NMSA names first awardees for 2023

Posted on Mar 31 2023


The Northern Marianas Sports Association has announced the first recipients of the monthly awards for athletes for 2023 with three individuals making it to the honor roll.

Young weightlifter Jaden Andrew led the list of the February awardees after his impressive debut in the Guam National Youth/Junior/Senior Championships held at the Guam Army National Guard Readiness Center in Barrigada last Feb. 25.  Andrew is awarded the Crown Plaza Resort Saipan-NMSA Male Student Athlete of the Month (for February) following his runner-up finish in the 55-kg division of the competition, outclassing several lifters who are twice his age. The 14-year-old and newcomer in the sport had a best snatch of 62 kg and 82 kg in the clean & jerk for a total of 144 kg.

Another participant in the Guam competition, Leo Apelo, is recognized for his notable performance in the off-island event. He competed in the open 81-kg weight class against three other lifters from Palau and host Guam and won the gold medal with his best snatch at 120 kg and 145 kg for clean & jerk for a total of 265 kg. For this feat, the 13-year veteran is named the NMSA Male Athlete of the Month for February.

Rounding out the February honor roll is athletics’ Tania Tan, who represented the NMI to the World Athletics Cross Country Championships held in Bathurst, Australia. Tan is named NMSA Female Athlete of the Month (for February) for resetting the NMI indoor record in the 10K, as she clocked in at 44:51 in the race.

With Tan, Apelo, and Andrew earning the February honors, they are now qualified for the NMSA yearly awards in their respective categories. The NMSA also awards Female Student Athlete of the Month and Team of the Month and recognizes the top performer of the year in its annual awards banquet. Last month, Isaiah Aleksenko and Zhimin Jin were named 2022 Student Athletes of the Year, while Tan, tennis’ Colin Sinclair and weightlifting’s Angel San Nicolas, David Barnhouse, Raymond Santos, Jason Limes, and Joey Colisao took the Athletes of the Year plum. The NMI baseball, tennis, and weightlifting teams were the Team of the Year.

NMSA-member federations nominate candidates for the monthly awards and they also select the winners per category. (PR)

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