University of Santo Tomas surged into the lead in the women’s division of the ongoing UAAP Season 85 Athletics Championships, dislodging erstwhile leaders De La Salle University, Saturday at the Philsports Track and Field Oval in Pasig City.
Fuelled by its 58 points in the day, the Female Tiger Tracksters zoomed into the lead with 258 markers, 12 clear of second-running De La Salle University’s 246.
On the men’s side, University of the Philippines inched closer to a back-to-back crown after ending the day with a huge 98-point advantage over the now second-placed National University, 309-211.
UST got its lone gold of the day in record fashion as Jamela De Asis won the shot put with a throw of 12.91 meters, breaking the previous 12.58m set by UE’s Kasandra Alcantara in Season 81. La Salle’s Daniella Daynata took the silver with 12.49m, while UST’s Efrelyn Democer bagged the bronze with 11.61.
NU’s Alexie Caimoso dominated the heptathlon with 4603 points, but Princess Gonzales’ second-place finish with 3875 boosted the Tiger Tracksters’ campaign. Mecca Cortisano of UE completed the podium in the grueling seven-event contest with 3787.
Caimoso started with rousing performances in 100m hurdles with 15.39s (first), high jump with 1.60m (first), shot put with 10.11m (first), and 200m with 26.29s (second). She then closed the gold-medal run with 5.44m in long jump (first), 37.01m in javelin throw (first), and 2:47.43 minutes in 800m (ninth).
Adamson University got its first gold of the competition after Emmalyn Taypin reigned over the 10,000 meters with 42:04.90, way ahead of UE’s Katrina Salazar with 42:18.83 and FEU’s Jolina Abutas with 42:21.43. Grace Tejones (42:54.66) and Camila Tubiano (43:02.53) followed suit to give UST vital points in the tally.
La Salle, meanwhile, kept its title bid alive with a gold in the 400m hurdles with Bernalyn Bejoy getting the title at 1:01.34. UP’s Riza Valiente finished second with 1:03.05 on a close finish against NU’s Lenlyn Sanita with 1:03.90.
On the men’s side, Ed Delina grabbed the spotlight for the Fighting Maroons with a new record in the discus throw with 44.97m, one meter ahead of the 43.97m set by Philippine athletics great and former Ateneo stalwart Arniel Ferrera in Season 67.
Rookie Neil Salvador made it a 1-2 finish for UP with a throw of 41.52, just a few centimeters away from Adamson’s Daniel Rambacal with 41.18.
Rhyan Labita made a case for the Most Valuable Player plum after capturing his fourth individual gold in the 400m hurdles with 54.18s. Tochukwu Okolo of FEU and Van Alexander Obejas of NU completed the podium with 54.71 and 54.94, respectively.
Erwin Mancao then broke through with the gold in 1500m, finishing with 3:57.99 minutes and going ahead of three Fighting Maroons, including Edwin Giron who he beat as determined by the photo finish apparatus. Eduard Flores took the bronze for UP with 3:49.51.
UST’s Carlo De Imus pocketed the other gold for the day with a new UAAP record of 23:05.29 minutes in the 5000m walk, ahead of NU’s John Arandia (23:05.82) and UE’s Vincent Vianmar (23:40.15). De Imus reset the mark of 24:07.15 set by fellow Thomasian Lambert Padua in Season 78.
FEU slipped to third place with 202 markers, while UST moved to fourth with 140.
The Female Tiger Tracksters and the Fighting Maroons will try to go for the titles on the competition’s fifth and final day on Sunday starting at 2 p.m.