Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association’s August best list is loaded with four athletes making the elite selection for their significant performance last month.
Tennis’ Carol Lee and Michael Ren led the chosen group and were joined by golf’s Leina Kim and football’s Joe Miller. Lee and Ren were named NMASA/TSL Foundation Student Athletes of the Month, while Miller and Kim earned the Male and Female Athlete of the Month citation.
Lee clinched the girls U12 singles and doubles (with Tania Tan) titles in the 2013 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships held in Fiji from Aug. 12 to 16. She swept five games in pool play, recording 6-0, 6-0 wins in four games before recording a 6-1, 6-0 victory in her fifth match. Lee continued her streak in the playoff round as she won both the semis and finals in straight sets, beating Tahiti’s Lea Lamorelle, 6-2, 6-1, and Naia Guitton, 6-1, 6-1.
In doubles, Lee and Tan also prevailed in straight sets, downing the Federated States of Micronesia’s Anne Skilling and Tilda Tollenoa, 6-1, 6-2, and the two Tahiti players, 6-0, 6-4.
Ren was in the same tournament in Fiji and advanced to the finals the boys U12 singles and doubles. In the singles, Ren was unbeaten in five games in Pool A, earning all victories via two sets. He marched into the finals after edging fellow CNMI player Robbie Schorr, 6-3, 6-2, but lost to Tahiti’s Gillian Osmont in the title game, 6-2, 6-2. In the doubles, Ren partnered with Schorr, but fell short in a tough three-set finale against Vanuatu’s Clement Mainguy and Ben Pechan, 6-4, 4-6, 10-7.
Meanwhile, Kim earned the August citation for returning to Saipan and competing in the 2013 Tournament of Championships. She won the Ladies Flight of the annual tournament to post her fourth straight win in the event and six overall.
A few weeks after extending her reign at TOC, Kim returned to Colorado and was named RMAC (Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference) Preseason Golfer of the Year. She went on to compete in the RMAC Tournament 1 early this month, setting a school record of 3-under par 69, topping the around 70-player field, and leading Colorado State University-Pueblo’s win against 14 other schools.
Sharing the August plum with Kim is Miller, a member of the CNMI Men’s National Team. Miller, the top scorer of the Blue Ayuyus, left Saipan last month to try out for a professional football team in Hong Kong. He made a good impression in the tryout for a pro club and is likely to get another invitation when the group starts its regular season campaign later this year.