The CNMI’s Tania Tan won the women’s division of the Jasper XC Fall Invite held last Saturday, Sept. 25, at Twin Ponds on the Farm in Montgomery, N.Y.
Running for Fordham University, where the 19-year-old is a sophomore, Tan successfully negotiated the 6-kilometer cross country route in 23:58.9 to beat Marist College’s Mary Dougherty and her own teammate, Emmy Longmore, who submitted times of 24:14.2 and 24:54.2, respectively.
She said she was shocked after crossing the finish line first in the Jasper XC Fall Invite last weekend.
“I was very surprised to place first because I wasn’t going into the race expecting that. But I’ve been feeling good during our workouts recently so my coach told me before the race that he believed I could do really well today, I just had to have faith in myself,” she told Saipan Tribune in a social media message.
Northern Marianas Athletics distance running coach Ron Snyder said they’re absolutely thrilled that one of the CNMI’s best runners is making her mark in college athletics. Snyder also served as Tan’s coach at Saipan International School, where she finished high school.
“All of NMA is very proud of Tania, winning her very first 6K race. As her coach at SIS, I am particularly proud that she is not only keeping up with her running but excelling at it. Go Tania! Go NMA and go SIS!” he said.
Asked what’s the secret of her winning the Jasper XC Fall, Tan remained modest, adding she’s just happy that she can train regularly now in the U.S. mainland.
“I honestly just went out and ran…In the U.S., things are practically back to normal which is nice so we’ve been training regularly and normally,” he said.
Team-wise, Fordham finished fifth overall in the women’s varsity race that was won by Rider University. Tan and Fordham will next be racing at the 2021 Metropolitan Cross Country Championship, hosted at Van Cortlandt Park on Friday, Oct. 8.
Tan is no stranger to competitive running in the CNMI. She is a veteran of the Saipan International School Cross Country and Track teams where she led the team in distance events. She was also a two-time national runner for cross country at the Asia Pacific Cross Country Invitational as well as represented the CNMI in the 2018 Oceania Cross Country Championships in Australia, the XVI Pacific Games in Samoa, and the Oceania Micronesian Regional Championships in 2018 where she set her previous PR of 12:20:99.