Veteran weightlifters are most likely to get spots on the CNMI national team based on their performance in last Saturday’s qualifying event held at the Latte Built 24-Hour Fitness and Nutrition Center.
Expected to lead the Commonwealth’s charge in the 2018 Micronesian Games are 2017 Pacific Mini Games bronze medalist Angel San Nicolas, 2014 Micro Games gold medalist David Barnhouse Jr., and silver medalists Leonardo Apelo Jr. and Raymond Santos.
San Nicolas had a total lift of 235 kilograms or 105 in the snatch and 130 in the clean and jerk in the senior men’s 105kg weight category. Although, his record in the qualifier was 16kgs short of the 251 he lifted when he secured the bronze in last December’s Mini Games in Port Vila, Vanuatu, San Nicolas has the best chance to represent the CNMI anew in a regional tournament.
Apelo was also in the senior men’s 105kg division and successfully lifted a total of 260kgs behind his 115kg in snatch and 145kg in clean and jerk. Ramon Kapileo, the other participant in the same weight category, had lifts of 50kg and 51kg for a 101kg tally.
Santos, who entered in the men’s 69kg division, had 107kg in the snatch then added 131kg in the clean and jerk for a 227kg total, while Barnhouse lifted only 125kgs in the snatch as he was unsuccessful in his three attempts of lifting 160kg in the clean and jerk.
Joey Tudela, who has also represented the CNMI in several regional competitions, had lifts of 190 and 105 for a 195kg total in the senior men’s 85kg division, while Roderigo Ada had 141kgs (55kgs snatch; 86kgs clean and jerk).
Dennis Moses competed in the senior men’s 77kg weight division and had a 42kg lift in the snatch and 45kgs in the clean and jerk for a total of 87kgs. Josh Mateo lifted a total of 143kgs (63kgs snatch; 80kgs clean and jerk) in the youth men’s 85kg division, while Traven Quitugua tallied 92kgs (44kgs snatch; 48kgs clean and jerk), and Oldie Joe Roligat had 89kgs (41kgs snatch; 48kgs clean and jerk).
Quitugua and Roligat are under the junior men’s 69kg weight division.
The CNMI Weightlifting Federation organized the one-day qualifying event at the San Jose fitness facility with Greg Borja as overall coordinator, and Dee Clayton, Cleo Nening, and Jose Quan as judges.
The Commonwealth has high hopes on the island’s weightlifters after they brought home 12 medals from Pohpnei, which hosted the 2014 Micronesian Games.