CNMI runner Tania Tan will be joining races in the National Collegiate Athletics Association after making it to the cross country team of Fordham University.
Tan, who just represented the Commonwealth in the 5,000m and half marathon events in the XVI Pacific Games in Samoa last month, will suit up for the Rams, who are competing in Division 1, Atlantic 10 Conference against 14 other schools in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, and New York.
“I feel extremely grateful to be able to represent our small island even on NYC. This is amazing because as you know, resources on Saipan are very limited so being exposed to this new environment with an incredible facility will allow me to get more opportunities,” said Tan, who graduated valedictorian at Saipan International School early this year.
The runner’s school coach, SIS headmaster Ron Snyder, is excited for Tan, as she moves on to a higher level of competition.
“I am very proud of Tania for continuing her running at the university. She has run races in Guam, Australia, and Samoa but the level of training that she is about to enter will be her biggest challenge. I am confident that Tania will rise up to the challenge and make Saipan International School, Northern Mariana Athletics, and the entire CNMI proud,” Snyder said.
Tan credited Snyder, NMA, her coaches, fellow runners with SIS and the CNMI national team, and family members for helping her develop her passion for running.
“I want to thank NMA, SIS principal and running coach Ron Snyder, and my parents who helped me throughout the last three years. Without Mr. Snyder, I would have never joined cross country in my sophomore year and would never fall in love with running,” said the CNMI national team member.
“As for NMA, I wouldn’t have been able to travel to different countries like Australia and Samoa to represent the NMI without their help and support. And without my parents, I wouldn’t have been able to do all the other small necessary things like get new running gear, get to practice/training everyday, to let me become a good runner,” Tan added.
The 19-year-old, who was also a many-time member of the CNMI National Junior Tennis Team, dominated the NMA-sanctioned All Schools cross country races in the last two years. She also won numerous middle distance races on Saipan last season and was the first CNMI runner to make it to the elite All-Island Team of the 2018 Asia Pacific Invitational Cross Country Championships held in Guam. Tan’s outstanding performance last season earned her the Northern Marianas Sports Association/Tan Siu Lin Foundation Female Student Athlete of the Year award.
The newest member of Fordham University’s cross country team had her first practice with the Rams yesterday. She will train under head coach Brian Horowitz, the former captain of Fordham’s men’s track and cross country squads.
The Rams have a busy schedule for the fall season, starting on Aug. 31 with the staging of the Fordham Fiasco/Ed Joyce Memorial. The team is also slated to race in the NYIT Invitational and Paddy Doyle Invitational next month, the Paul Short Invitational and Metropolitan Championship in October, and the Athletics 10 Championship and NCAA Regional in November.