CNMI sprinter Rachel Abrams made it to the finals of the 200m run in the last day of the Oceania Regional Championships 2012 last Friday at the Barlow Park in Cairns, Australia.
Abrams, who was the first CNMI runner to advance to the finals of a race in the Pacific Games last year in New Caledonia after timing in at 27.46 seconds, eclipsed her record in the Noumea after submitting 27.20 seconds in the qualifying heat for the U20 division. The 17-year-old runner was on Heat 2 and finished fourth in her group to earn a slot to the finals.
In the finale, Abrams ran faster, breaking the 27-second barrier with her 26.45 seconds, a new personal best for the Marianas High School student and less than a second behind the CNMI and Micronesian record (25.67 second) teammate Yvonne Bennett set in 2010 during the Micronesian Games in Palau.
Bennett also raced in the final day of the Oceania championship and timed in at 13.20 seconds in the 100m sprint and placed third on Heat 1. Nauru's Chrissa Detanamo topped the event with her 12.28 seconds.
The 22-year-old Bennett had earlier teamed up with Abrams, Reylynn Sapong, and Lia Rangamar in the 4x100m relay run last Thursday and the CNMI quartet won the bronze medal after placing third behind Fiji (49.72 seconds) and Papua New Guinea (50.65 seconds) teams with a time of 53.79 seconds.
After their bronze medal win, Sapong had her final event-the 800m run-last Friday and timed in at 2:55.87 for eighth place. New Zealand's Maggie Unternahrer ruled the race with her 2:13.81.
Michael Mancao raced in the same event for the boys U20 and placed seventh out of 11 runners. He timed in at 2:07.10 to beat two runners from Guam and one each of Australia and Cook Islands.
In the men's open 100m sprint, Orrin Pharmin fell one notch short of making it to the finals. He timed in at 12.36 seconds on Heat 2 for fourth place and ninth overall. Only runners with the Top 8 times were given slots to the finals.