DAGUPAN CITY – The Balon Dagupan team cemented its athletic dominance when its athletes clinched a total of 16 gold, 13 silver and 11 bronze medals, placing eighth overall among more than 100 delegations that saw action in the Batang Pinoy Luzon Qualifying Leg organized by the Philippine Sports Commission in Ilagan City, Isabela, from March 17 to 23.

Dagupan’s swimmers remained as the biggest medal haulers when they bagged a total of eight gold, three silver and one bronze medals.

Gabriel Jizmundo dominated in five individual events to become the most outstanding swimmer under the 13 to 15 years old boys category. He hauled five gold medals in 200-meter individual relay, 50-meter breaststroke, 200-meter breaststroke, 100-meter breast stroke and 50-meter freestyle.

Janelle Lin ruled in her favorite events, hauling gold in 200-meter freestyle, 400-meter freestyle and 800-meter freestyle and settled for silver in 200 and 400-meter individual medleys.

Mark Bryan Rioflorido also earned a silver medal in 150-meter freestyle and a bronze medal for 200-meter backstroke.

Dagupan’s Karatedo team also proved its mettle when it hauled a total of four gold, two silver and four bronze medals.

Rea Bistudio, Nasrifa Pili and Samantha Lopez clinched one gold medal in 8-11 Team Kata Girls while Shane Vasquez, Rhon Juguilon and Haiden Garcia earned one bronze medal in 8-11 Boys Team Kata.

In individual Karatedo events, the gold medalists include Mohammad Rayyan Macada-Ag, gold, 130cm boys kumite (8-9 years old); Vishnujana Mesina, gold, 57kg boys kumite (14-15 years old); and Abigail Brito, gold, 54kg girls kumite (14-15 years old).

Their teammates Bistudio won one silver in girls advance kata (10-11 years old) and one bronze medal in140cm girls kumite (0-11 years old); Shane Vasquez, silver, 140cm boys kumite (10-11 years old); Nasrifa Pilin, bronze, girls intermediate kata (10-11 years old); and Kenneth Vedaja, bronze , 57kg boys kumite (14-15 years old).

For the archery team, Janina Erica Deloso won two gold medals in 20-meter distance and the Olympic round, three silver medals in 30, 40, 50-meter distances and another two silver medals for FITA Round and for Mixed Team Event. Her teammate Keith Ussher was also a silver medalist for the Mixed Event.

Surprisingly, the city’s boxing team again hauled an impressive amount of medals in maiden appearance in Batang Pinoy.

Gearwin Flores won gold in 44-46kg junior boys pin weight; John Louie Daluzon, gold, 57kg junior boys featherweight; Rio Mercado, silver, 34-36kg boys light mosquito weight; Dan Joseph Asug, silver, 50kg junior boys flyweight; Lance Juan Mararac, bronze, 40kg, boys light paperweight; Mikko Embuscado, bronze, 48kg junior boys light flyweight; and Juhmits Zulueta, bronze, 52kg junior boys light bantamweight.

Jay Andy Cabanlit also earned one silver medal for arnis under the combative bantamweight category while Mikhaella Fabroa and Frederich Carl Cuña each grabbed bronze medals for taekwondo under welterweight and middle weight, respectively.

Dagupan City  finished eighth overall among 111 participating provinces and cities from all over Luzon. This despite fielding only 47 athletes compared to an almost 100 to 300-member delegation from each participating delegation in Luzon.

For both stellar performances in the recently concluded Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA) Meet and Batang Pinoy Luzon Qualifying Leg, the Balon Dagupan athletes are set to be honored by the city with a victory parade and party on March 25. (Verdelle De Vera/CIO)