Veruel Verdadero, Jessel Lumapas rule as sprint teen champs

ILOCOS SUR, Philippines – The sprint king and queen of Calabarzon of this year’s Palarong Pambansa, not contented with winning their century meter dash on Wednesday, April 18, still had enough wind to garner medals in the 400-meter races early Thursday morning, April 19. 

Jessel Dialino Lumapas of General Trias, Cavite, fresh from winning the 100-meter dash for secondary girls, broke the Palaro record in the 400-meter race, shaving more than a second off the previous Palaro record. Lumapas clocked 56.28 seconds with Divina Mahusay of the Bicol region a far second with a time of 58.47 seconds and Riza Jane Vallente placing third at 58.88 seconds. The previous Palaro record for 400-meter secondary girls was 57.33 seconds set by Jenny Rose Rosques also of Southern Tagalog in 2011. 

Lumapas also took the 100-meter gold with a time of 11.99 seconds, which also beat the disgraced Ilocano runner Nancy Navalta’s record of 11.90 seconds in 1994. 

Her teammate Veruel Verdadero of  Dasmariñas, Cavite broke the Palaro record in the 100 meters for secondary boys with a time of 10.55 seconds, breaking the 10.74 mark set by Feberoy Kasi of Davao in 2016. Verdadero already broke the record in his heat with a time of 10.65 seconds. 

Both Verdadero and Lumapas also won the century dash in the Palaro in Antique last year.  

Verdadero, however, only managed to get a bronze in the 400-meter race secondary boys. Kenneth Corpuz of Soccsksargen won the gold with a time of 49.36 seconds, followed by Alhryan Labita of Eastern Visayas with 49.88 and Verdadero with 49.95 seconds. 

The duo are not yet finished, as they are set to compete in the 200m, 4X100m and 4X400m relays later today and tomorrow.

The dominance of Southern Tagalog also extended in the elementary division with two “princesses” winning 1-2 in the 400-meters. Princess Hannah Barcelon won the gold with a time of 1:00.55, followed by teammate Princess Jane Uriarte who clocked 1:00.79. Third is Jey Anne Dieta of Western Visayas with a time of 1:01.40. 

In the elementary boys division, Paul Renlee Molina of Central Luzon snatched the gold with 55.99 seconds, followed by Rey Lopez Jr. of Northern Mindanao with 56.32 seconds and James Adrian Ocariza of Southern Tagalog with 56.69. –