Theodore Rodgers tops 200m race

NMA 200m event of the Oceania Virtual Championships.

From left, Theo Rodgers, Gerald De Guzman, and Michael Rodgers in action during last week’s 200m event of the Oceania Virtual Championships. (LAO ZHANG)

Theodore Rodgers topped the 200m event of the local portion of the Oceania Virtual Championships held starting last Nov. 29.

The 15-year-old Grace Christian Academy student completed the half circle around the Oleai track and field in 28.34. Gerald De Guzman came in second when the 24-year-old crossed the finish line in 28.97. Completing the Top 3 was Rodgers’ older brother Michael who ran in a flat 31.00. Dandan Middle School teacher Simon Necesito also took part in the race and came in at 32.07.

“I’m very surprised on this win. It was very different from the usual meets I’ve been at as there not many people there,” said Rodgers.

Aside from training at home by getting up bright and early at 5am every day, Rodgers said he also got ready for the virtual meet by going to the track and working out with Northern Marianas Athletics developmental coach Elias Rangamar.

Rodgers also dedicated his win in the 200m to his brother for “helping me train and practice the forms for running.”

The younger Rodgers also was the lone competitor in the 400m and broke the tape in 1:03.27.

Results of the 100m, 800, and 1,500m will be reported in tomorrow’s issue of Saipan Tribune.

NMA secretary general Robin Sapong said while they intended to host the virtual meet in November, the spread of COVID-19 in the community drastically changed their schedule.

Participants of the Oceania Virtual Championships

Participants of the Oceania Virtual Championships line up for a group shot during the start of the meet last Nov. 29 at the Oleai track and field. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

“With the recent situation in our community we had to modify the actual event date and events as some of our officials and athletes were not available,” he said.

Last October, Oceania Athletics announced it will be conducting its regional championships online through the 2021 Oceania Athletics Virtual Championships.

“With the world, and especially the Pacific feeling the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it has meant that it is now, over two years, since we have been able to gather as an Oceania Athletics family in person,” said Oceania Athletics.

It said the 2021 Oceania Athletics Virtual Championships would allow athletes of all ages and abilities to compete, albeit virtually, for medals and to be crowned Oceania Virtual Champion.

The 2021 Oceania Athletics Virtual Championships is being held in partnership with Oceania Masters Athletics Association and will see champions crowned and medals awarded across multiple age groups, from under 14 to 80 years of age.

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

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