Beu in peak form at US junior college track event


TEAM Papua New Guinea’s Leonie Beu is in peak form as the track season draws to a close in the United States junior college programme.
The Morobe athlete posted massive personal best performances in the 200m and 400m during the National Junior College Athletic Association Regional VI Championships in Arkansas, Kansas, on Sunday.
Beu clocked 24.12 seconds in the 200m heats and 54.79s in a thrilling 400m where she was just edged on the line by Butler CC athlete Kaleb McDonald, who ran 54.78s.
Her previous personal best times were 24.77s and 55.71s respectively, though she did run 24.59s on the same track earlier this year with the aid of a +2.5mps wind.
Beu took longer to adjust to the cold of Kansas than her teammate Isila Apkup who had an outstanding indoor season, but her quality had shone outdoors as Apkup’s progress was slowed down by a hamstring strain.
The pair assisted their team to win the Women’s Outdoor Regional Championship for the first time in the school’s history, adding to the indoor title they won two months ago.
Emmanuel Wanga is also getting close to his best times in the 200m and 400m which he recorded early in 2019 whilst training full-time for the Pacific Games.
Wanga ran 21.75s for the 200m and 48.18s in the 400m, with Shadrick Tansi not far behind him with 21.90s and a season’s best 48.84s in the 400m. The pair have also featured in some outstanding 4x400m relay races this season, including one where the team ran three minutes, 12.22s indoors which earned them third place at the Nationals.
The athletes now have just eight days to prepare for the Junior College Outdoor National Championships which will be held in Levelland, Texas, from May 12-14.
Meanwhile, over in Pueblo Colorado, quiet achiever Annie Topal became the second PNG athlete (after Rellie Kaputin) to clear six metres in the long jump.
Topal, whose main event is the triple jump, had a personal best of 5.99m in the long jump until Saturday when she leapt 6.10m in the Rocky Mountain Conference Championships.
This ranks her seventh in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) division two this season.
Topal is ranked third in the triple jump and will be competing in these two events at the NCAA Division Two National Championships in Allendale, Michigan, from May 27-29 along with Peniel Richard, who is ranked fourth in the men’s triple jump.
Richard will be aiming to improve on that this weekend at the Lone Star Conference Championships which will be staged at his own school, West Texas A&M in Canyon.
He will also be aiming to improve on his season’s best of 7.18m in the long jump to qualify for the Nationals in that event.
Toea Wisil was also in Texas last weekend and had her first race since the PNG Air National Championships in Port Moresby last year, clocking 11.75s in the 100m at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.