Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association has a complete roster of January awardees with four athletes getting the monthly recognition for their notable performance in separate tournaments last month.
Making January’s honor roll were Athletes of the Month Raymond Zapanta and Susan Marchitti and Student Athletes of the Month Carol Lee and Gerald Rangamar. They were selected for NMASA’s first award for the season during the group’s monthly meeting last Thursday at the conference room of the Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.
Zapanta was picked for the Male Athlete of the Month for winning the Saipan Bowling Association’s Budweiser King of the Lanes Tournament last month. He beat 17 other bowlers in the qualifying competition after averaging 200-plus pinfalls (207.22), the only player to do so in nine games, and gained an outright finals berth.
In the championship round, Zapanta was pitted against back-to-back winner Simon Manacop, who moved a win away from a three-peat after stunning the former in Game 1 of the finals, 186-148. However, Zapanta would not be denied, as he ended Manacop’s streak with a 241-184 victory in the deciding Game 2.
With his win in the SBA competition, Zapanta shared NMASA’s January award for adult athletes with Marchitti, who was selected for her participation in the 2014 Tour of Guam. Marchitti joined the 50 to 59 age group of the 105-kilometer race, timing in at 4:43:40 and finishing ahead of the open division’s third placer Tomoko Okada (4:45:11).
Rangamar was in the same race and got NMASA’s nod after topping the U19 division of the annual event. He clocked in at 4:49:18 to beat Guam’s Ricchan Lin, who logged 4:51:06.
Another CNMI athlete who did well in an off-island tournament was Lee. The Commonwealth junior tennis player was part of the Pacific Oceania Junior ITF Touring Team that competed in various competitions in Australia.
The 11-year-old Lee took both the U12 singles crowns in the 2014 Victorian Junior Grasscourt Championships at the Wodonga Tennis Centre in Victoria and the first singles plum came from the 2014 Australia Post Margaret Court Cup in New South Wales. Lee, who also topped the doubles event in Victoria (with Hana Kim), won against more than 20 youth players in the Land Down Under.