‘Young team performed amazingly’
Going up against Olympians and some of the fastest and strongest track and field athletes of the region, the CNMI National Athletics Team managed to squirrel away two silver and two bronze medals in the five-day competition of the Northern Marianas Pacific Mini Games 2022.
And national coach Dr. Ron Snyder couldn’t be more proud of how his wards performed in the 11th staging of the quadrennial event, which for some of them was their first regional competition.
“I am very happy with the team’s performance in the Games. We are a very young team but they performed amazingly. I am very proud of them.”
For the record, Orrin Pharmin gave the Team NMI its first medal of the Games when he took home the silver in the octathlon in Day 2 of competitions at the Oleai track & field. The next day, Denise Myers struck silver in the 3,000m steeplechase followed by Casey Cruz, Kina Rangamar, Maria Quitugua, and Zarina Sapong bagging a bronze in the women’s 4x100m relay. The team’s last medal of the Games came when Dennis Borja also earned a bronze in the 2.56-kg shotput.
“I am really impressed with the team as a whole. They put their all into the competition and it shows in their improvement and the number of personal bests they achieved,” said Snyder.
The Saipan International School headmaster said he was almost in awe every day when he came to the Oleai Sports Complex seeing the world-class athlete assembled at the athletics venue of the Games.
“It was incredible seeing the caliber of athletes descending on the Oleai Sports Complex. There were world class runners, jumpers. and throwers on our home track. It was humbling and inspiring at the same time.”
Snyder also applauded the Pacific Mini Games Organizing Committee for preparing the islands’ sports venues for one of the biggest sports events the CNMI has ever hosted in its history.
“The island looked amazing. The Games were very well-run, the athletes and spectators were all impressed and it could not have happened without the huge cadre of volunteers and officials that we had. They were amazing and I am especially grateful for their service.”
He also extended his thanks to the Oceania Athletics Association and Northern Marianas Athletics for the precision they conducted the athletics event of the Games.
“It was a superb display of organization and our athletes certainly benefited,” he said.
Aside from Pharmin, Myers, Borja, and the CNMI’s women’s 4x100m relay team, the rest of the 23-person CNMI National Athletics Team include Rex Pixley (5,000m, 1,500m), Sildrey Veloria (5,000m, 1,500m, steeplechase), Lyle Andrew (discus), Michael Rodgers (100m, 200m, 400m), Theodore Rodgers (100m, 200m, 400m), Charles McDonald (200m), Tiana Cabrera (5,000, 1,500m), Liamwar Rangamar (javelin), Michael Mancao (800m, 1,500m, steeplechase), Tania Tan (5,000m, 10K, and half marathon), Alexander Camacho (long jump, 100m), Richard Ogumoro (shotput), Zyrus Bata (800m, steeplechase), Kaitlyn Chavez (800m, steeplechase), Cheraline Epity (shotput, discus, javelin), Mark Mapeso (shotput, discus), and Anthony Borja (shotput, discus).