Former CNMI Athletics Team members Yvonne and Yvette Bennett and Jacque Wonenberg are reunited at Boise State University, as the trio suits up for the Bronco track team in the season-opening Jackson Open and Multi at the Jackson Indoor Complex in Nampa, Idaho, later this month.
Yvonne and Wonenberg were the first two to make the BSU track squad, as Yvette just earned a slot on the team this fall semester and the Nov. 30 to Dec. 1 tournament will be the first time they will compete together in one event.
“The opportunity to have all of us in one team again is endless, we feel more encouraged by one another and more at home ,” Yvonne said in an email to Saipan Tribune.
The three CNMI athletes last teamed up for the Commonwealth during the 2010 Micronesian Games in Palau, winning the 4x100m and 4x400m relay races and several other individual events.
Yvonne is the most senior BSU member among the three CNMI athletes and will be racing in the 100m, 200m, and 400m runs. She has been with the Bronco since 2010 and was part of BSU' 4x400m women's relay team that shattered the school's 23-year-old record. Bennett's 4x400m relay squad timed in at three minutes, 44.64 seconds to crush the 3:45.60 record by a BSU team in an indoor tournament in 1988. She competed in numerous races during the 2011-2012 season and was named All-Mountain West Academic Team honoree.
Wonenberg red-shirted for BSU in the 2011-2012 season and joined a cross country event last year. However, this year, she will be doing the javelin throw.
Yvette, on the other hand, is focusing on long jump.
“I had used my old times from CNMI track to qualify without having to tryout. Right now I'm working on doing the long jump. As track season goes by (outdoor season), I will also include the 100m and 200m meters. Long jump has been something I wanted to do and also my previous basketball coach Bill (Sewell) and my father both recommend I try it out as well,” said Yvette, who is also dividing her time in studying and joining sports competitions and beauty pageants.
“I'm preparing for my next pageant, the 2013 Miss Idaho USA on Nov. 3. I want to thank the whole island for their great support and the love they have all shown me,” said Yvette, who is majoring in communications and hopes to be a sports broadcaster one day.
Northern Marianas Athletics' Elias Rangamar, who coached the three when they were still here on Saipan, is happy that the Bennett siblings and Wonenberg continue to compete in track and field.
“We're proud and happy for them. We train our young athletes not only to let them represent the CNMI in international and regional competitions, but also to help them get athletics scholarships when they go to college,” Rangamar said when informed of his former wards' stint with BSU during the NMA cross-country series opener last Saturday.