The group (middle from left to right) of Reymond Alferos, Fernan Lopez, Duane Lim and John Renzzelle Capingian proudly pose their medals won in the 4x100 meter relay category during the NCAA track and field meet.
Mapúa Institute of Technology’s track and field team won a total of nine medals during the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) meet at the Philsports Complex last February 26 to 28.
Despite having almost 60% rookies in the team and encountering difficulties, they managed to haul one gold, three silvers, and five bronze medals.
The group of Fernan Lopez, John Renzzelle Capingian, Duane Lim, and Reymond Alferos bagged the gold medal for the 4x100 meter relay; Capingian, Lim, Alferos, with Gio Bryan Malinao placed second in the 4x400 meter relay. Alferos and Lopez, likewise won silver medals for the 800-meter run and 200-meter run, respectively.
Meanwhile, Capingian and Alferos each won a bronze medal for the 200- and 400-meter run, respectively. Three others also bagged bronze medals for high jump, shot put, and 110-meter hurdles: Mark Vincent Ramos, Cris Paulo Haluber, and Angelo Esguerra, respectively.
Also, nine tracksters bagged a total of 11 medals during the National Open Invitational Championship held in Sta. Cruz, Laguna, last March 19-22. The event was participated by local and international athletes.
Mark Vincent Ramos won gold and silver medals in the long jump (boys) and triple jump (boys) competitions, respectively. Cris Paulo Haluber, on the other hand, bagged silver medals for the hammer throw (boys) and shot put (boys) category.
The group of Alferos, Capingian, Lopez, and Lim won a silver medal for the 4x400 meter relay, while Malinao got a bronze medal for the 400-meter hurdles category. Wenard Merin and Ike Jumao-as also won a bronze medal each for the javelin throw (boys) and 3,000-meter steeple chase.
Difficulties and solutions
The way to winning was never an easy one for Mapúa tracksters.
On top of their studies, the team would have to leave for Ultra in Pasig as early as 5:30 in the morning and train until 9 a.m. In the afternoon, they will have to train again in the campus or at Luneta starting from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“Here in Mapúa, we have very high standards when it comes to studies. The team, being student athletes, have lots to do besides studying, so I had to remind them of time management and discipline over and over again,” said track and field head coach Sean Guevarra, adding that he always emphasizes the value of discipline to his team.
Student-athletes are required to pass 60% of the units they are taking for the first quarter in order to be eligible to play.
Lopez, one of the players who bagged the gold medal for the 4x400 meter relay, said that he really feels the challenges of being a student-athlete.
“It’s difficult. You have to balance your time between classes and trainings. Neither one should be neglected,” Lopez said.
Also, many senior players have already graduated leaving the team to be composed mainly of rookies. This subsequently led the members to be nervous during the event as they deal with more experienced athletes.
“Most of them are newbies, while their opponents are already veterans, some are even members of the National team,” stated Coach Guevarra, adding that he always reiterated to his players that they should focus on what they can do and not on how their opponent can beat them.
Getting better next season
Capingian, in contrast with his teammates, was quite confident during the event.
“I was nervous, of course, everyone gets that. But once I heard the gun fire in the starting line, I forgot all about it and just focused on running and getting to the finish line,” said Capingian.
He said that while their trainings were not as difficult as the other teams, they could feel that they were really improving.
Meanwhile, Lopez thinks that the team can do better, given the right amount of people and ample time for trainings.
“I think we can and we will get better next season. Our team is not really that complete, compared to other teams so I feel that once we have more people to compete, we can do better,” Lopez said.
Mapúan trackster Angelo Esguerra runs towards the finish line as he competes in the 110-meter hurdles category of the NCAA.