Cebu tops Masters Athletics-A A +A
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
THE visiting Cebu Track and Field team dominated the 1st National Masters Athletics
Invitational Meet last March 16-17 at the Philsports Complex in Pasig City.
Despite being hastily formed and hampered by unfortunate circumstances, the team hurdled these challenges and hauled 27 golds, 6 silvers and 1 bronze.
Its long distance runners went at par with the country’s athletics legends like Elma Muros, Renato Unso, Linda Lavandia, Eduardo Pedregoza and John Lozada.
Six-time Milo Marathon champion and 1996 Atlanta Olympics veteran Roy Vence drew first blood for Team Cebu after winning the gold in the 5,000m in the 45-49 age group during the first day, which was followed by another gold from Tessie Escasinas in the 55-59 age group in the 5,000m run. She went on to win three more golds in the 1000m, 1500m, 800m and 400m.
“Events in the oval make me realize that this is the kind of exercise I need to focus on. What you gain in your training will be seen in your performance,” said Tessie.
Her husband, Nemie Escasinas, also grabbed more golds in the 60-64 category in the 1500m, 800m, 400m, 4x400m and 4x100m relays and also snatched silver in 10000m and 5000m.
At 77, Rening Ylaya did not mind being the oldest participant after he harvested gold medals in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 4x100m and 4x400m relays.
“Lipay kaayo ko na naa ni nga dula para sa mga masters ug senior athletes. Ang fitness man jud dili mo-end sa age 40,” said Ylaya.
Al Geyrosaga won gold medals in 10000m, 4x100m and 4x400m relays, silver in 200m and bronze in 400m and Felizrdo Juaneza had three gold medals in 200m, 4x100m and 4x400m relays, and silver in 400m in the 60-64 age bracket.
Other medalists were Raffy Osumo,who hoarded gold medals in the 50-54 category of the 200-m, 400-m and also silver in 800-m Fredo Villarta who won gold in the 65-69 bracket in the 5000-m walk; and Raffy Uytiepo, team captain and coach of Team Cebu, who won silvers in 1500-m and 800-m.
Aside from unlocking the prowess of the masters and senior athletes, the event offered them a career to pursue after retirement.
“This event should give our masters and senior athletes awareness that there’s life after retiring from sports,” declared National Masters and Seniors Athletics Association of the Philippines President Manny Ibay.
There were more than 100 participants in the first leg. They are hoping for a second leg in Cebu by June, a third leg in Davao in October and national finals in Manila this December.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 20, 2013.