When it comes to UAAP Women’s Athletics, especially in recent years, greatness is synonymous to the University of Santo Tomas Lady Tracksters, who are in their third year of title defense.
Three golds after five events sealed the deal for the ladies of España, and were enough to call it a rousing start.
‘Queen’ Elizabeth Capioso continues reign; Golden Double for the UST
It was 6:50 in the morning and the sun had barely grazed the horizon. But Elizabeth Capioso of the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons and the contenders of 5000 meter walk were ready to strut their way to the victory.
It was a close start, and Capioso was stunningly nowhere to be found in the lead pack. Nonetheless, the graduating UP senior slowly gained form and caught up with Diana Cadlaon of Adamson University, making it eventually a two-way race to the finish.
The Fighting Maroon then inevitably pulled away with 100 m to go, clinching the gold at 29:23.73. Cadlaon was a far second at 29:34.38, almost 11 seconds adrift, while Ma.Jessa Valerino of Far Eastern University finished way later at 30:09.98.
Nonetheless, the track belonged to the UST Lady Tracksters as the seniors continued their legacy in the 100 m and 800 m events.
Karen Janario claimed her second straight 100 meter gold, as she stopped two former champions in Kim Zulueta of the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles and Jeremiah Malonzo of UP.
The Tomasina clocked at 12.22 sec, 0.13 sec ahead of the Lady Eagle senior at 12.35. Zulueta finished a little slower – 0.01 sec off her qualifying time, to be exact – while Janario did better in the finals after a 12.35 heat.
Malonzo ended at 12.48 in the heats, but improved to 12.42 in the medal round for the bronze.
It was 1-3 for UST in the 800 m, as Louielyn Pamatian and rookie Jie Anne Calis sandwiched Marisol Amarga of UP on the podium.
Pamatian pulled away in the last 20 meters to deny the Marooon rookie the upset, while Calis tried to push the latter further back. In the end, Pamatian timed in at 2:14.65 as Amarga ended at 2:15.11. Calis rounded the top three with 2:16.02.
High up goes the Lady Tams; Aira Teodosio brings the hammer down
The Lady Tamaraws also wanted a piece of the day’s pie, as they soared above the competition in high jump and even snagged a bronze in an otherwise UST-starred event.
During the morning’s high jump, the Morayta-based side swept the field and took a gold and two silvers in the end of the event.
Josefa Ligmayo was not able to pass her own mark of 1.71 – the current UAAP record – but her jump of 1.70 was a cut above the rest for another gold. Kay Mosqueda and Jelly Paragile both claimed silvers, as they both leaped 1.65 m on their respective first attempts. Adamson University’s Raziebel Fabellon also got 1.65, but on her second try.
The day would not end without a record getting broken. Not with Aira Teodosio itching to do the feat.
At the end of the hammer throw, Teodosio not only set the tone of UST’s day, but might have also started the defense on a high note. The thrower smashed her old mark of 43.23 and heaved farther at 46.12 just nine months after, getting the gold.
Tigress Luz Delfin bagged the silver at 41.38, while Mary Jane Lawas crowd the Tomasinas in the podium with 40.13 for FEU.
The Tigresses take the edge after five events in the calendar at 94 points, followed by FEU at 79. UP occupies third spot for now at 41.
Unofficial Tally after Five Events
UST 94 (3-1-1)
FEU 79 (1-1-3)
UP 41 (1-1-1)
AdU 27 (0-1-0)
UE 24 (0-0-0)
DLSU 16 (0-0-0)
ADMU 15 (0-1-0)