by Brian Palaganas, for KUAM Sports
Guam - The MS IIAAG All-Island Cross Country meet held at the Asan War Memorial Park held last Monday saw both the Saint John's Knights and Andersen Middle School Dragons show why they were the teams to beat during this season.
Individually speaking, this season's meets were highlighted by the brother and sister combination of Brandon and Tyler Fell. During Monday's meet, they did not fail to impress as Brandon, an 8th Grader and Tyler in 6th grade at Saint John's continued their dominance over the field, placing first in both the Boy's and Girl's races.
Brandon, who has been a dominate force in the 5k runs on island as of late clocked in at 8:44 at the 1.5-mile course. Tyler raced ahead of her pack at 10:40.
When asked about how they prepared for races during the season, both siblings mentioned they were equally nervous before each meet, particularly this last race. They also attributed a great part of their success to their Coach, Cathy Carrera who helped them improve on their times over the course of the season especially through what Brandon mentioned as "Hill training".
Both look forward to continue representing the Knights in Cross Country next school year, with Brandon moving on to the high school division while Tyler will continue to be a force to be reckoned with at the middle school level.
As far as team dominance is concerned, the Andersen Middle School Dragons repeated as Boy's and Girl's regular season champions. They have won the Cross Country team title for the last 5 out of 7 seasons. During the All-Island, they made their mark with the Boy's placing three runners in the Top-Ten while the Lady Dragons powered in four.
Their Coaches during this run through the titles, Head Coach Lillian Taitano and Coach Jim Taitano (both well-known in the high school sports community at JFK) stated a key to their success through the emphasis of pack-running.
"Though we didn't place runners (in first place) this season, we improved overall as a team through focusing on getting pack-runners to finish strong in closely-knitted groupings" said Lillian Taitano. "There was a marked improvement from meet to meet and I attribute that also to the dedication of the team; from showing up to all the practices to supporting their teammates during the meets" Taitano said.
The MS IIAAG League would like to recognize and congratulate the effort and achievements of all league school's student athletes that participated during the All-Island and the regular season.