2022 was year of feats for NMA

Posted on Jan 23 2023


Denise Myers is seen running the 3,000m steeplechase where she won silver during the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 at the Oleai track and field last June. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

The year 2022 was a successful year of feats never achieved before, as far as Northern Marianas Athletics president Ramon Tebuteb is concerned.

With the performance of the CNMI National Athletics Team in the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022 and the 2022 Oceania Athletics Championships, Tebuteb said “The high level of competition of PMG and our Oceania area regional Championships in athletics, and given our participating young athletes at these meets, we were able to garner medals and a feat we have never accomplished before.”

In the Mini Games, Orrin Pharmin won silver in the octathlon, Denise Myers won silver in the 3,000m steeplechase, and Dennis Borja and the women’s 4x100m relay team consisting of Casey Cruz, Zarinae Sapong, Maria Quitugua, and Kina Rangamar contributed one bronze medal each. 

The Oceania Championships in Mackay, Australia beforehand, saw gold for Tania Tan in the 10-kilometer run and silver in the 5-km event, while Tiana Cabrera won a bronze medal in the 3,000m run. 

Oceania Athletics Area president Robin Sapong of the Northern Marianas and Micronesia presented at the medal ceremony for the men’s shot put during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.(CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

While not counted in the overall medal count, CNMI masters athlete Orrin Pharmin collected two gold medals, five silver medals, and a bronze medal. Pharmin got gold in the 110m hurdles and high jump, while his silver medals came in the shot put, 60m, 100m, 200m, and 400m. His lone bronze came in the javelin.

Tebuteb also recalled and mentioned another highlight of NMA was when Oceania Athletics Association president Robin Sapong handed out medals in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics; and also at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon, “The CNMI was again charged to sit on the Jury of Appeals panel as well as hand out medals. No one in the CNMI had ever done this feat.”   

As for 2023, Tebuteb said that currently, “NMA is in coordination with our OAA officials as CNMI is preparing for the June 22-26 4th Oceania Cup and Masters Athletics Championships.”

The OAA awarded the hosting rights to the CNMI after its successful hosting of the Mini Games.

Teams will represent each of the three regions of Oceania: Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Regional Australia. There could be approximately 350 athletes in attendance.

Tebetub then thanked everyone for a successful year. “It is with sincere and profound gratitude to thank all our stakeholders, volunteers, and fans. They really are the pillars of our programs. We can not do our programs without them. This also includes our government agencies who provide a safe and healthy environment for all involved with NMA.”

“We also thank our elected leaders who have been very responsive with our events and activities. Our educational institutions, private and public, are at the forefront of our grassroots activities and NMA really appreciates their sacrifices and involvement. Thank you to our media friends for your consistent outreach assistance to NMA. Overall, NMA thanks our community for all your encouragement, participation and support,” ended Tebuteb. 

Leigh Gases
Leigh Gases is the youngest reporter of Saipan Tribune and primarily covers community related news, but she also handles the utilities, education, municipal, and veterans beats. Contact Leigh at leigh_gases@saipantribune.com.

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