SMS RUNNER BAGS 1ST GOLD
FOR two straight years, 16-year-old Jessie Abelgos has brought pride and honor to the less fortunate boys of the Sisters of Mary School (SMS) Boystown. This after he defended his gold in the 5,000-meter run in the boys’ secondary division, bagging the first gold medal of the ongoing 23rd Milo Little Olympics Visayas Regional Finals which started its hostilities yesterday, mostly at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).
Last year, Abelgos shared his enduring and inspiring story of hardships and triumph after ruling the same event. Yesterday, he duplicated that victory with flying colors as this young lad who used to endure harsh conditions to make charcoals in the remote town of Abuyog, Southern Leyte improved his time. From last year’s 17 minutes and 59 seconds, Abelgos crossed the finish line at 17:19 in yesterday’s early morning rain. He bested Abellana National School’s Jemar Morales (17:36) and Dave Nicole Navio (18:01) of University of San Carlos-Basic Education (USC-BED).
“I was already expecting to win the gold medal because the tough and favored runners from other schools already graduated but I was not complacent in the entire race. I kept my focus and always remembered the techniques that I trained for months for this race. A lot has changed already when I first won the gold medal. A lot of people who were hesitant to help us in Boystown now willingly supported our sports program and it also opened a lot of opportunities for our fellow athletes to get the much-needed support,” Abelgos told Cebu Daily News.
He thanked former lead scout of the University of the Visayas Van Halen Parmis for helping their sports program.
“Unlike last year, where I was behind them before I took the lead, this time, I was leading for 25 meters away from my fellow runners. It means that my skills have improved very much,” added Abelgos who already vied in the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association in Tagbilaran, Bohol this year.
His father, who is a caretaker in a private property back in Abuyog, Southern Leyte, was very proud of his son’s achievement that he framed newspaper clippings that feature his son and hung them on their wall.
“My father misses me a lot, he always tells me that every time I call him on the phone. I always tell him to wait patiently because I want to reach my dreams of becoming a seaman, I want to earn a college degree that is why I work very hard and train every day to get noticed by recruiters from universities and get recruited as a varsity scholar,” said Abelgos who is the fourth of five children.
Meanwhile, in swimming, four meet records were shattered at the CCSC pool, three of which were accomplished by visiting tankers from Negros Island.
University of Saint La Salle Bacolod’s Busty Jalandra broke Michael Lozada of Aklan’s 2017 record of 5:21.75 in the 400m freestyle elementary boys by clocking 5:13.54.
Alexi Cabayaran of Mambulac Elementary School of Negros Occidental, erased Cebu’s Marielle Estreba’s 2016 record of 5:18.53 in the 400m freestyle elementary girls by finishing with a time of 5:06.45; while Saint Scholastica Bacolod’s Raegan Joseph Garbanzos also erased another Milo record once held by Cebuano triathlete Andrew Kim Remolino in the 400m freestyle secondary division. Garbanzos logged 4:27.48, replacing Remolino’s 2016 record of 4:38.97.
Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu’s relay team broke the 2009 4:11.81 record of USC in the secondary boys 400m freestyle relay by clocking 4:11.49.
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