Track stars | Inquirer Sports

Track stars

Lumapas, Borlain conquer nerves, win hearts in Palarong Pambansa
/ 05:50 AM April 21, 2018

Young triathlon wonder Tara Borlain appears composed at the finish line after admitting that nerves almost got the better of her in the secondary girls’ 800m event. —MARC ANTHONY REYES

VIGAN CITY—By chasing their fears away, two girls dazzled to victory and became Friday’s standouts in the 2018 Palarong Pambansa track and field event here.

For Calabarzon’s Jessel Lumapas, it was her starting block jitters, while for National Capital Region’s Tara Borlain, it was just about everyone.


“I’m always nervous at the start,” said the incoming 11th grader of Dasmariñas East Integrated High School. “I don’t know but I always start slow and then I need to catch up later.”

It didn’t matter as the 17-year-old Lumapas garnered her fourth gold here by steering Calabarzon to the secondary girls’ 4X400 meter relay triumph at full-packed President Elpidio Quirino Stadium.


Lumapas, Charmaine Deocampo, Charlaine Deocampo and Erica Marie Ruto lit up the clock with three minutes and 53.97 seconds that bettered the 2017 mark she helped accomplish with the Calabarzon relay team in Antique (3:54.37).

Lumapas, who surprised even herself after winning the 100m dash that required explosiveness from the blocks, is on track to become this year’s Most Valuable Player after also winning the 200m and her specialty 400m run.

A few minutes later, 15-year-old stunner Borlain admitted to be wracked by nerves going for the gold in the secondary girls’ 800m where she bested barefooted favorite Lheslie Delima of Bicol Region.

“Yes, I guess I’m intimidated by everyone,” said incoming Grade 10 student at St. Paul College Pasig. “But my dad gave me the strategy and made sure I was in the right frame of mind.”

Borlain was later seen hugging her father, Ringo, after crossing the finish line.

The 5-foot-9 Borlain, a winner in several IronKids traithlon and Batang Pinoy, added: “The feeling was surreal. In the last 50 meters, my chest was ready to explode and I couldn’t think straight anymore.”

That was when Delima, who had gold medals in 3,000m run and 2,000m walk, gave chase en route to a furious finish that Borlain fended off.


Borlain, who said she’ll hit the beaches of Hundreds Islands in Pangasinan this weekend, finished in 2:19.78 to Delima’s 2:19.92, while third placer Ma. Isabel Oqueriza of Western Visayas clocked 2:22.15.

In archery at San Ildefonso town, Central Visayas’ Phoebe Nicole Amistoso won the secondary girls’ single Fita Round for her fourth gold. Ilocos Region’s Jared Cole Sue bagged the secondary boys’ Fita Round for his third mint of the meet.

Calabarzon ruled team tennis held in nearby Sto. Domingo, with San Beda netters Marielli Cruz, Melanie Faye Dizon, Tracy Llanes and Arianne Nillasco besting their NCR counterparts for the secondary girls’ gold.

Ramon Bentillo, Klyde Lagarde, Vince Tugade and Rios Jirah Virrey dominated the secondary boys’ team tie after defeating Central Visayas.

NCR annexed the secondary girls’ volleyball after outlasting Calabarzon, 12-25, 25-12, 25-18, 15-25, 15-12, also in Sto. Domingo, 10 kilometers north of this capital city.

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TAGS: Jessel Lumapas, Palarong Pambansa, Tara Borlain, Vigan City
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