Tania Tan and Robbie Schorr have received recognitions before, but winning the 2018 Northern Marianas Sports Association/Tan Siu Lin Foundation Student Athlete of the Year award last week was more special.
“Winning the Female Student Athlete of the Year award made me feel accomplished. I’ve won Athlete of the Month a couple of times, but never the Athlete of the Year, so I am very thankful to finally be able to receive this award in my senior year,” said Tan, adding that getting her hands on the coveted trophy made her think about the time she devoted to training last season.
“I trained practically everyday last year (even during the summer because I had to prepare for the Australian Cross Country Championships in August), so I feel like all those hours spent training has finally paid off,” said the Saipan International School student, who is regular figure along Beach Road, logging a lot of miles a week after completing her daily classes in their As Lito campus.
The 17-year-old was named top student athlete for 2018 after dominating local races and also representing the CNMI in regional tournaments, including the cross country events in Australia and Guam with the one in the Land Down Under testing her limits.
“The most challenging competition was probably the Australian Cross Country Championships in August in the Sunshine Coast, Australia, because the course was super tough. There were so many steep hills throughout the course and it is even considered ‘the hardest course in all of Australia’. The athletes running in the competition were also very tough to beat/compete against, as they are the best in Australia (they even competed in Youth Olympic Games and World Championships all over the world),” said Tan, who also plays in tennis competitions on island.
The Commonwealth bet competed in the 4-kilometer race in Australia and timed in at 20:56 to be on the finishers list that had nearly 2,000 runners. Then less than two months after the event in Australia, she left the island again to don the CNMI colors in the Asia Pacific Invitational Cross Country Championships in Guam.
“The was the most memorable competition because I got to travel with some of my best friends and lead our team to a third place finish overall. I also placed in the Top 15 All-Island team out of 100 girls (first in the NMI, too), so that event is also very memorable to me,” said Tan.
While Tan received the top athlete award for the first time, Schorr got his third and this one was extra special because of all the experiences he has gone through when competing and improving his game.
“ I’m super happy to win again and this will help strive me to keep working hard in the future. I guess as the years go by and having more experience and background in the sport, winning awards start becoming more meaningful,” the SIS student said.
Schorr got NMSA members’ nod for the prestigious award after taking the No. 1 ranking (boys U16 age group) in the entire Pacific, his several victories in local tournaments, and his stint in regional tournaments as a member of the CNMI Junior National Team and the Pacific Oceania Junior Davis Cup Team.
This summer, the 16-year-old will answer another call of duty when he suits up for the Commonwealth squad in the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa.
“I just want to do good in the Pacific Games in July and represent our islands the best I can,” said Schorr.
SIS congratulates students
Meanwhile, SIS has all praises to their two talented student-athletes
“SIS is very proud of both Robbie and Tania. Their commitment and dedication to their respective sports is nothing short of astounding. Robbie has made many sacrifices over the years in order to attend international competitions during school time, but he has never shirked his academic duties nor shied away from the difficulties of being a scholar athlete,” SIS headmaster Ron Snyder said.
“As Tania’s coach, I am doubly proud of her. When she started cross country three years ago, she was No. 3 on the team but her dedication both during the season and off season quickly transformed her into the top runner on our team, the top female mid-distance runner in the CNMI and one of the overall best distance runners at any age. I have been honored to coach Tania in two Asia Pacific Cross Country Invitationals and one Oceania Championship in Australia. She is an amazing athlete, the top scholar in her class, and a wonderful human being,” he added.