After successfully coaching the CNMI National Tennis Team to a record feat in the XVI Pacific Games in Samoa, Jeff Race is now in Fiji for the 2019 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships.
“No break. Right back at it,” said Race, who left Apia last Sunday morning and arrived in Fiji in the afternoon.
The CNMI Sports Hall of Famer will be working with the Commonwealth’s U12, U14, and U16 players that will compete in the singles, doubles, and team events in the POCJ from July 25 to 31. Race is expected to reunite with his players today, as the team left Saipan yesterday morning.
Juncheol Hwang will be playing in the U12 team event after getting a wild card, while Daniel Kang, David Kwon, and Anthony Gregoire are entered in the U14 singles and doubles contests. Also seeing action in the U14 division are Helen Kim, Hyejin Elliot, and Serin Chung, while Jimin Woo, Sean Lee, Sam Ryu, and Maria Gregoire are competing in the U16 age group.
The 11 players earned a trip to Fiji for the POJC after their notable performances in the 2019 North Pacific Regional Championships held on Saipan last month. Lee won the singles and doubles (with Ryu) titles in the boys U16 division, while majority of the team members made it to the semifinals of their respective events.
The CNMI players competed against Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and Guam in the North Pacific Regional Championships. Then in POJC, they may collide against the representatives of the three island-nations along with players from the Cook Islands, Norfolk Islands, Tahiti, and Samoa of the East Pacific, and Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea of the West Pacific.