LINGAYEN -- Pangasinan dominated the track and field event, but Baguio City charged back in taekwondo and swimming to gain the overall lead in the Northern Luzon leg of the Philippine Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission Batang Pinoy Games Friday.
Swimmers Jamleth Marie Villanueva of Olongapo City and La Union's Gwyneth Amber Cawaling were the most productive athletes of the games so far with six gold medals each to lead Baguio back on top of the medal chart.
Villanueva, a seventh grader from the Regional High School in Olongapo, seized her sixth gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly with a time of 1:17.24. Bulacan's Angelica Samelo (1:20.03) settled for silver, and Baguio's Samantha Kaye Payaket (1:27.03) placed third.
Cawaling, on the other hand, seized his fifth and sixth gold medals, respectively, Thursday in the 12-under 200m individual medley and 800m freestyle. She clocked 11:08.80 to defeat Bulacan's Anne Katherine Lorete (12:37.06), and Beatrice Zulueta of Angeles City (12:59.42).
Earlier, the host province lorded it over with 38 gold medals over at the track, capped by a victory in the boys' 14-15 4x400-meter relay headed by triple-gold medalists Jayson Toribio and Lodivico Dela Cruz.
The Pangasinan quartet clocked 3:44.0 to beat Baguio City (3:51.5), and Candon, Ilocos Sur (4:23.8).
Although Baguio City came up with 28 gold medals in the same event, it was the City of Pines which produced the best track and field performers in Sisa Carunungan, Leah Taltala, Kaizelle Vergara, Agustina Anganayon, Lilia Yatar, Masulyn Seal, Erwin Generalao, and Patrick Vichez.
Taltala and Carunungan, freshmen classmates at the Baguio City National High School, captured five golds each, punctuated by their victory in the girls' 13-under 4x400m relay, along with quadruple gold medalist Vergara and Gerimae Murillo.
They completed the race in 4:34.6, while the host (4:46.9) settled for silver.
Pangasinan Gov. Amado T. Espino Jr. also discovered their own future stars on the track in sprinters Mark Laurence Sanguir, Francis Marron, and Rico Navarro, who pocketed three golds each in the talent search program for athletes 15-years-old-and-below.
Baguio, however, dominated taekwondo by grabbing 13 of the 16 gold medals at stake at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center.
Finweight Christian Mark Duntugan, one of 11 kids sent to witness the London Olympics after entertaining the crowd in the BP Games last year, retained his title by beating Kurt Bryan Barbosa of Bangued, Abra, 9-8, in the finals.
Other winners for Baguio were flyweight Monsour Carlo Salazar, bantam Tristan Dale Cayago, featherweight Kendrix Galiah, lightweight John Gervin Astrologio, welter Rencer Shane Lavestre, and middleweight John Christian Mapalo
In the distaff side, the gold winners include finweight Angelica Joyce Gaw, flyweight Keyya Arizza David, Colleen Heria (bantam), Leslie Marie Agyamoc (feather), Phoebie Kate De Guzman (light) and Kaye Shanelle Romuar (welter).
The charge of Baguio's taekwondo jins and swimmers - who accounted for 11 gold medals - allowed the country's summer capital to gain the overall lead in the medal tally with 56 golds, 40 silvers, and 36 bronzes.
Pangasinan had 47 gold medals, 70 silvers, and 65 bronzes, while Malolos, Bulacan, which topped the swimming event had a 13-7-7 haul.
The host province, which managed to steal two golds in taekwondo and six in the pool, had a 1-2-3 finish in the national finals of cycling, ruled by John Carlo Dasalla of San Manuel town.
Dasalla finished the 74-kilometer course on Maramba Boulevard in two hours and 12.01 minutes to nose out Joel Pataray (2:12.05) and Kyle Dela Pena (2:12.15).
In badminton boys' singles Jervin Dyler Carlos of Malolos City toppled Baguio's John Vergel Nepomuceno, 21-16, 21-19 to set up a semifinal duel with Bulacan's Gabriel Cruz, who trounced Baguio's Matthew Loyao, 21-12, 21-14.
Francis Adrian Ramos of Zambales, a 21-7, 21-17 winner over Michelin Payas of Alaminos City, faces John Matthew Bernardo of Malolos in the other semifinal matchup. Bernardo scored a 21-13, 21-10 victory over Michael Tamani of Santiago City, Isabela.
Paula Beatriz Bernardo of Malolos barged in the semifinals with a 21-14, 21-4 win over Jeya Von Pinlac of Baguio. Bernardo will meet Jazmine Jane Ang of Pangasinan, who won over Malolos' Airish Macalino, 21-16, 21-11.
Elizabeth Pimentel of Malolos arranged a duel with Bulacan's Chanel Lunod in the other semifinal clash. Lunod dumped Karren Reyes of Alaminos, 21-6, 21-8, while Pimentel scored a 22-20, 18-21, 21-11 win over Eureka Pastorin of Santiago City.
Boxers Christopher Patino of Iba, Zambales, John Gil Padilla of Pangasinan, Cauayan City's Wowie Abrujena, and La Union's Jhun Dulce advanced to the semifinals in the 38kg category along with pinweight Aldrin Tactunay of La Union, and light pinweights Ryan Paul Quitalig of Tarlac and Alfie John Barlaan of Zambales.