Three CNMI athletes made waves in collegiate competitions this year.
Golfer Leina Kim earned awards and made historic feats in Colorado, baseball’s Joshua Jones got the starting job in Kansas, and basketball’s Jericho Cruz emerged as one of the top amateur players in the Philippine collegiate leagues.
Kim got her first tournament victory in the collegiate ranks in April and led the Colorado State University-Pueblo to a historic title win in the Southwest Motors Lady ThunderWolf Invitational. Kim and her two teammates made history for the Thunderwolves when they won the tournament against Regis University by 48 strokes—the biggest winning margin in school history.
The former Marianas Baptist Academy student also set a school record after shooting a 69 in a tournament in September and went on to win RMAC 2012-2013 RMAC Golfer of the Year and Freshman of the Year awards.
Over in Kansas, Joshua Jones earned a perfect record as a starter for Colby Community College. In his first five games National Junior College Athletics Association Region VI, the Kagman High School graduate got a 3-0 win-loss record and two no-decisions in 29 innings pitched. He gave up only five unearned runs, 15 hits, and three base-on-balls. The lefty pitcher then had 38 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.50.
Duplicating Jones’ notable performance in the collegiate ranks was Cruz, who was among the top scorers for the Adamson University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. Cruz was later named to the Philippine National Team that won the gold medal in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games held in Myanmar early this year.