Despite the damage sustained by the Oleai Sports Complex track and field facility from Super Typhoon Yutu, Northern Marianas Athletics and Public School System Athletic Program director Nick Gross hope to go ahead with the 2019 PSS/McDonald’s All Schools Track and Field Championships.
Gross and NMA officials met recently and came up with the proposed schedule for the qualifiers and the championships, according to NMA secretary general Robin Sapong. The organizers are hopeful that they will be able to hold competitions at the track and field facility after it was spared from total destruction caused by the Category 5 typhoon. The oval can undergo temporary fix, as majority of the lanes can still be used, while the field itself remains in good condition.
Under the recommended schedule, the series of qualifiers will start in March, while the tournament itself is slated from May 3 to 4 for elementary and from May 10 to 11 for the middle and high school students. The first leg will run from March 18 to 23 and will be for elementary schools, which will be divided into zones just like last year, while the middle and high school athletes will assist in running the qualifiers.
The middle and high schools will have their qualifier on March 23 and 30 with Rota and Tinian invited to come and join Saipan participants. The second Saipan leg of the middle and high school qualifiers will then be held on April 13, while NMA and PSS will head to Tinian and Rota to conduct qualifiers for elementary students from April 1 to 5.
For the final leg of Saipan qualifiers, elementary schools will have their competition from April 15 to 19, while the middle and high school’s are set for April 27.
Organizers have proposed to split the elementary and the middle/high school divisions in the 2019 PSS/McDonald’s All Schools Track and Field Championships so as not to crowd the track facility and allow those in the older age groups to assist in running the elementary events.
NMA and PSS will be coordinating with the participating schools to arrange an organizational meeting and discuss other important details of the competition before the series of qualifiers starts.