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The journey, so far, of a Tinian multi-sport athlete

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TINIAN’S Charlene Danganan plays soccer, volleyball and basketball. She is also a track-and-field athlete.

Growing up, Danganan said she was influenced by sports-minded neighbors. “I always played sports with the boys in my area. We would always race and they would get frustrated because I was faster than they. I was always praised for my speed as a little girl.” 

Years later, Danganan was introduced to track and field by her fifth grade teacher. Soon she was traveling to Saipan to compete in her first official race. “Stepping on the track for the first time was nerve-wracking,” she said. “It was a quite an experience for me.”

Since then, Danganan has been competing in local track and field races. In high school, she competed in regional tournaments. “It was a bummer that I wasn’t able to compete one last time,” she said, referring to the school closure and global lockdown because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Charlene Danganan holds the CNMI flag as she poses for a photo at the Oleai running track. 

Charlene Danganan, far right, competes with other local runners in a high school track & field event. Photos provided by Charlene Danganan.

Danganan competed in the 2018 Oceania Micronesia Regional Championship hosted by Saipan. Although she did not win a medal, she appreciated the experience and the journey she went through to represent the CNMI. “It was worth the experience!” she said.

A graduate of the Class of 2020, she is currently in the process of enlisting in the United States Air Force. “My desired Air Force specialty code is 3E7X1, fire protection,” she added.

Danganan also plans to attend college and pursue a degree in business administration and management. “I may attend the Arizona State University, but it will depend on where I’m stationed in the future,” she added.

Although her journey as a Tinian student athlete is over, she said she will continue to carry the passion she has for sports wherever life takes her.

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