The Negros Occidental secondary girls' athletics team captured six gold medals, three silvers and three bronzes yesterday to highlight province's successful return to the Western Visayas regional meet at the Iloilo Sports Complex.
Ma. Isabel Oqueriza led the surge with a double gold as she topped the 400-meter and 800-meter run while Angel Ann Pranisa claimed the gold in 100 meters, Jennifer Hudierez in 100-meter hurdles, Trexie De la Torre in long jump and Franz Gela Bintad in discus throw.
“It was a close contest. Our athletes demonstrated a strong fighting spirit,” coach AddyArca, who along with her brother Miguel Arca, mentor the athletics team.
It was a 1-3 finish for Negros in 800-meter run as Oqueriza won the gold with her time of 2 minutes, 17.70 seconds while teammate BernalynBejoy was two seconds behind to secure the bronze. Edralene Celestial of Iloilo settled for the silver medal with her time of 2 minutes, 18.33 seconds.
Oqueriza claimed her second gold on the same day as she once again outpaced Iloilo runners Angelyn Ortiz and Celestial in 400 meters. Oqueriza clocked 59.50 seconds while Ortiz was a heartbeat behind at 1 minute and 00.51 second and Celestial, 1 minute and 00.70 second.
Earlier, the Negros secondary girls' athletics team posted a powerful finish in 100-meter hurdles with Hudierez registering 15.82 seconds for the gold and Rosalie Estillore finishing behind her at 16.55 seconds for the silver. Iloilo's RoselBantillo (17.03) placed third.
Pranisa added to the haul with a golden run of 12.13 seconds in 100 meters, leaving behind Iloilo's Annie Rose Mercurio (12.44) to pick up the silver and her fellow Ilongga runner Berna Luz Talaron (12.50) to settle for the bronze.
But it was in secondary girls' long jump where the rivalry of Negros Occidental and Iloilo came to the fore.
Trexie De la Torre, the ace jumper of the Negros team from Romanito Maravilla National High School, took the lead with a 5.63m leap going into the fourth jump but her rival from Iloilo matched the distance in the fifth jump.
Keeping her focus, De la Torre managed to surpass her previous mark and posted 5.64m to win the gold and secure her spot in the 2018 Palarong Pambansa in Ilocos Sur this summer.
“We are all proud of what Trexie and all our athletes accomplished today,” Addy Arca said.
Joining De la Torre and the other gold medalists to the national games in Ilocos Sur is Bacolod Tay Tung High School's discus throw queen Franz Gela Bintad, who also aced her event yesterday to claim another gold medal.
Two more gold medals for the Negros Occidental secondary girls' team were delivered by JhounalouMicoyco, who reigned in arnis individual single weapon and individual sword and dagger.
Meanwhile, the Negros elementary girls' athletics team also made their presence felt in the competition yesterday. Kezhia Mae Aguillon won the gold in 100-meter dash while Jey Anne Dieta topped the 400 meters, Athena Rose Besana in 800 meters and RemelynFranciso in 1,500 meters.
In elementary boys' competition, Airex Gabriel Villanueva, who won the gold in shot put Monday, bagged his second gold medal in discus throw with a distance of 28.87 meters.
In 400-meter run, Marden Gabriel Villaruel won the gold for Negros while teammate Wilbert Intok took the silver. Intok also won the bronze in 800 meters where fellow Negrense Rafael Jumauay finished second. In 1,500 meters, Warren Sabanal settled for bronze.*NAB
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