Tan looks forward to Pacific, Micro games


Tania Tan shows of the CNMI flag on her cellphone after breaking her own CNMI record in the 3,000m run during the TCNJ Indoor Invitational at the Armory track in New York City last Jan. 14. (EMMY LONGMORE)

Tania Tan is back to her record-setting ways after breaking her own 3,000m record in the TCNJ Indoor Invitational at the Armory track in New York City last Jan. 14.

“I’m dedicating this race to everyone back home in the NMI,” she said.

In a way, the 21-year-old Fordham University senior running the 3-kilometer event in a new CNMI national record of 10:34.63 signals her readiness to represent the Commonwealth anew in this year’s Micronesian Games in the Marshall  Islands and Pacific Games in the Solomon Islands.

This comes after the Saipan International School alumnae failed to medal in the athletics event of  last year’s Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022. 

Leading up the quadrennial event, many picked Tan as the CNMI’s best hope in medaling in the sport.

“Looking back at it now, I feel like I was burnt out from my cross country and indoor/outdoor track and field season during the school year. I didn’t take a break because I knew I had to train for the Oceania Athletics Championships and Pacific Mini Games. But that ended up leading to me burning out before the competitions. I was exhausted physically but also mentally,” Tan told Saipan Tribune when asked about her Mini Games stint. 

As for the 2023 Micronesian Games and 2023 Pacific Games, Tan said she can’t wait to wear the CNMI colors once again and do her best for the islands and its people

“I’m looking forward to competing and representing the NMI at the Micro Games and Pacific Games, no matter what the result is. It’s always an honor to represent our islands and I am so grateful to be given these opportunities to compete at high-level competitions like this.”

Going back to her resetting the CNMI standards in the 3,000m, Tan said she didn’t expect it at all.

“I’m very surprised I broke the record because it’s our season opener (first meet of the season) and I didn’t expect to run that fast. I also just got back to New York from Saipan a couple days before the race so my body was still getting used to the time zone and cold weather again. My race started at 9:15pm which is super late for me because that’s usually my bedtime, but I surprisingly felt good overall and am excited to see how I do the rest of the season! It’s always an honor to represent the NMI wherever I am racing, even if I’m not wearing the NMI jersey.” 

Tan, however, conceded that a lot of things were working for her last weekend.

“Since it was an indoor track, the race conditions are always controlled so you know that there won’t be any wind and it won’t be too cold or too hot. However, it is on a 200m track instead of 400m so the turns are banked and tighter.”

Tan said coming home for the holidays was a nice treat and made her ready for the new college semester as well as the 2023 track season.

“The vacation was good on Saipan, it was nice to be back in the warm weather and be able to go swim at the beach everyday. It was also nice to compete in two races while I was home too to support the running community,” she said alluding to Northern Marianas Athletics’ Christmas Island Relay and Run Saipan ’22 Mile Run.

At about the same time last year and on the same venue, Tan ran the 3,000m record with a time of 10:57.58 in the Ramapo Season Opener.
Snyder, Tan’s Mini Games and Oceania Athletics Championship coach, said the CNMI athletics community is mighty proud again of her latest accomplishment. 

“Tania continues to amaze us all at NMA and SIS. Last year Tania ran three seasons at Fordham and then went on to the Oceania Athletics Championships and the Pacific Mini Games. I am so very proud of her and offer my deepest-felt congratulations… This recent accomplishment is proof that Tania has what it takes to be our No. 1 female runner. Congratulations also to her coach and the team at Fordham for taking an already excellent athlete and honing her into one that is truly elite.”

The SIS headmaster also agreed with Tan’s assessment that she overexerted herself prior to the Mini Games and that contributed to her coming short of her goals.

“The sheer number of races in a brutal junior year, followed by two major competitions took its toll on her last summer but she never stopped giving it her all,” he said. 

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com

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