Visayan trackster gets 2nd gold, hopes to draw FEU’s attention

LEGAZPI CITY — University of Cebu star John Marvin Rafols continued to showcase his leaping prowess in the 2016 Palarong Pambansa at the Albay Sports and Tourism Complex here, further boosting his stock among his suitors from Manila-based schools.

Rafols, 17, an incoming 11th Grader, became the latest golden double winner for Central Visayas on Wednesday when he topped the secondary boys’ triple jump with a leap of 14.65 meters, joining his elementary boys’ counterpart Rick Angelo Sotto.

Sotto secured a pair of golds on Tuesday when he ruled the high jump event (1.61 meters) and the triple jump (12.2m) in style.

“Pinaghandaan ko po talaga at nagte-train ako nang maigi,” said Rafols, who also topped the secondary boys’ long jump last Monday.

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Finishing as bridesmaid to Rafols was Calabarzon’s Carl Arvin Aquino who tallied 14.40 meters while Ilocos Region’s Jay Mark Gascon came in at third with 13.91m-output.
The eldest in the brood of four, Rafols admitted he’s already getting offers from three NCAA schools—Arellano U, San Beda and Emilio Aguinaldo College—but he’s hoping he can join his dream college institution.

“FEU (Far Eastern U) po ang target ko talagang school na mapuntahan,” shared Rafols, who is set to receive a cash incentive of P6,000 from the Department of Education for his big exploits.

But moving to Manila wont’t be easy for Rafols.

“Ako po kasi ang nag-aalaga ng mga kapatid ko kaya nanay ko na po ang bahala mag-decide kung papayagan man ako,” he said.

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In the elementary girls’ 400m hurdles, Calabarzon’s Charlaine De Ocampo came up big as she matched the 18-year record with a clocking of one minute and 8.60 seconds, tying the mark set by Northern Mindanao’s Junielou Cabal during the 1998 Palaro in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

De Ocampo, 12, a General Trias City, Cavite native, defeated the likes of second-placer Jenielyn Bani of Cagayan Valley (1:10.7) and Gee-M Bartolome of Negros Island Region (1:11.1) for the coveted medal.

Negros Island’s Ryle Biadora dominated the elementary boys’ division in one minute and 3.1 seconds while CALABARZON’s Jan Gallano and Central Luzon’s Apollo Sudaria finished with 1:04.3 and 1:04.7, respectively.

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In the secondary ranks, Soccksargen’s bet Marjun Sulleza topped the boys’ 400m hurdles in 54.5 seconds, beating the likes of Northern Mindanao’s Rabby Gamay (55.3) and Cagayavn Valley’s Ferdinand Tridanio (56.5) while Central Visayas’ bet Riza Jane Vallente ruled the distaff side in one minute and 3.3 seconds followed by Negros Island Region’s Bernalyn Bejoy (1:03.7) and Eastern Visayas’ Gemmalyn Pino (1:04.4).

Negros Island Region’s Kate Julieanne Martinez ruled the EG discus throw with a heave of 32.04 meters while Central Luzon’s Ed De Lina topped the event in the secondary boys’ with a 35.65-m output. – By Jerome Lagunzad

Follow this writer on Twitter: @JLFoxSports

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