Whilst looking for clips of my 400m low hurdle races, I stumbled upon a series of videos I uploaded years ago. Topher Constantino (my high school team captain) and I compiled and edited all the clips from those four days of UAAP action. Since Youtube wasn’t invented yet, we burned the finished product into a VCD, with much loss of quality! Too bad I lost all the high quality originals.
I extracted the following clips from my decaying CD and uploaded the grainy videos to blip.tv:
Those were wonderful times! Our team was so dominant that our final points tally was more than double that of the second placer. Despite the relatively low quality of competition compared to the current UAAP Juniors standards, we were Champions nonetheless. If I recall correctly, that was the 25th overall crown of the Ed Sediego-coached Ateneo High School Track & Field Team.
Despite miscues in the 4x100m relay (we dropped the baton, finishing 3rd place) and my failure to catch UST’s anchor in the 4x400m relay, the team registered an impressive array of victories from all disciplines. The troika of Ron Jaworski, Mark Durante and Emman Floresca led an all-Ateneo sweep in the Discus Throw. It was the oft-injured Sport Mequi’s healthy year, after having been plagued by hamstring problems for a good part of his high school days. The towering Mequi, our ace sprinter, romped to a commanding victory in the 100m dash.
The most remarkable performance was Lester Guballa’s Rookie of the Year/Most Valuable Player double. Guballa, then a sophomore, lorded it over the middle- and long-distance events.
As the quality of high school competition improved throughout the past years, it took more than half a decade for the succeeding teams to emulate our Championship.
It’s quite surreal to think that almost 8 years had passed since those four days.
The records that we set are now long gone, since records, after all, are meant to be broken. We might not have produced the likes of high school legends such as Illac Diaz, Jay Arteficio and John Aguilar (whose performances remain immortalized in the junior record books), none of us are expected to be future members of the Ateneo Sports Hall of Fame (except for our multi-titled mentor, Ed Sediego), but the fact that we won a UAAP Championship shall always remain etched in the annals of school history.
During those four days, we were the kings of the track!
Ateneo de Manila High School 65th UAAP Juniors Track & Field Team (2002-2003)
Maio H. del Pilar
Head Coach: Edward Sediego
Program Head: Mick Perez