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BACK ON TRACK AFTER SPRING BREAK

After one week off, the IIAAG Track and Field League reconvened at the JFK Track in Upper Tumon. The athletes have three weeks to compete and qualify for the All-Island finals scheduled for next month.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

After one week off, the IIAAG Track and Field League reconvened at the JFK Track in Upper Tumon. The athletes have three weeks to compete and qualify for the All-Island finals scheduled for next month.

The defending champion Guam High Panthers look to repeat for both girls and boys divisions. The Panthers are one of the most complete teams with athletes placing in the top three in the short distance races and jumps.

Senior Akira Martines said the continued guidance from coach Joe Taitano will help his team in their quest to repeat. Last year, captains Emma Sheedy and Isaac Ventura led the way for the Panthers, winning their races and also demonstrating leadership with their teammates.

“I looked up to them (Ventura and Sheedy) for the three years I ran for Guam High. I try and carry what they taught us to this year and pass it on to the team,” said Martines.

Okkodo sprinter Franklin Tindugan hopes his team can contend for a championship as well. “We are doing well in the Field events but I feel we will need to improve on the Track. With the guidance of our coach (David Macaluso), I’m sure we will get better,” said Tindugan.

Tindugan, a junior, won his heat in the 100 meter sprint race Friday night and looks to improve on his time as his team improves as well.

“Our team can get better by the all-island meet with dedication during practice.”

Luke Bukikosa from GW looks to perform well in his races to give points to his squad at the all-island meet.

“I believe our local runners occupy five of the top 10 running times in the region; these races are very competitive,” said Bukikosa. Bukikosa races in the 1500, 800, 400 and 4×400 events. He is currently ranked first in the 1500 and third in the 800 meter races.

“The competition is very tough and these guys are training just as hard as me and improving their times with every meet,” said Bukikosa.

Bukikosa posted a PR (personal record) time and is still looking to get faster to get closer to Isaac Ventura’s record time (4:13) set just last season in the 1500 meter event.

“Tiyan runner Terrance Johnson is only a sophomore and he is getting faster with every meet, he is surely capable of breaking records Isaac’s record”.

The athletes have two more meets to qualify for the all-island meet scheduled for May 17th. Week five will continue next Friday at the JFK track at 4:30pm.

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