Army cadets Balicha, Licup top 200m races in Luzon ROTC Games

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ARMY cadets Jaymark Balicha and Jesamae Licup won the 100 meters for men and women in contrasting fashion Monday in the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Games Luzon leg at the Cavite State University oval in Indang.

An Information Technology student at the Don Mariano Marcos State University in San Fernando (La Union), Balicha surged in the last 10 meters to nip teammate Richard Caralipio for the gold medal in 23.46 seconds.

Caralipio timed 23.50 seconds for the silver medal in the Games organized by the Department of National Defense and Commission on Higher Education. 

In contrast, Licup of University of Baguio was the runaway winner in 26.7 seconds. Occidental State College’s Wendimae Rada (29.6) and Katherine Sario (30.1) completed the podiumn in the competition backed by the Philippine Sports Commission and Senator Francis Tolentino.

John Andre Ponce of the University of Cagayan Valley (23.8) and Northwestern University’s Faye Jemima Domingo (29.9 seconds) topped the Navy bracket also of the 200m race.

“I didn’t expect to win because of pressure from my academics, but my hardwork paid off,” said Balicha, who had placed second in the heats behind Caralipio. 

Criminology freshman Licup said that she was also surprised of her easy victory—she’s a last-minute entry in the event after competing in the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association relays in Manila a week before. 

“I was told by my superiors in school to try it out, and I won,” Licup said.

Rada and Sario revealed that they are actually middle distance runners and accustomed to compete in the 200, but were prevailed upon by their teachers because they were the only cadets eligible to compete for their school.  In  volleyball, Tarlac State University whipped Grandby Colleges of Science and Technology 25-7, 25-7, 25-13; Mariano Marcos State University shut out Don Honorio State University 25-0, 25-0, 25-0; and Kurios Christian Colleges Foundation crushed Asian Institute of Science and Technology, 25-0, 25-0, 25-0, in Pool A Army matches.

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