Stepping up

By Glendale G. Rosal |November 13,2017 - 10:01 PM

Simone Ricafort of the Arcelo Memorial High School of Liloan, Cebu, attacks against Sagay City in an elimination-round sepak takraw game in the Batang Pinoy Visayas Games at the Cittadini School in Dumaguete City.

Cebu City athlete surprises coach, self with four-gold haul in Batang Pinoy Visayas

Dumaguete — Rick Angelo Sotto had a modest goal going into the Batang Pinoy Visayas Games 2017.

The 14-year-old trackster from the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) and representing Cebu City in this meet wanted to surpass his personal records.

He did just that. And he won gold medals along the way.

In fact, Sotto has already pocketed four gilts in the meet to help the Cebu City Niños stay within the top five in the medal standings.

“This is my ultimate goal — to break my personal records. But winning this many gold medals is not what I expected because my teammates are better than me in other competitions,” said Sotto, a double gold medalist in the 2015 edition of the Palarong Pambansa in Legaspi City, Albay.

Rick Angelo Sotto (second from left) is part of Cebu City’s gold-medal winning 4×100-meter relay team. The rest of the team are (from left) Jake Dagatan, Jomar Cumabig and Rex Amamangpang.

Cebu province continues to lead the meet with a 14-15-20 (gold-silver-bronze) tally followed by Dumaguete City (12-8-20), Aklan (12-7-5), Cebu City (10-19-21) and Bacolod City (8-5-8).

Sotto’s haul impressed one of Cebu City’s coaches Arvin Loberanis.

“He’s not my top bet because there are a lot of stronger athletes but surprisingly he outshone them all. I am honestly surprised at the same time, very proud of him,” Loberanis said.

Sotto’s gold medals were from high jump, long jump, triple jump and the 4x100m relay.

Sotto broke three personal records.

In day one, Sotto logged a new record in high jump with 1.67 meters, which bettered his previous record of 1.63m. Last Sunday, he eclipsed his record in long jump from 6.03-meters to a new 6.29m. He then bested his triple jump record of 12.99m after logging 13.57m.

Cagers from Mandaue City and Cebu province compete against each other.

Not bad for one who actually started with dancesports before shifting to athletics at the age of nine.

“I realized that my passion is in track and field so I decided to shift. I am the only active track and field athlete in our family,” said Sotto, the eldest among two siblings.

Although he studies at Ateneo de Cebu, which is supposed to be part of Cebu province, Sotto chose to represent Cebu City since he is part of the volunteer trainers in the Cebu City Sports Commission grassroots program.

He credits his success to the training given to him by his coach Presing Capangpangan.

His teammates in winning the 4x100m relay were Jake Angelo Dagatan, Jomar Cumabig and Rex Amamampang. Their victory was part of five gold medals won by the Niños yesterday.

The others were Shaula Santiago’s shot put gold medal and three from the karatedo team.

Cebu province had no gold medals in day three of the meet but it is still on top. It is also assured of three gold medals today since all six finalists in the karatedo kumite (sparring) event is from Cebu province.

In swimming, many-time Palarong Pambansa gold medalist Kyla Soguilon of Aklan won three gold medals yesterday. She dominated 100m backstroke, 200m medley relay and 50m butterfly. She now has a total of five in the meet, having already won two earlier.

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