FEU Track and Field senior Clinton Kingsley Bautista shared that the dominant performance of the FEU Men’s Track and Field team in the UAAP Season 78 Athletics tournament came as expected but his winning the Most Valuable Player award was a complete surpise.
This is FEU’s sixth-straight title and 11th in 12 years.
Bautista was a gold medalist in the 100m, 110m hurdles, 4x100m and 400m hurdles and placed second and third in the 400m and 200m events, respectively.
“I still can’t believe I won the 100m and 400m hurdles because those are not my main events and barely trained for those. As adviced by my coach, I just stayed within striking distance of the leaders and gave my all in the final moments,” he said.
In the four-day event, the wards of Head Coach Dario De Rosas finished with 394.5 points, while UST and UP finished second and third at 287 and 213.5 points, respectively.
Kirk Cire Bacas was named Rookie of the Year after winning the gold in the Triple-Jump and silver in the Long Jump.
Other Tamaraws who won gold medals are Johnwel Quitain in Shot put and Mark Ian delos Santos in the Decathlon. The team of Bautista, Delos Santos, Jerwen Ebcas and William Galceran won the gold in the 4X100 relay.
The biggest challenge faced by the team was the uncertain schedule of the games because this disrupted the flow of their training.
“The tournament was moved from December 2015 to February 2016. We were conscious to not overtrain and get injured,” said Bautista.
Although Bautista along with five other Tamaraws are graduating from the team, he is confident the title will be defended in the years to come. Last year’s MVP Janry Ubas is expected to return to the team.
“We will still be strong in the jumping and long distance events but we might be weaker in the sprints. We have a lot strong players waiting for their turn to compete,” summed Bautista.
Rookies shine for Lady Tam Tracksters in UAAP
FEU Women’s Track and Field head coach Roselyn Hamero said she was very pleased with how her team performed in the UAAP Season 78 Athletics tournament despite finishing second again to University of Santo Tomas.
FEU was champion for 10 straight years starting in 2004 but the streak ended last year.
“We improved in our medal tally. We only won two golds last year but this season we won five and most of them came from our rookies,” she said.
Highlighting their campaign was the record breaking performance of rookie Joy Garcia in the shot put event. Garcia posted a record throw of 12.35m to win the gold medal.
“That was special because Joy broke the record made by a former FEU teammate of mine 19 years ago,” said Coach Rose.
The team’s other gold medal winners are Joida Gagnao, who won the 300m steelplechase, Kaylene Mosqueda, who won the High Jump, Mary Lyn Avila, who won 400m hurldes and Evalyn Palabrica, who won the Javelyn event.
Considering that she has the strongest throwers in the field, Coach Rose shared that her priority now is to recruit and develop new runners to compete in UAAP Season 79.
“We can be champion again as long as the athletes have the motivation, passion and heart to win not only for themselves, but for the FEU team,” she said.