Adamson University had a flying start in its pursuit to follow up on its long-awaited title with a dominant performance in the boys’ division of the UAAP Season 85 High School Athletics championships on Wednesday at the PhilSports Track Oval in Pasig City.
Fueled by three golds, three silvers, and two bronzes, including a podium sweep in the 100 meters, the Baby Falcons opened up a substantial 26-point gap against University of Santo Tomas Junior Male Tracksters, leading 130-74.
In the fastest sprint, Adamson claimed all the available places on the podium, with John Dave Tumangan leading the way in 11.01 seconds, followed by Emmanuel Morales and Matthew Angeles with times of 11.14 and 11.24 seconds, respectively. Janzen Dela Cruz secured the fourth spot for the reigning champion with a time of 11.40.
Aaron Angeles secured the first gold of the day for the Baby Falcons with a 13.87-meter leap in the triple jump, outpacing teammate Kurt Ragudos’ 13.65. University of the East’s Jame Abiera finished third with a best jump of 13.50.
Hussein Loraña closed the day with a victory in the 800 meters, escaping from National University Nazareth School’s Teo Papel with a time of 1:58.04, just 0.29 seconds ahead of Papel’s 1:58.33. Almie Also added a bronze to UST’s tally after crossing the line at 2:02.97.
Adamson also contributed to a two-gold haul from the second-running Junior Male Tracksters, who secured titles in the 5000-meter walk and the discus throw, keeping them close to the Baby Falcons.
Gabriel Cervantes ensured that the 5000-meter walk title stayed with UST in record fashion, setting a new UAAP mark of 25:59.95, almost two minutes ahead of schoolmate Carlo De Imus’ 27:27.61 set in Season 81. Adamson’s Gian Carlo Cunanan also surpassed the mark with 27:10.69 for the silver, while UE’s Vincent Durana finished third with 28:07.15.
John Eman Calapuan was a clear winner by two meters over Ateneo de Manila’s Jose Andro Costelo in the discus throw, with a heave of 36.61 against 34.61 meters. Jhay Tica added a bronze for Adamson with 33.98.
The titleholders similarly led the girls’ side of the championships, with UST edging out University of the East with a slim 96-91 advantage after the first day.
Two podium sweeps in the 100 meters and the 2000-meter walk made the difference for the Junior Female Tracksters against a solitary rostrum quest from the Junior Lady Warriors in the 800 meters. Nonetheless, the two schools each secured two golds, setting the stage for a potential title showdown.
Iza Pangilinan set a new UAAP record in the 100 meters to lead UST with a time of 12.43 seconds, cutting 0.01 seconds off the joint record held by former UE standout Ella Sirilan and NUNS’ Eliz Cuyom set in Seasons 80 and 81, respectively.
Aira Gacusan captured the gold in the 2000m walk with a new UAAP record of 11:09.20, breaking the five-year-old mark of UE Junior Lady Warrior Ma. Anita Villanueva at 11:18.72. Gacusan was way ahead of her teammates Francine Andrade (11:23.97) and Cindy Puerto (11:24.92), who secured all three medals at stake.
UE kept the race for the top spot close after sweeping the podium in the 800 meters, with Jyzel Gabriel leading the feat with a time of 2:23.99. Janice Nami’s 2:25.64 and Elaiza Salomon’s 2:26.50 dislodged UST’s Lyka Raterta from the winner’s circle.
The other gold of the day also went to the Red and White, with Jazen Araño’s 34.71 heave in the hammer throw setting the championships’ first record of the season, more than three meters farther than her own 31.52-meter mark set last season.
Adamson’s Rechelle Barbin gatecrashed the UE’s party with a record-surpassing throw of 33.44 meters, as Alyannah Ico was a distant third for the Junior Lady Warriors with 31.28.
The second day of the championships happens on Thursday, with the boys’ decathlon wrapping up with its last five events.