JESYLMAE Licup is just a mere replacement runner for the University of Baguio. Now, she’s not just a leg champion, but an ROTC Games heroine.
Determined to retain scholarship and make it to the Philippine Team to help an impoverished family, the 19-year-old was crowned as the Reserved Officers Training Corps Games ‘Sprint Queen’ after winning the women’s century dash of the National Finals late Tuesday, even as Kent Francis Jardin became the winningest athlete at the Philsports track oval in Pasig City.
Licup registered the fastest time of 13.01 seconds, bettering his 13.02 performance in winning the Luzon leg last month in the tournament for students’ cadets in all colleges and universities in the country.
Licup, a freshman BS Criminology student playing under the Philippine Army, defeated her much-experienced rivals – Christine Guerio and Hope Charity Labunayan – both medalists in the Manila leg and teammates in the Adamson University. The 18-year-old Guerio finished second at 13.17 seconds and Labunayan took the bronze at 13.18.
“Gustong-gusto ko pong manalo para sa pamilya ko. Salamat po sa Diyos sa biyayang ito,” said Licup, fourth in a family of 11 siblings.
Licup, a regular participant in the Philippine Athletics Weekly Relay, was a last-minute inclusion in the UB athletics team after the original runner begged off the team preparing for the trip to Indang, Cavite for the Luzon leg.
In the men’s 100m duel, Arturo Ocana of the Rizal Technological University got the gold clocking 11.21 seconds against James Borja of Quezon State University (11.36) and Peter Molina of Western Visayas State University (11.43).
Jardin, meantime, became the winningest athlete with his third gold medal after leading Adamson U/Philippine Navy, which also included John Mark Martin, John Eril Martir, and John Yuri Jumaday to victory in the men’s 4x100m relay with a timed of 3:32.21.
On Monday, Jardin claimed the 200m run and part of the team’s victory in the 4×400 relay team.
Adamson made a double celebration as its women’s team composed of Christine Guerio, Hope Charity Labunayan, Samantha Nicole, and Lea Mae Pareva topped the 4×400, clocking 4:53.12.
Over at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, Mikee Tungcul of Luzon claimed the first gold in arnis as reign supreme in the men’s single ‘Sayaw’ a non-traditional event garnering 28.3 points beating Henry John Soriano of RTU (28 pts.), and Walter Sam from Mindanao (27.17 pts.).
On the women’s side, Maria Ballester of RTU got the gold with 23.3 points against Mary Fe Bagawisan (27.9) and Kyla Dela Torre (26.70).