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CNMI All-Stars lead NMSA awardees for June


The CNMI All-Stars huddle before heading out to the field during their title game against Guam in the Inaugural Micronesian Baseball Classic last week at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

The CNMI All-Star Team was among the Northern Marianas Sports Association’s awardees for June.

The selection was named Team of the Month after winning the Inaugural Micronesian Baseball Classic. The squad was composed of Jesus, Juan, Mike, and Lamarc Iguel, Brian Camacho, Ben Jones, Verlance Secharmidal, Peter Lieto, Nokki Saralu, Anthony Tenorio, Byron Kaipat, Pat Alepuyo, Tyrone Omar,Mike Muna Jr., John Tudela, Joe Palacios, Giovanni Mira, Frankie Lieto, Peter Tomokane, and A.J., Henry Jr., Jose, and Jeffrey Lizama. Henry Lizama was the manager, while Manny Sablan and Luis Iguel were the coaches.

The CNMI-All Stars took the MBC championships after pulling off a come-from-behind 15-14 win over Guam in the finals. The Commonwealth sluggers were once down by 11 runs in the finale, but managed to send the game in extra inning after rallying at the bottom of the ninth before stealing the victory in the 10th. The team went undefeated in the inaugural tournament, beating Kosrae, Guam, and Palau in the preliminary round. In the semis, the CNMI All-Stars also downed Guam, 15-5, to head to the finals first.

Meanwhile, swimmer Salofi Welch, runners Jerald Castillo and Zarinae Sapong, and tennis players Carol Lee and Robbie Schorr were the other June awardees.

Lee was the unanimous winner of the Female Student Athlete of the Month plum for her impressive showings in ITF Juniors ranking tournaments in Fiji and New Caledonia.

She made it to the singles finals of the Oceania Open Junior Championships in Lautoka and in the singles and doubles finals of the Open Junior BNP PARIBAS de Nouvelle-Caledonie in Noumea. She was a quarterfinalist in another ITF Juniors event in Fiji and earned 80 ranking points (singles and doubles) to enter the Top 500 ranking (No. 443) in the world.

Lee’s fellow junior tennis player Schorr shared the NMSA Male Student Athlete of the Month award with Castillo. Schorr was selected for ruling the boys U14 singles and doubles events in the 2016 North Pacific Regional Championships which Saipan hosted. Castillo, on the other hand, was picked for winning gold medals in the boys U18’s 100m and 200m races in last month’s Micronesian Athletics Championships held in Pohnpei.

Sapong also competed in the MAC and her two gold medals (100m and 200m), one silver, and two bronzes earned her the NMSA Female Athlete of the Month. With her five-medal haul in Pohnpei, the Marianas High School graduate was named MAC’s Outstanding Female Athlete.

Welch did not medal in the Oceania Swimming Championships held in Fiji, but his seven personal best times were enough to earn the nod of NMSA members, who handed him the Male Athlete of the Month award during the group’s meeting last night.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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