FEU tallies 21 medals in UAAP 86 Athletics championships

FEU Advocate
November 28, 2023 10:34

Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraw Tracksters and Lady Tracksters ended their University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 campaign after bringing home 21 podium finishes held at the PhilSports Track Oval in Pasig City, from November 22 to 26.

Despite being at the bottom of the barrel in the first two days of the tourney, the FEU men’s athletics finished second runner-up in the overall rankings with a total of 221 points.

The Morayta-based tracksters brought home a gold in high jump, four silver awards from 4x400 meter relay, javelin throw, decathlon, and 5000 meter walk race; and, three bronze medals from 110 meter hurdles, 400m hurdles, and 10,000 walkathon competitions.

During the post-awarding ceremony interview, men’s team captain Samuel Pedral highlighted the team’s unexpected late tourney rally to a podium finish. 

Sobrang saya po, first day po pang anim po kami. First day, Second day. Tapos ang target po na binigay po ng coach namin sa amin is fourth. Kahit pang fourth place lang daw masaya na po. Ngayong finals uh..parang beyond expectations po talaga na nakakagulat po. Half of my ano po, teammates po is [are] rookies pa. (We’re so happy because during the first day, we were ranked sixth. First day, second day. Coach set our target to fourth, we’d be glad with fourth place. This finals, uh…it's beyond expectations, we’re shocked. Half of my teammates are still rookies),” Pedral said. 

Fittingly, Morayta trackster Ernie Calipay established a new record in high jump, 2.05 meters, breaking the UAAP record last season 77 of their current FEU coach and alumnus Janry Ubas.

In an interview with FEU Advocate, Calipay specified that he already set his mind on breaking a UAAP record and to bring home a gold medal.

Sa mga ensayo ko ah sobra akong kondisyon. Then iniisip ko talaga na parang kaya ko mag-gold at mag-break ng record. Sa tulong din nila [coach] sinabi na ‘yung lakas ng katawan andyan na ‘yan, kumbaga kailangan yung’ mentality mo din. Dapat pareho malakas. (I was really conditioned during my practices. Then I thought that I think I can score a gold and break the record. With the help of [coach], they said that body strength is already there, also the mentality. It should be both empowered),” Calipay shared.

Meanwhile, FEU women’s team improved their seventh place ranking last year in clinching the first runner-up spot this season.

The green-and-gold Lady Tracksters brought home one gold in long jump, four silver medals from 100-meter dash, 4x100 meter relay, 4x400 meter relay, and 1500-meter dash, and added five bronze finishes from triple jump, high jump, 5000 meter dash, 3000 meter steeplechase and shot put.

In an interview, women’s team captain Diane Shyr Taranza mentioned that they are all thankful with the help of their coaches.

“All our hard work paid off because all of our coaches helped us. Lagi nila kami nire-remind na ‘di lang dapat katawan namin malakas, pati puso at utak namin. Lalo na po ang head coach namin kaya sobrang thankful po namin sa kanila (They always remind us that not only should our bodies be strong, but also our hearts and brains. Especially our head coach, so we are very thankful to him),” she said.

The De La Salle University Lady Archers took home the overall women’s championship title, while Far Eastern University men’s came third against National University champion team and first runner-up University of the Philippines.

-Leiniel A. Santos and Nathalia Coleen Favila

(Photo courtesy of The UAAP)