The CNMI will be sending five athletes to the Oceania Regional Championships 2012 that will be held at Barlow Park in Cairns, Australia later this month.
Leading the list is 2011 Tan Siu Lin Foundation/NMASA Female Student Athlete of the Month Rachel Abrams. Joining the sprinter in the June 27 to 29 tournament are Reylynn Sapong, Beo Ngirchongor, Michael Mancao, and Orrin Pharmin.
Abrams, Ngirchongor, and Pharmin will be competing in sprint events, while Mancao is entered in the 400m and 800m runs. Sapong will also race in the 800m event and the 1,500m run.
“Competing in the Oceania tournament against the best in the region is a great opportunity for our athletes. It will help them gauge their performance against athletes from Oceania. I hope they will represent the CNMI well,” said coach Elias Rangamar in a short interview with Saipan Tribune during a break in the team's training session.
The five CNMI athletes have been preparing for the Oceania competition for months and on June 22 they will go to Guam with other Commonwealth bets for a tune-up tournament.
“We're hoping to bring about 15 athletes in a goodwill tournament in Guam,” Rangamar said.
Meanwhile, Abrams will stay in Australia after the Oceania competition, as she is invited to attend a two-week camp in Brisbane, joining athletes who will participate in the 2012 IAFF World Junior Championships.
Then from Brisbane, Abrams will go to Barcelona, Spain and represent the CNMI in the 2012 IAFF World Junior Championships that will run from July 10 to 15 at the Olympic Stadium Lluís Companys de Montjuïc.
In Spain, the 17-year-old Marianas High School student will be racing in the 100m run. She is one of the 1,856 athletes entered in the six-day competition that drew a record number (186) of participating IAAF-member nations. The world junior championships in Beijing in 2006 held the previous record (176 nations), followed by the 1998 competition (170) in Annecy, France.
“Rachel will be busy this summer and the competitions and camp she will be joining will really help her improve,” Rangamar said.