MILO NAT'L TRACKFEST: Cebu City starts title defense

05/21/10 - CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City tracksters open their defense of the men’s over-all title as they plunge into action today in the Milo National Open Track and Field Championships at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) National Games’ fastest man, Lindley Fran Navaja and Kent del Rosario will be spearheading Cebu team in the 100 and 200 meter sprint events.

Dharl Pitogo will focus in the 110m and 400m hurdles, Ernesto Ybañez for long, triple and high jump and Carl Jeannette Malazarte for 3000m steeple chase.

Team Cebu City coach Babet Capangpangan said that she is fielding the same line up of players in the men’s team who bagged the over-all championship title last year.

Meanwhile, Palaro standouts, Daniel Noval and Ivan Castañeda, however, will not be suiting up for Cebu City.

Noval, Palarong Pambansa’s fastest man, decided to ditch the Cebu team to play for Ateneo de Manila University in the national open, but clarified that this doesn’t mean he will be enrolling in the said school since he has not decided yet.

On the other hand, Castañeda, who got Region 7’s first gold medal in the 2010 Palarong Pambansa, refused to join for certain reasons.

Capangpangan said that Noval and Castañeda’s absence would not greatly affect the team.

Navaja was the gold medalist in the CHED National Games and owns a better record of 10.4 seconds compared to Noval’s 10.9.

Ybañez is the defending champion in the national open. Record-wise, he still holds a better jump compared to Castañeda.

“We hope that we could still get the championship title this year. We also pray that the athletes will be in good condition always since we’re afraid that they might be injured because this would greatly affect their performances,” said Capangpangan.

In the distaff side, Capangpangan is banking on Irin Baluran in the jumping events and Sheena Gacayan for the 800m, 1500m and 3000m races.

The women’s team got the third over-all spot last year and hopes to improve their standing in the three-day sporting event. (FREEMAN NEWS)

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