THE track and field team has exceeded expectations and lifted Cebu City in the medal tally in the first three days of competition in the 2017 Batang Pinoy Visayas Qualifiers in Dumaguete City.
For the past three days, the Cebu City tracksters have raked in six gold medals to help Cebu City, which is in fourth place with 10 gold medals, 19 silvers and 21 bronzes after Day 3.
Cebu Province is still leading the medal tally with 14 gold medals, 15 silvers and 20 bronzes, followed by Dumaguete City with a 12-8-7 haul and Aklan with a 12-7-5 harvest as of yesterday.
Rick Angelo Sotto of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) powered Cebu City’s surge on the tracks with four gold medals—three in the individual events and one in the 4x100-meter relay.
The Cebu City track and field team showed its cohesion and dominated the boys’ 4x100m relay with runners Sotto, Jomar Cumabig, Jake Angelo Dagatan and Rex Amamangpang at the Gov. Mariano Percides Sports Complex yesterday.
“The six gold medals is a surprise for us. Most of our athletes are beginners except for two or three. It exceeds our expectation. We still have the 4x400m, 1,500m and 800m events (today),” said coach Arvin Loberanis.
The win puts Sotto as one of the most bemedalled athletes in this year’s sporting meet, one gold medal behind Aklan swimmer Kyla Soguilon, who has five.
“I did not expect to win four gold medals. One of the most special is the relay event because I was able to do it with my teammates,” said Sotto, who will gun for his fifth gold medal in the 4x400m today.
Sotto is a volunteer grassroots coach of the Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC). He is also a double-gold medalist winner in the 2016 Palarong Pambansa in Legazpi, Albay.
Before the 4x100 relay, Sotto won the triple jump while teammate Amamangpang settled for silver. Sotto also topped the high jump and Amamangpang got the silver last Sunday. Sotto also won gold in high jump while Dagatan bagged the silver last Saturday.
“It’s a sweet win because after competing in the individual events, my teammates and I were able to win gold together,” said Sotto, who said his greatest goal is to make it to the national team.
The other gold medalist for Cebu City athletics team in the third day was Shaula Fernelle Santiago in the girls’ discus throw. Cebu City also won three gold medals in karated----Nico Avila in the boys’ 14-15 advance kata, Lance Gabrielle Tolero in the boys’ 14-15 intermediate and Aubrey Codilla, Justine Azur and Marie Pauleen Cabrera in the girls team kata.
Cebu Province, meanwhile, won the bronze medal in the 4x100 girls’ relay. Cebu Province also beat host team Dumaguete City, 7-2, in the elimination round of softball event.
Seven karatekas of Cebu Province has also advance to the championship round of the kumite event. (RSC)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on November 14, 2017.
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