BANTAY, Ilocos Sur -- All he wanted was to surpass his Palarong Pambansa mark last year. Now, Veruel Verdadero holds the national junior record in the century dash.
The 16-year-old runner of Calabarzon lorded over the 100-meter run secondary boys division, clocking 10.55 seconds in the scorching heat.
He beat Western Visayas' Vince Buhayan (10.88 seconds) and David Granadozo of Cagayan Valley (11.05 seconds).
More importantly, his time shattered the 38-year-old mark of 10.6 seconds set by Julio Bayaban in the December 1979 National Open at the Marikina Sports Complex.
"I really prepared hard for this so I can break my record last year (10.74 seconds)," said Verdadero, who also broke his record of 10.65 seconds in the trials.
His sterling feat didn't go unnoticed.
The incoming Grade 11 student from Dasmariñas, Cavite bared scouts from universities like La Salle, National University, and Jose Rizal University are interested in him. But nothing is set in stone yet for the incoming Grade 11 student as far as his next career decision is concerned.
"There are scouts from schools but I'm still thinking about my next move because I'm still an incoming senior high school student," he said.
Verdadera, though, was only one of two sprinters from Calabarzon who ruled the secondary divisions in the 100-meter run.
Jessel Lumampas also topped the secondary girls with a time of 11.99 seconds. Eastern Visayas bets Bianca Combate (12.20 seconds) and Decerie Niala (12.21 seconds) came in second and third, respectively.
In the elementary division, Neil Justin Angelio of Central Luzon (11.81 seconds) and Western Visayas lass Krisha Aguillon (13.01 seconds) took home the gold mints.
Also setting new records in the swimming competition were NCR standouts Zoe Marie Hilario, Philip Santos, Michaela Modjeh, and Jiron Rotoni.
Hilario posted 2:29:44 to win the gold in the 200-meter individual medley to erase the 2:25.66 mark of Althea Lim in the 1998 edition of the annual games. Santos broke Carlo Piccio's 1998 record (2:13.28) by clocking 2:13.05 and topped the secondary boys of the same distance.
Modjeh ruled the elementary girls with a record-breaking time of 2:33.12 while Rotoni logged 2:27.66 in the secondary boys 200-meter breaststroke to overwrite Drew Magbag's previous mark of 2:28.28.
Over at the PSHS Gym, NCR's tandem of Gabriel Ken Nieve and Bill Perez emerged on top in the table tennis secondary boys while Liezl Cañada and Reynaldo Templado of Soccsksargen also won the secondary mixed doubles gold.
NCR, which leads the medal race with a 26-16-12 haul as of posting time, amassed six gold medals in the said sport alone.