by John Paul Marquez
The team of Jeff Palafox, Carlos Noblefranca, Nico Magtabong and Ian Tagudan crossed the finish line with a time of 4:19:01 to lead the Men’s 4x400 meter relay, capturing the gold medal. Palafox made a huge distance early in the race by giving a full speed and never let the other team reach them. When the bar had been passed to Tagudan, the last runner for their team, other CoPERS players were already celebrating because they knew that they will win the race.
Hagonoy Campus finished second on the race as they reached the line with 4:41:99 while the bronze went to the College of Education with 4:45:00.
It was another job well done for the CoPERS Relay team as their counterpart Alyza Salmorin, Rica Joselle Reyes, Wendy Gonzaga and Joan Marangat combined for a total time of 5:47:51 to gain the gold medal in Women’s 4x400 meter Relay. As the gun shot heard, Salmorin, the first runner, ran in the oval and dictated the tempo as she made a huge gap against their rivals. After Salmorin's turn, Reyes continued to outstretch their lead but when she crossed the line and passed the bar, she quickly went down and held her ankle because of cramps. Still, they managde to win the gold. College of Education ran for their lives after they surpassed Hagonoy to get the silver. After trailing a big gap, COeD survived Hagonoy and got a better place.
The 17-year-old Ellah Mae Villaceran served as the head coach in both men and women relay and for the whole athletics team in CoPERS. She is also a Softball player.
“Sa mga player ko, sabi ko sa kanila 'manalo kayo o matalo, masaya ako kasi na-experience niyo 'yan.' Pero hindi ko naman in-expect talaga to. Sa lalaki expect ko, pero sa babae, champion pa rin kami overall," she said.
The team of women’s relay was just formed last week.
“Hindi rin nila alam na player ko sila no'n, sa babae kasi talaga ako nahirapan,” she said.
“Ang nilagay ko talaga ay 'yong first runner ko (Salmorin), athletic talaga, tapos 'yong iba hindi. Kumbaga go lang. Trust lang,” she added.
CoPERS finished the three-day athletic event in the intramurals on top with 23 golds, nine silvers and only two bronzes for men while the women listed for 20 golds in total of 43 golds, nine silver and two bronzes for the whole team, only in the Athletics event.