LINGAYEN – A daughter of rice farmer from Bohol province hogged the spotlight Thursday as she ruled the women’s 200-m run in a victory that added to Central Visayas’ burgeoning gold stock in the PRISAA national collegiate games.
Twenty-year old Lorna Olarita, a graduating student from University of Southern Philippines Foundation in Cebu City, clocked 26.5 seconds as she bagged the women’s 200-meter run before an appreciative morning crowd at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center.
“Masaya po ako sa panalo. Nagpapasalamat po ako kay God dahil ibinigay pa rin niya sa akin ngayong graduating na po ako. Nagpapasalamat din ako sa family ko, at sa mga kaibigang sumuporta sa training ko,” said a grateful Olarita, whose father relies mainly on rice farming to support her and eight other sisters and brothers.
It was the third individual gold medal for Olarita, who had earlier won the 400 meter run and the century dash, making her one of the favorites to bag an MVP award in the weeklong tournament involving athletes from nearly 500 colleges and universities from the country’s 17 regions.
Olarita’s victory was well complimented by their team’s swimming bets who topped six final events Wednesday night at the Dagupan City Poolsite, putting CV well on course of keeping the title it won last year in Cebu City with still two days left in the competition.
Central Visayas had already widened its lead over Calabarzon Region with 41 gold medals, 13 silvers and 15 bronze.
Ryan Bigyan triumphed in men’s 400-m hurdle in 55.9 seconds keeping Calabarzon well in the thick of things in the centerpiece event of athletics where three others – Davao Region, Ilocos and Western Visayas – also came through with a victory each in the morning competition.
Anthony Nerza clinched the gold in men’s 10,000 meter run in 33:23.2 for Davao Region’s 8th gold in the meet, Jonald Canta won the gold in men’s 200-m run in 22.5 seconds for Ilocos, while Western Visayas’ bet Avejiel Baclas shone in women’s 400-m hurdles in 1:04.9 seconds.
Bigyan’s victory and that of Marco Vilog’s in men’s 800-meter run and Jodiel Mandawe’s in men’s pole vault and seven more wins in swimming late Wednesday, enabled Calabarzon to solidify its hold of second spot with 25-12-30 gold-silver-bronze tally.
Mandawe, a native of Misamis Occidental who is playing for Calabarzon, cleared the 3.8-meter high bar to dominate the men’s pole vault.
“Salamat po kay Lord, pinagpala po Niya ako. Hindi nya po pinabayaan na may mangyaring masama sa akin habang lumalaban,” said the 18-year old Criminology student at La Salle Dasmarinas in Cavite. “Nagsisikap po ako talaga sa buhay, mahirap lang po kami. Gusto ko po makatulong sa parents ko sa amin (Tangub City).”