After denying the women of Guam a score during last week's 2008 Marianas Cup, CNMI Women's National Soccer Team goalkeeper Rebecca "The Wall" Newman was named as the Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association's Female Athlete of the Month.
Newman deflected praise as effortlessly as she deflected shots by saying that her defense made her look better than she was. Though she admitted to bringing her "A-Game," Newman attributed most of her success between the pipes to her teammates.
Here's the story from the Saipan Tribune.
NMASA spreads out monthly honors
The Northern Marianas Amateur Sports Association spread the wealth Thursday night when it awarded Athletes of the Month honors to four athletes from different sports.
Northern Marianas Swimming Federation's Rezne Wong and Northern Mariana Islands Football Association's Becca Newman were named the Male and Female Athletes of the Month, while Christian Miller of the Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association and Lia Rangamar of the Northern Marianas Athletics earned the Male and Female Student Athletes of the Month.
Wong, who is a member of Tsunami Swimming Center Saipan, competed in the 2008 GSF All Island Invitational Swim Meet last Aoril 26 at the Hagatna Pool in Guam.
The Marianas High School student finished first in the 200m individual medley with a time of 2:17.46 and also topped the 100m backstroke after touching the tile in 1:08.38. He competed in the open division.
His time in the 200m IM was just a second and change off the CNMI age group record of 2:16.56 set in 2003 by Dean Palacios. Wong’s 100m backstroke, meanwhile, was just tenths of a second off Juan Camacho’s record-setting pace of 1:07.03 he recorded in 2006.
Wong also finished second in the 50m butterfly and 50m freestyle with times of 29.18, which is just .17 off the 29.01 record of Seung Jin Lee in 2001, and 26.18 almost comparable to the 25.68 set by the immortal John Sakovich way back in 1987.
Newman, meanwhile, helped the unranked CNMI Women's National Football team force Guam to a surprising scoreless draw in last weekend's 2nd Annual Marianas Cup football match held at the Civic Center Field inside the Susupe Sports Complex.
Newman, playing as goalkeeper, put up a defensive wall at the CNMI goal against a Guam team that is ranked 75th in the world. Her impressive stint earned her the tournament most valuable player honors, which were voted on by members of both teams.
She had a total of 17 saves including a number of key stops in the two overtime periods that could have allowed Guam to escape with the win. This was also Newman's second time as a member of the CNMI national team.
Aside from being a member of the Women's Nationals, Newman also serves as a Women's Football Committee member, treasurer of the Paire Football Club, Under-8 coach, and captain of her Women's Football League team.
Miller, for his part, earned the CNMI top ranking in the boys' 13-and-under division after winning the Spectrum Electric-Marianas Medical Center CNMI Junior Championships in both the singles and doubles events.
The singles and doubles titles in the junior championships were also Miller's fourth crown in April. He won the Under-13 title in the junior championships after a 6-3, 6-1 win against Nathan Nutting then teamed up with Daniel Camacho to score a 6-4, 6-0 triumph against brothers Jake and Aaron Lee in the doubles event in last week's finals.
Early last month, Miller avenged his Coconut Classic loss to Rafael Jones to claim the Pacific Islands Club-Gatorade Tennis Tournament 13-and-under crown with a hard-earned 5-7, 6-1, 7-5 win.
Miller will be the CNMI's top-ranked player heading into the International Tennis Federation-North Pacific Qualifying Event from June 16 to 20 in Guam.
NMA's Rangamar earned the female student honors after a dominating performance in last month's preliminary trials in the 4th Annual McDonald’s All-Schools Track and Field Championship.
The 13-year-old multi-event athlete is coming of age and proved this when she competed against other athletes who are in the high school division. She set national age group records in the 200m run, javelin, and discus throw as well as finished in the Top 3 of three more events.
She clocked in 30.96 seconds in the 200m run, and threw distances of 27.48m and 22m in the javelin and discus throw.
Aside from breaking age group records, Rangamar also topped the 400m run with a time of 1:12.23, placed second in long jump with a jump of 3.75m, then cleared the bar in high jump with a height of 1.25m for another second place finish.
Other nominees for last month's sports plums were NMA's Jessie Brel, Jericho Cruz, and Jacque Wonenberg, NMITA's Amy Arenovski, NMSF's Carol Lynn Pierce, Kaito Yanai, and Fumika Umeda, and NMIFA's Joe Miller.