NAGA City—Majority of their student-athletes have not tried running on a rubberized oval, they make the most of the limestone track. Despite that, Bohol Province blended that lack of facilities with sheer determination and persistence and it paid off yesterday as they surged on Day 2 of the Central Visayas Athletic Association (Cviraa) at the Teodoro “Doring” Mendiola Sr. Sports Field and Oval.

The Boholanos shone in the athletics event and took the lead in Day 2 with seven gold medals, five silvers and six bronzes. Cebu City is currently in second place with a 4-2-5 medal haul, while Cebu Province hauled 3-5-2 to stay within Top 3.

Bohol Province is also leading in the unofficial overall medal tally with 25 medals. The defending champions Cebu City Ninos are trailing with 22 total medals, and Mandaue was third with 11 medals.

Bohol Province showed force in the steeplechase in the afternoon as two of its players got a 1-2 finish, with Ray Socajel winning the gold medal and teammate Jhon Rey Socorin getting silver.

Socajel, who hails from Ambongan Island of Inabanga, clocked 10 minutes and 55.34 seconds in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Socorin was a second behind.

Training woes

The 17-year-old Socajel trains in Inabanga and had to travel around 30 minutes using a boat to reach the training area, but it did not matter to the Cviraa first-timer. He trained for two months, and most of his food during training was his catch from fishing.

“We train in the mountains once a week, and also in our school for two months,” said the Grade 10 student of St. Paul’s Academy in Inabanga, Bohol. Socajel’s mother is a housewife while his father is a fish warden.

“We train in an oval made of limestone. Most of our athletes have never tried a rubberized oval, some of time even cried because they may slow down because they have no experience of it,” said Geneveve Arboleras, a teacher from Inabanga High School. “We have a rubberized oval in Bohol but it’s in Tagbilaran City and we could not use it.”

“Most of them kay lisod jud ang family so ang amo lang is to motivate them, and during the span of two months we underwent centralized training ran by the teachers of Department of Education,” she added.

Jinky Lansang added another gold medal for Bohol Province in the secondary girls javelin throw after a 31.62m throw. Bryl Brian Torreon chipped in a gold from elementary boys javelin throw with 41.20m; Maricar Ahit topped the elementary girls high jump with 1.28m and Jimboy Lofranco emerged in the secondary boys shot put with 10.95m throw.


Cebu City also lorded it over in the athletics events and swimming to improve its tally.

John Rafols cleared 6.77m to win the secondary boys long jump, while Crsytal Villanueva shone in the secondary girls high jump with a best of 1.40m.

Mandaue City bagged three gold medals in athletics thanks to Shanelle Demily Siasayco in the secondary girls discus throw, Sheena Marie Añana in the elementary girls javelin throw and Britnney Cañete in the secondary girls 100m hurdles.

Cebu Province got a gold from Daan Bantayan’s Sam Gilbert Rodrigo in the secondary boys’ 110m hurdles.

In swimming, Harley Jeffrey Chua of Mandaue City won the elementary boys 200m freestyle (2:38.42); Marielle Estreba of Talisay City topped the distaff side in 2:34.63.

Triathlete and swimmer Yuan Chiogbian of Mandaue City topped the secondary boys’ 400m freestyle; Jehaoish Eign of Cebu City won the elementary boys 100m backstroke; Marielle Estreba of Talisay City shone in the elementary girls 100m backstroke; Christante Veloso of Cebu City and Raven Faith Alcoseba (1:10.31) of Talisay City won the secondary boys’ and girls’ 100m backstroke; Joshua Michael Tubesa (33.09) of Mandaue City and Zoe Austral (36.57) of Tagbilaran City pocketed gold in the boys’ and girl’s 50m butterfly elementary; Charles Jeremiah Lipura (2:40.72) of Talisay City and Lyh Ann Navarro (3:03.27) of Cebu City surged in the secondary boys’ and girls’ 200m butterfly.