Sto. Tomas long distance ace wins track’s first gold

TAGUM CITY – Aaron Gumban woke up early to dominate the field, making him the first gold medalist in athletics on Day 4 action of the 2019 Batang Pinoy Mindanao leg Thursday at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex.

The 14-year-old Gumban displayed his deadly form as he ruled the 13-15 boys’ 5,0000-meter run in impressive fashion in this prestigious age-group event organized by the Philippine Sports Commission and Province of Davao del Norte.

Carrying the banner of Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte, a small town one-hour drive from this progressive city, Gumban clocked 17 minutes and 14 seconds to retain the gold medal that he also won last year in Oroquieta City in Misamis Occidental.

But in the national finals, luck wasn’t on his side.

Gumban suffered an injury, denying him of a chance to test his mettle against other young runners from Luzon and the Visayas in the national finals in Baguio City.

“I competed in the national finals, but I didn’t finish the race. Now, I have another chance and I will do my best to win,” said Gumban, who woke up at 3 a.m. only to outrun Lordy Salpid of Gen. Santos City (19:05.07) and Rome Laviste Jr. of Davao del Sur (19:12.66) by wide margin.

In fact, Gumban was already cooling down and granting interview when Salpid and Laviste crossed the finish line to grab the silver and bronze medals, respectively, of this multi-sport event that also has STI College-Tagum and Alfalink Total Solutions Corp. as sponsors.

“I didn’t hold back. I gave everything I can,” he said, adding that he’s in good condition following a victorious stint in the Davao Regional Athletic Association (DAVRAA) last week.

Gumban, a Grade 8 student of Sto Tomas National High School, still has a chance to make it a triple crown when he competes in the steeplechase and 1,500-meter run in the next couple of days.

“From DAVRAA, I didn’t practice anymore. Anyway, I’m still in good condition. I just had some light workout to stay in shape. I know I can make it.”

Over at nearby throwing area, Mary Joy Mancera of Davao del Sur asserted her mastery when she ruled the 13-15 girls’ discus throw.

Mancera, who clinched the gold while celebrating her 15th birthday, tallied 26.28 meters to outshine Avril Saucejo of Mati City (23.49) and Kristal Molina of Davao City (19.85), who settled for the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

Also emerging victorious was Rona Bacus of Cagayan de Oro, who tallied 11.01 meters in her sixth and final jump to top the 13-15 girls’ triple jump event. 

Jonalyn Flonda of Iligan City tallied 9.75 meters while Gezhel Castro of Tacurong notched 9.71 meters to settle for the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

In archery, John Carlo Loreno collected his sixth gold medal after teaming up with Precious Micah Basadre in ruling the cadet mixed team event.

Loreno and Basadre combined for 2459 points to beat Compostela Valley’s Mysel Magallanes and Andrea Tagotongan (2073) and Digos City’s Christian Malunes and Angela Camello (1035).

In swimming, John Alexander Talosig scooped four gold medals after winning a pair in the second day of competition.

The 14-year-old Grade 8 student of Southern Christian College topped timed two minutes and 5.43 seconds to win the boys 13-15 200m freestyle and clocked 5:00.58 for the boys 15-under 400m individual medley (IM).

He won the boys 13-15 200m IM (2:19.74) and boys 15-under 1500m free (17:52.25) Wednesday.

At the NCCC Mall, karatekas from Calamba, Misamis Occidental and Zamboanga City collected three gold medals to dominate karatedo.

Mary Geerica Galsing (girls 8-9 intermediate kata), Christian John Borongan (boys 12-13 intermediate kata Pool B) and Marcu Noel Pacapac (boys 8-9 advance kata) triumphed for Misamis Occidental while Hanica Regino (girls 11-12 intermediate kata) and Jullian Pueblo (boys 12-13 intermediate kata Pool A and Pool C) won it for Zamboanga City.

Zamboanga City also showed their might in pencak silat after reaping 13 gold medals while South Cotabato and General Santos City clinched six golds each.