UPPER TUMON, Guam – Lisa Watanuki took the first step Friday toward repeating her Pacific cross-country triple-crown feat, capturing her second straight title in the Asia-Pacific Invitational meet at John F. Kennedy High School.
Watanuki, an American School In Japan senior and the defending Kanto Plain and Far East meet champion, was timed in 19 minutes, 48.9 seconds, shattering her old meet record set last year by nearly 26 seconds. She finished nearly a full minute ahead of second-place Alyssa Tatum of Guam High.
Ryan Nishida, another Mustang senior, was the boys winner in 17 minutes, 11 seconds, succeeding his old teammate Evan Yukevich, who won the API and Far East Division I titles last season. Both Watanuki and Nishida led their respective races from start to finish.
ASIJ won the boys team title, outscoring Tokyo rival St. Mary’s 45-57. Christian Academy Japan was third in 107. The Mustangs also captured the girls title, but by only two points over Tokyo’s Seisen, 76-78; Sacred Heart of Tokyo was third in 88.
Guam High, the lone DODEA-Pacific entry in the meet, placed fourth in the girls standings with 110 points.
Coach Joe Taitano said he was “extremely pleased” with the Panthers’ effort, not letting down after capturing the Guam island championship a week earlier.