ANOTHER homegrown athlete from Cebu in bemedalled runner Mary Joy Loberanis will test the waters of the country’s capital as she is set to join De La Salle University (DLSU) for the next school year.
Sixteen-year-old Mary Joy, regarded as one of the top young middle-distance runners in Cebu, will transfer to Manila for senior high school, joining the DLSU track and field team in August.
Her father Arvin relayed this information to SunStar Cebu, saying the athletic scholarship offered is a rare opportunity since Manila schools have updated programs and various competitions.
“Not just a coach but as a father as well, I know that she likes track and field. Going to Manila can further improve her skills. It’s hard for us for her to be away but it can’t be avoided in sports,” he said in Cebuano.
He said aside from the University Athletic Association of the Philippines, there are other tournaments that athletes can join in Manila to hone their skills.
Loberanis, a Grade 10 student of the University of San Carlos Basic Education Department (USC-Bed), is off to her final year representing Region 7 in the 2019 Palarong Pambansa in Davao City on April 27 to May 4.
Mary Joy qualified to the Palarong Pambansa after winning the gold medals in the girls’ 800-meter event and 4x400m relay of the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association meet in Dumaguete City last February.
The older Loberanis said one of the top reasons for selecting DLSU is the school’s excellent academic program aside from its competitive sport programs.
“It’s a chance for her to be in one of the top schools in the country. We know that academics is important for the future of the athlete,” he said.
The younger Loberanis made a name for herself in Cebu with numerous medals in the Milo Little Olympics, the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association, Batang Pinoy and the Cebu City Olympics.
Loberanis had just recovered from dengue fever and is back on her training program in preparation for the Palarong Pambansa. (S)