looking forward to enjoying the rest of his stay on Guam. “I want to eat a good steak,” said Miller. “And, of course, we’ll be doing some shopping and sightseeing.”

ISSH dominates girls race

The girls race started 45 minutes after the boys’ race, and a pair of runners from the International School of the Sacred Heart (ISSH) finished 1-2 for the race. Sofia Sato clocked in first with a time of 20:44, and her teammate Yuki Konomi finished with a time of 21:46. Sato finished 16th last year, improving her time by almost four minutes.

A pack of female runners set the course at the API meet Friday morning at JFK. (photo by Matt Lorenzo)

Sato was humble in the victory and was happy her teammate was able to finish in the second position. “Yuki (Konomi) has been finishing around third or fourth positions in the Kanto races, so it’s special for us that she did well,” said Sato.

“We were here last year, and we were unable to visit Two Lover’s Point. I really want to make sure we go there this year,” said Sato.

ISSH also won the girls team event with an average team time of 22:51. Yongsan International School of Seoul (YIS) finished second with an average time of 23:28. Finishing in third was Guam with an average time of 23:39.

Share Shmull, representing Palau, said she enjoyed the experience. “It was hot, though, hotter than Palau. In Palau, we are used to running a long straight away. This course had loops and lap, and we are not used to that,” said Shmull. The Palau team finish in 11th place.

The top finishers from Guam were Eyana Marques from Simon Sanchez (6th place), Aubrey Frank from Guam High (7th place), Annika Miclat from JFK (12th place), Robin Cruz from GW (13th place) and Almira Carlson from Guam High (14th place).

Day 2 will be held on Saturday morning with the relay races starting at 6am at the Ypao Beach Park. The mixed relay results will be posted tomorrow. 

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