Friday, July 20, 2018 – 9th Micronesian Games, Yap Sports Complex, Yap, FSM
Team Guam Athletics returned to the Micronesian Games after their suspension from the GNOC four years ago with vengeance. The team of nine men, eight women strategically aligned their roster to ensure the best possible results was in their favor. In the end, the medal standing tells the story of how a once troubled organization reorganized and restructured their policies to become a force in the region.
Team Guam amassed twenty gold medals, eight silver and eight bronzes for a total of 36 medals. The gold medal haul was enough to beat the combined medal tally of second place Palau as Team Guam ran and threw their way to more than doubling their closest rival. The team dominated the long and middle-distance courses led by Ryan Matienzo. Benjamin Middlebrooke, Olympian Joshua Ilustre and Genina Criss golden outputs.
Matienzo opened the Games blazing through the 10k course as they ran around the track 25 times. Benjamin Middlebrooke followed suite two laps behind to secure a 1-2 finish another two laps ahead of their closest rivals. Criss also brought in the first medal of the Games in the women’s division outclassing Pohnpei for the gold in the distance race. This set precedence for the remainder of the athletics disciplines as our women dominated, winning gold in 14 of 17 events they competed in. The men’s division had more parity in the short course and field events as Team Guam came away with a gold in the 400-meter hurdles by Jeofry Limtiaco.
Records were broken by Team Guam with Regine Tugade setting new games records in the 100m and 400m, Gerardo in the women’s shot put and Middlebrooke on the 15k track course. The women’s 4x100m team blasted the field, shaving off 6 seconds from the record and becoming Guam’s first relay team to win gold in both 4x100m and 4x400m.