Cruz boosts bid for Micro Games stint


Bonnylynn Cruz hangs on for a successful attempt in the clean and jerk during last Saturday’s qualifying event of the CNMI Weightlifting Federation at the Latte Built 24-Hour Fitness Center in San Jose. (Jon Perez)

Bonnylyn Cruz increased her chances of making it to the CNMI national weightlifting team after the veteran led five other competitors in the CNMI Weightlifting Federation’s qualifying event held at the Latte Built 24-Hour Fitness and Nutrition Center in San Jose last Saturday.

Cassandra Camacho, Halle Kenty, Jaime Pangelinan, Lia Rangamar, and Eleina Santos joined Cruz in the competition that served as a qualifier for the national squad that will represent the Commonwealth to the 2018 Micronesian Games in Yap. A good number of youth athletes participated in the weightlifting competition for the first time for their cross training in basketball and athletics.

Cruz, who won a bronze medal in the 2015 Micronesia Weightlifting Invitational, lifted 52kgs in the snatch and 77kgs in the clean and jerk in her final attempts for a total of 129kgs. Her previous attempts in the snatch were 43kgs and 48kgs, while her first and second tries in the clean and jerk were 62kgs and 70kgs each. Cruz, who usually competes in the women’s 69kg division, started off in CrossFit before transitioning to weightlifting with the help of Salvi Villanueva, Angel San Nicolas, and Joey Tudela.

The veteran lifted was challenged by Camacho, Kenty, Rangamar, and Santos, who are also vying for slots on the CNMI women’s national basketball team. Pangelinan, on the other hand, is a promising sprinter. Veteran basketball and athletics coach Elias Rangamar encouraged their athletes to join the one-day competition to boost their strength and stamina.

Lia had lifts of 32kg in the snatch and 44kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 76kgs, while Camacho tallied 73kgs behind successful lifts of 31kgs and 42kgs. Kenty had a total of 61kgs (26kg snatch; 35kgs clean and jerk), Santos earned 59kgs (28kgs snatch; 31kgs clean and jerk), and Pangelinan tallied 55kgs (23kgs snatch; 32kgs clean and jerk).

Kenty could have increased her total weight, but was unsuccessful in her third and final attempt of 28kgs in the snatch.

The qualifying event also had a men’s division contest with 11 joining the competition. The list included veterans San Nicolas, Tudela, Ray Santos, Leo Apelo, Dave Barnes Jr., but final results in the division were unavailable at press time.

Entries in the men’s division had represented the CNMI in previous weightlifting tournaments in the region with San Nicolas clinching the bronze medal in last year’s Pacific Mini Games in Vanuatu for the Commonwealth’s lone medal in the quadrennial meet.

Meanwhile, CWF president John Davis told Saipan Tribune that their executive committee would meet tomorrow to discuss the final composition of the women’s team.

“Joining the qualifying event doesn’t mean that you’re already on the team. The executive committee will meet on Tuesday to know who goes to the Micro Games. We’re expecting two more female lifters who are off-island and also competed in previous events. We need to discuss this since we need to submit the names.”

The 2018 Micronesian Games is set from July 15 to 28.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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