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Cyclists take BP spotlight

ILOCOS SUR — Bets with cycling pedigrees dominated the criterium events as more in-person sports opened hostilities in the Philippine Sports Commission-Batang Pinoy National Championships held on different battlefields on Sunday.

Caloocan City’s Maritanya Krog made her rivals eat dust with a 37:43.519 time in the girls’ 13-under criterium that started and finished at the Ilocos Sur Provincial Capitol.

The 13-year-old Batang Pinoy rookie from Bagong Barrio who broke away from the 11-entry field in the second lap was 1:28.548 clear of closest pursuer Louise Alejado of Iloilo City and 1:32.907 ahead of Calapan City’s Jhanah Abella in the race that ran for 30 minutes plus three laps.

“I didn’t expect I’ll win in my first participation in the Batang Pinoy,” Krog, whose grandfather competed in the prestigious Marlboro Tour and younger sibling of former national team cyclists Matilda and Rex Luis, said.

Quezon City pedal-pusher Jaqueline De Guzman, whose father was also a Marlboro Tour veteran, won the girls’ 14-15 criterium with a time of 46:48.768 to beat Davine Novo of Tuguegarao City (46:48.928) and Bulacan’s Mica Montaos (47:43.073) in the 40-minute plus three laps event.

Batangas City rider Emmanuel Arago, who also came from a family of competitive cyclists, finished with 36:05.012 to conquer the boys’ 13-under criterium, winning over Dashiel Carmona of General Santos City (38:05.131) and Pangasinan’s DJ Perez (38:05.214).

Cebu City’s Chris Ferrer grabbed gold in the boys’ 14-15 criterium (45 minutes plus three laps) with a time of 52:44.492 just a fraction of a second ahead of Brendy Celerian of Iloilo City (52:44.850) and Ilocos Sur rider (52:45.069).

Sophia de la Vega of San Jose City snatched the first athletics gold at the Quirino track oval after her girls’ long jump conquest.

The student-athlete from San Jose City National High School in Nueva Ecija leaped a distance of 4.77 meters to best Masbate’s Jesaly Materdan (4.52m) and QC’s Angelica Balazon (4.37m).

In weightlifting at the Caoayan gym, 11-year-old Elaine Jane Calunsag lifted a total weight of 55 kilograms (20 kgs snatch, 35 kgs clean and jerk) to pocket the gold medal in the girls’ 12-under 26 kgs division.

Calunsag outmuscled Alex Bacaro of Cebu (54 kgs total) and Reynadine Jimenez of Zamboanga (51 kgs total).

Hannah Cabalida of Cebu City prevailed in the girls’ 30kgs division with a total lift of 74 kgs (34 snatch, 40 clean and jerk), besting Zamboanga’s Grapes Tarro (69 kgs total) and Elarie Colonia of Zamboanga Sur (52 kgs total).

At the Quirino Stadium pool, Lucena City tanker Kristian Yugo Cabana scooped his second gold medal after ruling the boys’ 12-under 100m butterfly with 1:05.40 clocking.

Behind Cabana, who won the meet’s first gold in the 12-under individual medley, were Bataan’s Benjamin de Mesa (1:06.20) and Kevin Chan (1:07.30).

Not to be outdone, another Lucena City bet in Julian Lowe De Kam snagged twin mints as he followed his boys’ 13-15 1500m freestyle victoryon Day 1 with a 100m butterfly victory where he clocked 1:02.10 to outswim Gilbert Gonzalvo of Lipa City (1:02.60) and Naga City’s Albert Amaro (1:02.90).

Kyla Bulaga of La Union province finished the girls’ 12-under 100m fly in 1:12.70 to cop gold ahead of runner-up host province bet Makayla Fetelvero (1:17.10) and Iloilo Province’s Julia Orada (1:17.70). She won the 200m IM on Saturday.

Rizal’s Aubrey Tom also bagged two mints in the girls’ 13-15 200m individual medley and 100m freestyle.

The 15-year-old swimmer had a clocking of 2:35.80 to win the 200m IM to beat General Santos’ Saira Pabellon (2:41.20) and Navotas’ Jhoey Gallardo (2:42.00). She then registered 1:02.50 tied with Kacie Tiongko of Negros Oriental for a share of the gold medal in the 100m free.

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