An IT student at the Don Mariano Marcos State University in San Fernando, La Union, Balicha surged in the last 10 meters to nip teammate Richard Caralipio with a time of 23.46 seconds to the latter’s 23.50 seconds in the meet, jointly organized by the Department of National Defense and Commission on Higher Education.
In contrast, Jesamae Licup of the University of Baguio was the runaway winner on the distaff side with a time of 26.7 seconds, relegating Occidental State College’s Wendimae Rada (29.6) and Katherine Sario (30.1) to second and third, respectively, in the competition backed by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Office of Sen. Francis Tolentino.
In the Navy cadets, John Andre Ponce of the University of Cagayan Valley (23.8) and Northwestern University’s Faye Jemima Domingo (29.9 seconds) were also tops in their respective races to advance to the ROTC Games national finals that will be held later this year.
“Hindi ko ini-expect na manalo kasi pressure sa schoolwork. Buti na lang na ‘yung hard work ko paid off,” said Balicha, who placed second in the heats behind Caralipio.
A BS Criminology freshman student, Licup said that she was also surprised at her breezy victory, considering that she was a last-minute entry in the event after competing in the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association relays in Manila a week before.
“Last-minute decision ko sumali kasi sabi ng superior namin sa school na sumali ako kasi sayang naman ang chance kasi hindi ko pa na-fulfill ‘yung registration requirements. Buti na lang nakumpleto ko at nakasali, she said.”
Rada and Sario revealed that they are actually middle distance runners and accustomed to compete in the 200-meter dash, but prevailed upon by their teachers because they were the only cadets eligible to compete for their school.
“Hindi po talaga kami sanay tumakbo sa 200 meters kaya medyo nahirapan po kami,” said Rada, who is a BS Criminology student like Sario.
In partial preliminary volleyball results, Tarlac State University whipped Grandby Colleges of Science and Technology 25-7, 25-7, 25-13; Mariano Marcos State University shut out Don Honorio State University 25-0, 25-0, 25-0; and Kurios Christian Colleges Foundation crushed Asian Institute of Science and Technology 25-0, 25-0, 25-0 in Pool A Army matches.