Baay, Palencia dominate Milo race in San Pablo

San Pablo City, Laguna - Michael Baay and Jean Palencia won the San Pablo leg of the 33rd National Milo Marathon eliminations, but failed to qualify in the national final.

Baay clocked 1:17.02 and Palencia checked in 1:36.00 in topping the men's and women's 21-kilometer races, but their times were not enough to book them trips to Metro Manila.

The qualifying time for men is 1:15 while for women is 1:30.

Baay and Palencia, both UAAP standouts from the University of Santo Tomas, each pocketed P10,000 as a consolation.

Wilson Manangquil, a construction worker from General Santos City presently residing in Biñan, Laguna, came in second in 1:17.34 worth P6,000 and Jesse Ano checked in third worth P4,000 in the men's division.

Baay, 18 and a sophomore commerce student from Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, said he found the route tough.

''It's very difficult. I am not familiar to the route because this was the first time I competed here and the first time to run the 21k. Anyway,

I'm happy because I won,'' said Baay.

''Next time, I will prepare and train hard to win and run in the finals,'' added Baay, who competed in the 3,000m, 5,000 and 10,000 in the UAAP.

Baay was in the five-man second pack in the first five kilometers, 100 meters behind Manangquil.

The 18-year-old son of a farmer made his move at the turn to clinch his first road victory.

It marks the first time in three years that San Pablo will not be represented in the finals in the country's longest running footrace introduced to the running scene in 1974.

Jojit de Asis and Liza Yambao represented San Pablo last year. Divine Grace Tapit came in second in 1:45.38 worth P6,000 and Cinderella Agana took third in 1:49.41 worth P4,000 in the women's bracket.

Rene Lardera won the 10k beating Art Thomas Fronda in 35.39 and Riza Pica ruled the girls' side in 41.03, ahead of Mary Joanne Golpe in 41.07.

Close to 9,000 runners competed in the final phase 26 legs nationwide eliminations flagged off by Mayor Vic Amante assisted by Milo executive Andrew Nery and race director Rudy Biscocho.

A total of 234 runners qualified after the 26- leg, three-island hopping elimination.