PNG’s athletes in Texas and Kansas had a hugely successful time on the weekend of 5th – 7th May with two national records, several Regional championship titles, and many personal best performances. Rellie Kaputin, Adrine Monagi and Peniel Richard competed at the Lone Star Conference Championships in Commerce, Texas whilst Wesley Logorava and Robson Yinambe were in action at the Region V Junior College Championships in Arkansas City, Kansas. Meanwhile Poro Gahekave, Shirley Vunatup and Naomi Kerari were at Texas Tech University in Lubbock for their final meet before the Junior College National Championships.
Not only did Adrine Monagi complete the Heptathlon on Thursday/Friday but she then ran the 100m and 100m hurdles heats on Friday, then on Saturday took part in another 5 events. The highlights were a great personal best of 14.07secs in the 100m hurdles and a 41.26m javelin throw. Monagi amassed 32.5 points for her Angelo State team and was hugely disappointed that her team were beaten by a single point (211 to 210) by Kaputin’s West Texas A&M team in a pulsating competition after leading all the way, but that takes nothing away from a fantastic effort by Monagi.
Peniel Richard broke the long standing Men’s national long jump record with a 7.23m (-0.1) and Rellie was again in great form with an outdoor personal best 6.22 and NR in the long jump; a seasons best 1.72 in high jump and a huge 13.20 triple jump (+4.6). Richard’s long jump eclipsed the 7.21m record held jointly by Sandy Katusele (Samoa 2003) and Edward Bai (Port Moresby 1998) .Kaputin has jumped 6.27m indoors this year but 6.22 is an outdoor national record, eclipsing the 6.10m that earned her second place at last year’s NCAA Div 2 National Championships.
Robson Yinambe caused quite a stir at the Regional Champs as he won the decathlon with 6284 points, just 4 points less than at the 2015 Games and he then went on to run a personal best 15.50 in the 110m hurdles and a very good 55.74 in the 400h. Wesley Logorava ran excellent personal best times of 10.68s and 21.60s in the 100/200 and followed this with a 49.87 clocking for 400m.
Poro Gahekave set a huge personal best 2:16.41 in the 800m as did Shirley Vunatup with a time of 56.95 secs in the 400m. Naomi Kerari had a seasons best HJ of 1.61m. The Junior College Nationals will be in Kansas this week (18th – 20th May) with the NCAA D2 Nationals in Bradenton Florida from 25th – 27th May.