Thursday, April 23, 2015

Central Visayas' Carmela Therese Dublin: The Fast and the Furious and the Brainy

Carmela Therese Dublin

Watching this 15-year old incoming Grade 10 (4th year high school) student of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu display her perfect running form, one could tell she's a champion athlete. Standing at 5 feet 4 inches, furiously running with long strides and acquiring a dark complexion due to constant sun exposure in the open track field, Carmela Therese Dublin or "Miss Kenya" as she is fondly called by her mom, is already a multi-awarded athlete at her young age. Among her recent awards - National PRISAA 2015 meet: gold 200 meters, and silver 100 meters (losing by a hairline). She's also Central Visayas' fastest female runner, winning the CVIRAA 2015 100 meter gold, 200 meter gold, 4 x 100 meter gold and 4 x 400 meter silver. All of these is a product of years of hard work and determination. Back in CVIRAA 2014, she was not expected to win gold in the 100 meters but won.

It was in Grade 4 that she first took interest in athletics during PE class. However, it was only in Grade 6 that she joined the athletics varsity team. From there, training hard for the school qualifiers or time trials, trying initially high jump and the 400 meters, she slowly rose ranks to become one of the lead runners of their school in the 100 meters and 200 meters (her favorite event). There was a time she believed her past excellent performances were tied to her "lucky shorts". When she won an event in CVIRAA where she was not favored to win wearing another pair of shorts as she left her lucky shorts behind, she began to truly believe it was indeed her hard work that brought the win.

Life as an athlete is not easy.The school is unable to fully shoulder the expenses especially for events outside Cebu. But thanks to her supportive family, Carmela is able to compete in these big sporting events. Another challenge is time management. Constant training (stretching, jogging, drills, sprints) is required in the midst of academic challenges undergone by a typical student. More than 3 failed subjects would mean a break from the athletics team. But how did Carmela respond?

In the latest grading period, she got Second Honors.This despite having to take special exams and one-on-one sessions with the teacher to catch up especially when there are sporting events where she would compete. With practices done daily, Carmela remains conscientious with her studies reviewing lessons at home straight after practice. Imagine how she would adjust and manage her schedules to make way for studying with events such as the Milo Nationals, CESAFI, Mandaue Meet and CVIRAA to name some. But manage well she did, perhaps taking cue from her doctor parents, as she is not only a winner in the track but she is doing well in academics.

Carmela is also an ordinary teenager who enjoys house hopping and strolling with teammates in Ayala or IT Park showing a very good balance of work and play.

Prompted for tips she could give for young runners, Carmela gave these words, "I think to always have a fighting spirit lang gyud."Do not give up lang gyud. Don't be scared..."

Showing already the right attitude young athletes should possess, with more support, Carmela will continue to bring more honor not only to her parents or school but also to the region as well.