By James Emmanuel Santua and John Raphael Mendoza
The provinces of the Philippines have a fair share of budding athletic talents heading to the nation’s capital not only to compete but to be an exemplary student as well.
Carl Lewis Rendon, a Victoria, Tarlac native and captain of the Arellano University Chiefs track and field team, is a product of Central Luzon Regional Athletic Association and Palarong Pambansa during his senior high school days.
Before becoming a track athlete, Rendon grew up playing in local basketball leagues and had aspirations of pursuing it in college.
The AU Chief initially explored track and field only in senior high, when his father, who was a former track athlete for the University of the East, encouraged him to do it.
“If I select track and field, I already have a coach in my father, so what else can I look for? Even though it was a difficult decision, it seemed like track and field has a lot more to offer that will benefit me.” Rendon said in an interview with the Manila Standard.
His father, who is also a sprinter and jumper, was part of the historic “9-peat” in UAAP track and field.
Rendon’s training under his father molded him into the athlete that he is today. He said that he cherished every moment he had spent with his father in training before going to college.
Rendon, who is taking up a Bachelor of Physical Education, said that it was fate that brought him to Arellano.
“When I met coach Paulino Coloma Jr., he told me that his only promise was to help me finish my studies. So it’s like I’m hooked on our coach, the plan was good for me.” he said.
Rendon is also a consistent dean’s lister and is grateful that being an athlete gave him an opportunity to study in Arellano.
“Being a student athlete is a big thing for me, it’s not just about playing. It has a lifetime benefit as well, and I can use it as a ticket for my dream of becoming a coach in the future.” he added.
Rendon started his National Collegiate Athletic Association career by being a sprinter and pole vaulter. His training for CLRAA as a sprinter and middle-distance runner had helped him to catapult his way to the NCAA.
However, Rendon was more inclined in doing pole vaults rather than sprints and said that he focused more on pole vault believing he has a chance to nail gold in it.
“Unfortunately, I focused more on pole vaulting rather than sprinting because I have a chance to have a gold even in my rookie year and our coach was Emerson Obiena the father of EJ Obiena the Olympian,” he said.
In 2019 Rendon was invited to play in the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association Final Leg - SEA Games qualifying event which took place in New Clark Tarlac City where he managed to take 7th place in the 400m hurdles event.
The pandemic had a big impact on Rendon’s college career as an athlete, where they had long periods without official games.
Rendon stated that even if he had to take a masters’ course for him to continue playing for Arellano, he would do it.
“If taking a masters just to play again I would do it just to settle my unfinished business in taking home a medal.”
Rendon still plans to play in national events and said that if he still has time, he will prepare for the Philippine National Games and AYALA Philippine National Athletics Championships if given the chance.
“I still plan to play at events like Philippine National Open, Philippine National Games and if I have a lot of time, why not if I was given the chance to make myself stronger again. So that’s where I see myself.”
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