Duenas, Cruz, Staal and Kimball 
Roxanne Duenas and Jericho Cruz were named NMASA Female Student and Male Athletes of the Month (December) after showing their wares in the 2008 Annual Christmas Basketball Jam Festival.

Duenas played for the Lady Knights in the 18-and-under division of the Holiday Hoops and led her team to a title win over the Lady Ayuyus, 61-56.

Duenas is only 13-years old and was supposed to play in the younger age group, but her skills are just way above her fellow 13-year-old players thus she moved up to the older age group.

Despite going up against much taller foes, Duenas dominated the opposition emerging as the most valuable player of the division and its top scorer. She had 24 points in the finals and tallied a total of 117 markers in five games for an average of 19.5 points per match.

Cruz of the G-Stars was also a force in the finals, firing 33 points in their 86-77 win over Rollers A.

The member of the CNMI Junior National Team played only three games before the finals but still compiled 78 points for an average of 13 points per match.

Tsunami Saipan and Saipan Swim Club split the Female Athlete and Male Student Athlete of the Month awards.

SSC's Grace Kimball took the Female Athlete of the Month honors after claiming seven gold medals in the 2008 Guam Swimming Federation International Meet in Hagatna last month.

The 13-year-old Kimball won in the 50m backstroke, 100m breaststroke, 200m freestyle, 100m backstroke, 100m freestyle, 400m freestyle, and 50m freestyle swims in the girls' 13 to 14 age group.

Tsunam Saipan's Staal also competed in Guam last month and set four new records in the boys' 13 to 14 age group.

Staal shattered his own mark in the 200m freestyle (2:07.16) timing in at 2:07.15 in Guam.

Staal's second record-breaking swim came in the 400m freestyle, posting 4:34.13, which surpassed the 13-year mark of Joshua Taitano. Taitano's record on August 17, 2005 was 4:35.57.

Staal also set a new mark in the 50m breaststroke clocking in at 35.33 seconds and smashing his own record (35.97).

The Saipan International School student also competed in the 100m breaststroke and completed the race in 1:16.07 to eclipse Wong's record of 1:16.48 (set Feb. 17, 2006).

By Roselyn Monroyo
, Saipan Tribune


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