PNG’s athletes in Texas and Kansas had a hugely successful time last weekend 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 next week.
Not only did Adrine Monagi complete the Heptathlon on Thursday/Friday but she then ran the 100m and 100m hurdles heats on Friday and 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 and a half points for her Angelo State team and was hugely disappointed that her team was 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 season's 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 10.68 and 21.60 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 season's best HJ of 1.61m. Afure Adah has her Conference Championships this coming weekend. The following week sees the Junior College Nationals (May 18 to 20) and then the NCAA D2 Nationals in Bradenton Florida from May 25 to 27.