Six years ago, on this day, sprinter Rachel Abrams gave the CNMI track team a good start in the 8th Micronesian Games held Pohnpei.
Abrams won a pair of gold medals on the first day of the athletics competition at the PNI Track and Field after topping the 200m run and the 100m hurdles. She first raced in the 200m finals and had a record time after clocking in at 26.29 seconds. Abrams defeated five other finalists and surpassed the then CNMI and Micronesian Games marks (26.41 seconds) that fellow Commonwealth sprinter Yvonne Bennett recorded during the 2010 Micro Games in Palau. The CNMI runner won over Nauru’s Fritz Lanja (26.75 seconds), Marshall Islands’ Marian Cress (26.99), Kosrae’s Lihen Jonas (27.67 seconds), teammate athlete Zarinae Sapong (28.55), and Palau’s Ruby Joy Gabriel (28.57 seconds).
For her second gold medal, Abrams timed in at 17.50 seconds in the 100m hurdles to defeat Pohnpei’s Ashley Apiner (17.84 seconds) and Aleina Thomsin (20.79) and Palau’s Eliana Koshiba-Panuelo (23.33 seconds) in the finals.
Also taking home a gold medal in Day 1 of the athletics competition was Lia Rangamar. She posted 34.63m in the javelin throw to prevail against Pohnpei’s Apiner (32.13m), Tracy Ardos (29.06m), Deborah Steven (27.74m), and Sandonia Likor (24.62m) in the javelin throw.
The CNMI track team went on to earn 15 medals at the conclusion of the athletics competition. Rangamar’s mom, Dolores took a gold medal in the discus throw, while Beo Ngirchongor topped the 400m run and 400m hurdles, and Friendly Joy Pena, Jaynar White, Sapong, Lia Rangamar, Abrams, Jessie James, and Orrin Fermin gained silver medals.
Overall, team CNMI collected 14 gold medals, 15 silvers, and five bronzes in the 2014 edition of the Micro Games. Guam topped the medal tally with its 42 gold medals, 27 silvers, and 12 bronze, while Pohnpei (36-41-37) and Palau (36-31-38) rounded out the Top 3.