Palarong Pambansa gold medalist Richie Joy Cabanyog led Area VII's the early surge in athletics as he topped, once again, the secondary boys' shot put in the first day of competition of the 2011 Provincial Sports and Cultural Meet at the Panaad Stadium in Brgy. Mansilingan, Bacolod City .
Cabanyog, hurled the iron ball to a distance of 12.23 meters to capture the gold, while Gilbert Dave Pamplona of Area IV settled for silver with his 10.62m throw and Kris Ian Dolendo of Area X, the bronze medal with a distance of 9.79m.
Remark Dela Cruz crowned himself as the fastest athlete in this year's meet in secondary boys' competition as he completed the 100-meter race in 11.27 seconds for another golden finish for Area VII.
Christopher Lirazan of Area V won the silver with his 11.42-second time, while Deocris Casiple of Area III landed in third place with his time of 11.45 seconds.
Two more gold medals for Area VII came from Ceferino Galanza III and Paul Rene Abelada in elementary boys' shot put and 100 meters.
Galanza won the gold with his 8.41-meter throw, as Jan Felix Martinez of Area IV picked up the silver with his 7.97m output, and Ernie Colamis of Area I, bronze, with 7.67m.
Abelada ruled the elementary boys' 100m by finishing the race in 12.78 seconds, leaving behind Area I Ceasar Oberes (12.90) to collect the silver and Quin Aldrich Canapit of Area V (12.97), the bronze medal.
Meanwhile, Negros Occidental Provincial Schools Superintendent Rizalino Tortosa lauded the members of the DepEd community in the province for organizing this year's edition of the Provincial Meet.
Impressed with Saturday's colorful opening ceremonies at the Panaad Stadium, Tortosa said it was a preview of what Negros Occidental will offer the visitors from the five other provinces in Western Visayas when it will host the regional meet in March next year.
Tortosa also enjoined all athletes competing in the provincial meet to give their best, even as he reminded them that nobody will go home a loser as each athlete is already a winner by joining the competition.
Joining the opening rites at the Panaad were Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez of the Third District, Rep. Mercedes Alvarez of the Sixth District, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, and other officials of the province.*NAB
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