Catching up with Guam sprint star Tugade
By DAVE ORNAUER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 14, 2019
What a long way Regine Tugade has come since her days of setting northwest Pacific high school records in track and field sprints in her high school days on Guam.
In April 2016, Tugade, then a senior at John F. Kennedy High School, traded sprint victories with Kaelyn Francis, a Kubasaki senior; Tugade won the 200 in 26.04 seconds. .01 ahead of Francis, and Francis repaid the favor by winning the 100, clocking 12.63 to Tugade’s 12.72. Tugade set region high school records in the 100 (12.26) and 200 (25.52) as a JFK junior.
Fast forward three years. Now a junior at the Naval Academy and an Olympic hopeful next summer in Tokyo (she represented Guam at the Rio Summer Games in 2016), Tugade this week claimed one of six Patriot League Athletic Indoor Track and Field Athlete of the Week awards, the league announced Tuesday.
Running in the Navy Select meet last Friday at Annapolis, Tugade broke the Naval Academy school record in the 200, clocking 24.83
seconds, topping by .09 seconds the school’s old mark of 24.92 set in 2018 by then-freshman Chelsey Edwards.
In that same meet, Tugade ran the 60-meter dash in 7.77 seconds, which would put her in the school’s top five in that event. And she’s also shown her abilities on the outdoor circuit, holding Navy’s school record in the 100 with a 11.84 set last spring, and is second to senior Amanda Henson in the 200, 24.29 to 24.57.
At Rio in August 2016, Tugade, running on a shin injury, clocked 12.34 seconds in the 100 to finish third in her preliminary heat. As a lifelong resident of Guam, she would most likely represent the island “where America’s day begins” in Tokyo if she qualifies, but as a Naval Academy midshipman, she could also run for the United States. Again, if she qualifies. And that’s a steep climb. Time will tell.