Kwarula 3rd at the Nationals
PNG’s three athletes studying at Iowa Central Community College had a very successful trip to Lubbock , Texas last weekend for the National Junior College Indoor Track and Field Championships. Sharon Kwarula led the way with a bronze medal in the 55m hurdles, breaking the Iowa Central school record in the process with a time of 8.12 seconds. Third in the nation is a great achievement said Athletics PNG President Tony Green , especially considering that Sharon has been hampered by a foot injury all season.
Wala Gime was also in good form, making the final in the mens 55m hurdles by clocking a time of 7.61 seconds in the heats. Both Kwarula and Gime have improved considerably in the 55m and 60m hurdles this year and Athletics PNG officials are looking forward to seeing if they can translate this to good form outdoors and improve on the national records they set last year.
Meanwhile Cecilia Kumalalamene was assisting her team to become national champions in the 4*800m relay. The Iowa Central ladies won this event with Kumalalamene running the third leg. In the overall standings, the Iowa Central mens and womens teams both finished runners up at the Championships, with South Plains winning both titles.
The three PNG athletes will be graduating from Iowa Central this year, a two year programme that was made possible with scholarships provided by the Oceania Foundation. Each athlete is hoping to secure further two year scholarships , this time from universities in the USA to enable them to complete their degrees.