UM-Davao's Kate McDowell bags U20 MVP trophy in PH Athletics 2024

MVP. University of Mindanao (UM)-Davao City’s Kate Duffy McDowell concludes her national open debut with a  Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy in the women's under-20 category for her winning two gold medals and one silver at The International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) Philippine Athletics Championships 2024.
MVP. University of Mindanao (UM)-Davao City’s Kate Duffy McDowell concludes her national open debut with a Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy in the women's under-20 category for her winning two gold medals and one silver at The International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) Philippine Athletics Championships 2024.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

University of Mindanao (UM)-Davao City's varsity trackster Kate Duffy McDowell was awarded the Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy in the women's under-20 category for her outstanding performance at The International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) Philippine Athletics Championships 2024. She claimed two gold medals and one silver during the event's conclusion on Sunday evening, May 12, at the PhilSports Complex track and field stadium in Pasig City.

She shared the MVP title with Ana Eugenio of T.A.F.T.

In her national open debut, the 19-year-old dominated the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase and 3,000m run, securing gold in both events and settled with a runner-up finish in the women's 1,500m race.

McDowell finished the women's 1,500m event in 5:18.83, coming in second to Ana Marie Eugenio of T.A.F.T., who clinched gold with a time of 5:17.19. Mary Rose Frias of the Spectrum Runners Team A settled for the bronze at 5:22.57.

Nalipay ko, Ma'am, kay nakakuha ko'g medals sa national. Sa una, Ma'am, lisud gyud kaau makakuha og medal pero gikaluy-an sa Ginoo naka medal ko.
Kate Duffy McDowell, MVP, women's U20 of the ICTSI Philippine Athletics Championships 2024

(I am happy, Ma'am, because I received medals at the national level. It used to be very challenging to earn a medal, but by God's grace, I was able to achieve this)," the 19-year-old Criminology freshman student shared with SunStar Davao in a Messenger interview on May 12.

She was surprised by the MVP title, noting that she hadn't expected to win it. 

In her social media post, she expressed gratitude to the Lord for her accomplishments, as well as to UM president Guillermo P. Torres Jr., coaches Ernesto Alsa and Det Harrish Mukarram Ratag, UM sports director Dave Dwight Peñano and his assistant Edelie Dagatan, her family, teammates, and "Nanay" Ramil Bansag Torregosa for their unwavering support and encouragement.

Meanwhile, UM-Davao City clinched a silver medal thanks to Lyka Catubig in the women's open 10,000m event, along with two bronze medals in the mixed men and women 4X400m relay (Johnny Gil Meder, Angeline Reponte, Adrean Cabacang, and Andrea Annabela De Guia) and the men's open 4X100m relay (Jullyjan Molinos, Adrean Cabacang, Johnny Gil Meder, and Dharlie Joey Baguisan).

Kate Duffy McDowell, center, with University of Mindanao (UM)-Davao City athletics coaches Ernesto Alsa and Harrish Ratag.
Kate Duffy McDowell, center, with University of Mindanao (UM)-Davao City athletics coaches Ernesto Alsa and Harrish Ratag.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL

McDowell attributes her recent achievements to her parents, Allan and Hazel. Allan works as a tricycle driver, while Hazel is a housewife, and their dedication inspires McDowell to excel as a student-athlete.

Acknowledging the financial challenges faced by their family of five, McDowell is grateful for her varsity scholarship at UM, which eases her parents' burdens by covering her tuition fees.

"Tanan nako ginabuhat, Ma'am, kay para sa ilaha. Maong dako kaayo ko'g pasalamat sa ila kay naa sila dira pirmi aron suportahan ko (Everything I do, Ma'am, is for them. That's why I am very thankful to them because they are always there to support me)," McDowell, a 1,500m silver medalist in the Philippine National Games (PNG) 2023, said.Her elder brother, who is pursuing college in Toril and plays volleyball, is also a scholar.

Despite being able to afford three meals a day and necessities, McDowell shared that they sometimes struggle to find resources when faced with unexpected expenses due to family illnesses. She emphasized that their family has overcome these challenges through her parents' hard work and sacrifices.

To support her schooling and family needs, McDowell participates in fun runs to earn cash prizes.

"Gapaningkamot sad ko mangita kwarta pareha anang fun run, maka-kwarta rapud ko'g ako (I'm trying to earn money through fun runs, I can make money myself)," she said.

McDowell's interest in running began during the Doña Carmen Denia National High School intramurals in seventh grade. By eighth grade, she was competing locally and regionally under the guidance of coach Valerio Bulpa and trainer Torregosa, after briefly trying rugby football in sixth grade at Don Juan Elementary School. MLSA

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