Panther tennis star Leung earns statewide honor

VERMONT — The Vermont Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association has chosen Middlebury College sophomore tennis player Lok Sze Leung, Essex High School senior tennis player David Ro, and Champlain Valley Union junior track and field standout Autumn Eastman as its May Athletes of the Month.
In statewide balloting of VSSA members, Ro was selected as the Male High School Athlete of the Month, Eastman as the Female High School Athletes of the Month, and Leung as the Open Division Athlete of the month. A VSSA member nominated each athlete for his or her outstanding efforts in the month of May.
Leung on May 25 won the 2013 NCAA Division III women’s tennis singles championship in Kalamazoo, Mich., defeating Kristin Lim of Claremont Mudd-Scripps in the final, 6-1, 6-3. Only one opponent won more than three games in any set in Leung’s five tournament matches. Leung also earlier in May helped the Panther women’s tennis team reach the NCAA quarterfinal round.
In May, Ro capped an impressive four-year career by clinching his fourth consecutive Division I title on May 26. Ro became the first player to sweep Vermont’s singles competition four times, and he never lost a set in his high school career. Ro plans to continue his tennis career at Dartmouth College next fall.
Ro outpolled Mount Abraham senior golfer Jona Scott for the honor. Scott won eight of the nine events he entered in May, including earning medalist honors at five regular season Metro Conference events, the NVAC championship tournament, and the South Sectional qualifier. Scott compiled the top scoring average in the Metro this spring, 72.83 per 18 holes.
Eastman, the 2012-13 Gatorade Vermont Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, won the 1,500 meters in both of the state’s premier track and field races in May, the Burlington Invitational and the Essex Invitational/New England Qualifier. She also led Champlain Valley Union’s 4×800 relay team to first place in both invitationals, setting a meet record at Burlington.
Eastman outpolled two senior softball players, Caitlin “Cat” Chaput of Vergennes and Emily Gold of Missisquoi.
Chaput, a catcher, excelled at bat and behind the plate in May. She batted .442 in 43 at-bats in May, with 25 RBIs, 15 runs, five doubles, a triple and two homers. One homer came off Colchester’s ace, and the other was a grand slam at Spaulding that helped the Commodores rally from an early deficit and clinch the No. 3 seed in their final regular season game. Chaput, a strong defensive catcher, also called the pitches for the three hurlers who took regular turns on the mound for Vergennes.

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