The CNMI will be counting on 26 athletes to win a handful of medals for the host nation in the Oceania Micronesian Regional Championships 2018 that will kick off tomorrow at the Oleai Sports Complex.
The CNMI Team is divided into two groups—the one competing in the men’s and women’s open and the other in the U18 division. World Championship veteran Zarinae Sapong will lead the open division squad, which also has Therize Millare, Antonette Labausa, Rachel Abrams, Jerlyn Castillo, Jamie Pangelinan, Trevan Quitugua, Mark Esalan, Gabriel Sappa, Nick Gross, Tony Ichiou, Ron Olopai, Douglas Schmidt, Geno Libuw, Neydreyton Skerei, Beo Ngirchongor, and Orrin Pharmin.
The U18 division team, on the other hand, is made up of Saipan International School students Tania Tan, Anika Snyder, and Rintaro Miyawaki, Ruschelle Valino, Cassandra Camacho, Kiana Aldan, They Tyviean, Coby Santos, and Dean Blake.
“I think we’ll be right up there on the medal counts. I think our women squad will do well as usual,” head coach Elias Rangamar said.
“For most, the tournament will gauge where they are at heading toward the Micronesian Games. We have some young talents competing for the first time so for them, it’s all about gaining confidence and experience,” the Northern Marianas Athletics official added.
The Commonwealth’s open women’s team will compete in a lot of run races with Sapong entered in the 100m and 200m and relays. Abrams is also doing the 100m plus the 100m hurdles, relays, and high jump. Pangelinan is the CNMI’s third bet in sprints, as she will race in the 100m and 200m and also participates in the long jump and relays. Millare and Castillo are joining middle distance races (400m and 800m) with the former also doing the 1,500m run plus relays and the latter adding the long jump to her list of events.
Sappa and Quitugua will lead the CNMI in 100m and 200m sprints, while Esalan will take care of the 800m, 1,500m, and 3,000 events for the host nation. Schmidt and Ngirchongor are both entered in the 400m with the former also listed in the long, triple, and high jump, and the latter in the 110m and 400m hurdles plus relays.
For the throwing events (shot put, hammer, discus, and javelin), the Commonwealth will lean on Olopai, Gross, Ichiuo, and Libuw in the men’s and Labausa in the women’s.
In the U18 division, the three SIS students are racing in middle and long distance with Miyawaki having four events—400m, 800m, 1,500m, and 3,000. Tan and Snyder are both entered in the 1,500, 3,000m, and 5,000m runs. Blake and Camacho will compete in throwing events, while Santos will do the three jumps, and Tyviean will have the high and long jump plus the 100m and 200m runs.
Meanwhile, some of the CNMI athletes’ opponents arrived yesterday, while the rest of the participants for the June 14 and 15 tournament will be here today.