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FAMILIAR FACES SET TONE TO OPEN TRACK SEASON

A little rain and some technical difficulties won’t stop the opening track meet of the 2015 season at Okkodo. Check out some of the highlights from Friday night.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

Despite wet weather conditions and technical delays, the 2015 IIAAG High School Track & Field Season kicked off with familiar faces setting the bar in the first meet of the season.

The rain was off and on Friday evening at the Okkodo Track but that didn’t stop an estimated 500 high school athletes from competing in their first meet of the season.

There was a 30-minute delay during the girls’ 100 meter race  because of officiating equipment not functioning properly. JFK’s speedster Regine Tugade was in the first heat of the girls race, winning convincingly ahead the field. Tugade also won the girls long jump with a 4.86 meter jump on her first attempt to secure early points for the defending girls champion JFK Islanders.

Johnny Quitugua and Genina Criss also helped the Islanders finish first in their respective races with Quitugua winning the boys 110m hurdles and Criss winning the 3000 meters.
The defending 100m and 300m girls hurdles champion, Christina Francisco, won her heat well ahead of the field to help the Guam High Lady Panthers earn some early points in their opening meet.

Hurdle events were part of the opening track meet for the 2015 season. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Hurdle events were part of the opening track meet for the 2015 season. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

“We are definitely confident in our sprinting events, hopefully we were able to show that in our first meet. We are also strong in mid-distance, I have high hopes for the team and hopefully we can pull through,” said Francisco. The senior is also part of the defending gold 4×100 relay team.

For the first time in two years, a 3000 meter runner not named John Aquino IV came in first place in the event. Okkodo’s Nicolas Delgado paced his way until the final 200 meters of the race, kicking in the final stretch for the victory.

Delgado, a much improved distance runner, was seldom in the lead pack last season but this year is a totally different ball game. “I was in track last year, but I wasn’t as fast as I am now,” said Delgado.

The Okkodo cross country runner did not know what to expect in his first race and was surprised to finish in the top three, let alone in first place.”It felt pretty crazy to be out there, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to hang on. It wasn’t until the last stretch I just heard my coach tell me to push it and I did. I just wanted to do good today for my team,” said Delgado.

The Bulldogs look to compete for this years boys title by winning the distance races, races that have been dominated by the Islanders for two seasons.

The GW Geckos finished 1-2 in the boys long jump, just barely finishing in front of the rest of the jumpers. Norbin Tiru (6.04m) and Eric Alegre (5.99m) from GW edged out Anthony Castro  (5.94m) from Sanchez and Matthew Wong (5.93m) from Tiyan High.

Okkodo's Nicolas Delgado would pull away from the pack to take the boys 3000m event in the season opening meet. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Okkodo’s Nicolas Delgado would pull away from the pack to take the boys 3000m event in the season opening meet. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

Meets resume next week Friday with more athletes set to compete. There were two dozen athletes unable to compete due to document issues or the minimum requirement of 10 practices before competing.

Here is the long jump results:
Girls:
Regine Tugade, JFK, 4.86m
Abigail Emmerling, GHS, 4.54m
Shaileen Espino, SSHS, 4.34m
Roey Panganiban, OHS, 4.29m
Raisa Flores, OHS, 4.17m

Boys:
Norbin Tiru, GW, 6.04m
Eric Alegre, GW, 5.99m
Anthony Castro, SSHS, 5.94m
Matthew Wong, THS, 5.93m
Richard Hale III, OHS, 5.72m

Track 6

Okkodo sophomore Maureen Delapaz clears a hurdle in the girls 100m hurdles. (photo by Kyle Twardowski)

The girls 100m hurdle heat 1 is on the blocks at the Okkodo track. (photo by Jay Leon Guerrero)

The girls 100m hurdle heat 1 is on the blocks at the Okkodo track. (photo by Jay Leon Guerrero)

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