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Records go down as UP-FEU battle for title heats up

New heroes rose for University of the Philippines and Far Eastern University in the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Athletics championships, Friday at the PhilSports Track and Football Stadium.

And with the official results turned in, the Fighting Maroons kept their lead, though the Tamaraws are expected to overtake them once the results in the decathlon were verified. For now, at least, it is UP’s turn to breath a sign of relief as they once again took control of the track.


Track remains maroon after third day

Just like the first two days, the Diliman-based squad retained a stronghold in the track events on Friday,  taking five of the nine medals at stake – one of them a record-breaking gold.

The quartet of Jomar Udtohan, Jaime Mejia, JC Yuzon, and Leonel Tigtig proved their billing as the team to beat, as they shattered the existing record of the Tamaraws in the 4×100 meter relay. The mark of 41.94 has stood for more than nine years in nine UAAP seasons, but finally took a bow to the 41.77 mark established by the aforementioned squad.

The Fighting Maroons put their two fastest runners in the middle portion of the series; 100 meter silver medalist Mejia and gold medalist Udtohan took the second and third legs, respectively.

The Jovanie Kasi-led FEU were a distant second at 42.34, while Adamson University – led by transferee Joyme Sequita – clocked in at 42.55 for the bronze.

Rookie Germar Marcelo then followed up his 10,000 meter bronze with a silver in the 3000 meter steeplechase with a time of 9:41.67, while teammate Eduard Flores took the bronze this time at 9:49.65. The 10,000-meter champion James Orduna from the University of the East claimed his second gold of the season, topping the steeplechase as well at 9:38.05 after pulling away in the last 100 m.

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For his part, Soaring Falcon Sequita made amends and took his second gold of the year, fending off Udtohan in the 400 meter dash.

Adamson finished with a new UAAP record of 47.26, breaking the mark that Sequita himself set during the morning’s heats at 47.52. UP bagged the silver and bronze medals in the aforementioned event, as Udtohan ended at 47.81, while Yuzon claimed his first individual medal at a distant 49.07.


Tamaraws make headway in the field

As the Fighting Maroons marked the orange track their home, the Tamaraws – as their moniker suggests – claimed the green field as their turf. FEU took both the golds in javelin throw and triple jump.

Ronnie Malipay and Rejohn Gadian took the mints for the Morayta-based squad, leading the Tamaraws to take the lead in the overall standings. The other FEU athletes also turned in the points to end up with 164 after the morning’s events, as opposed to UP’s 143.

Malipay denied National University’s Karl Aquino of a golden double, topping the triple jump with a new UAAP record of 15.29, which erased the old mark of University of Santo Tomas’ Benigno Marayag of 15.19 established in 2006. Aquino likewise surpassed the distance at 15.22, but had to settle for the silver. Aldrin Custodio, also from NU, claimed the bronze.

Earlier in the day, Gadian claimed the gold in javelin throw, stunning every one with a win over favorite Joshua Patalud of the De La Salle University.

The Tamaraws standout threw the javelin at 56.32 for the win, as Patalud could only manage a throw of 54.48. Shot put champion and National U’s Tyronne Flores got 49.65, which was enough for a distant third place finish and the bronze.

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Jovanie Kasi fends off Henry Gonzales to take deca lead

To make it interesting, the Tamaraws might be also getting the gold in the gruelling decathlon, but it was after Jovanie Kasi fended off the challenge of Henry Gonzales of the Ateneo De Manila University.

Gonzales, an Ateneo senior, momentarily took the lead after a huge 29.19 mark in discus throw. The Blue Eagle flew from third place to pole position with the said heave, relegating Kasi to second and John Christian Cresencia to third.

Nonetheless, Kasi made strides in the next two events: pole vault and javelin throw to take back the lead. Cresencia also overtook Gonzales after the said events, thus giving FEU the head way going into the final event – the 1500 meter run.

As of writing, the results of the Decathlon are yet to be verified and official results are  not yet released.


Unofficial Points Tally after Day 3
(Pending Verified Results of Decathlon)

UP 201
FEU 176
NU 116
UE 55
AdU 45
DLSU 44
ADMU 37
UST 30

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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