Poro Gahekave

Athletes graduate from US universities

Proud parents Graham and Alice Piniau flew to Texas for the big occasion at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, the same school from which Rellie Kaputin graduated last year.

Athletics PNG President Tony Green and athlete Annie Topal witnessed Gahekave’s graduation at Lubbock Christian University, which was on at the same time and the trio then visited the Piniau family in the afternoon.

PNG athletes in US in top form

Rellie Kaputin, Adrine Monagi and Peniel Richard competed at the Lone Star Conference Championships in Commerce, Texas while Wesley Logorava and Robson Yinambe were in action at the Region V Junior College Championships in Arkansas, Kansas.

Poro Gahekave, Shirley Vunatup and Naomi Kerari were at the Texas Tech University in Lubbock for their final meet before the Junior College National Championships next week.

After completing the heptathlon on Thursday/Friday, Monagi then ran the 100m and 100m hurdles heats on Friday, and on Saturday took part in another five events.

PNG athletes in USA in top form

Both Peniel Richard and Rellie Kaputin registered very significant performances in the long jump last weekend in Texas, leaping 7.57m and 6.41m respectively.

Although both performances were marginally wind assisted and therefore not recognised as national records, they are both well over the national record marks of 7.21m and 6.27m respectively.

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Gahekave makes presence felt at US Championships

The 23-year-old middle/long distance runner of mixed Eastern Highlands and New Ireland parentage had a tough schedule with five races in two days, but was still up to the task.

First up was the distance medley relay on Saturday PNG time where Gahekave helped her team to third place, before qualifying for the 1,000m final with a personal best 3:42 seconds.

Sunday started with victory for the South Plains team in the 4x800m relay with a school record time. 

Gahekave then ran the one mile race and placed seventh in a personal best 5:14.34 seconds.

Gahekave in consistent cross-country form

The 23-year-old, who burst onto the scene as a 14-year-old in 2007 and won the inaugural women’s 3000m Steeplechase Pacific Games Gold, joined the Texas team in January this year when she resumed her studies after the Pacific Games. 

Gahekave, who had been written off by some observers after a dip in form during 2009/2010, resurrected her career after moving to Kokopo in 2011. And after completing her secondary education in 2013, she set her sights on the Port Moresby Games.