Davao del Norte: Runner Jie Ann Calis, and swimmers Maurice Sacho Ilustre and Seth Isaak Martin led the list of outstanding athletes in the just-concluded 58th Palarong Pambansa held at the Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex here in Tagum City.
The 15-year-old Calis broke three records in athletics to receive a P39,000 reward from Northern Mindanao Region Athletic Association and the Department of Education.
“I was surprised nailing those records. I didn’t expect it because all I wanted was to win a gold. I will continue my training and pursue my dream of qualifying to the national team,” said Calis, who clocked 2:12.77 in the 800-meter run to erase the record set by Angelica de Josef (2:17.20) in 2013 in Dumaguete City.
Calis, the smallest runner in the field, also shattered her previous mark of 4:45.20 in 2014 in Laguna after posting a new record of 4:42.20 in the 1,500m run then broke the 3,000m record of Western Visayas’ Joida Gagnao (10:22.6) in 2013 by checking in at 10:10.16.
The 15-year-old Ilustre, on the other hand, successfully duplicated his last year’s feat by winning all seven gold medals in his secondary boys’ 13-17 400m freestyle (4:11.18), 200m butterfly (2:07.28), 800m freestyle (8:50.34), 100m butterfly (1:06.91) and 200m freestyle (1:58.63).
The NCR swimming bet also won the 400m freestyle relay gold with Alnair Guevarra, Eman Dapat and Miguel Barlisan (3:41.38) and the 400m medley relay with Christian Sy, Andrae Pogiongko and Drew Magbag (4:07.00).
Ilustre had new marks in 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 100m and 200m freestyle.
Sharing the spotlight was Martin, also from Big City, as he bagged seven gold medals in elementary boys’ 100m backstroke (1:07.01), 200m individual medley (2:28.35), 100m freestyle (1:00.12), 50m backstroke (30.16), 50m freestyle (27.07), 200m medley relay with Charles Arceo Timothy Go and Sean Gabriel Cruz (2:05.35), and 400m medley relay with Job Enrile, Zachary Kong and Charles Aceo (4:41.55).
NCR retained the overall championship with 98 gold, 67 silver and 71 bronze medals. Southern Tagalog (51-41-59 gold-silver-bronze) placed second while Western Visayas wound up third (42-48-41).