GOLDEN HARVEST. Mico Villaran, 15, a Grade 9 student of Romanito P. Maravilla Sr. National High School in Bacolod City, with coach Miguel Arca, with his two gold medals after winning the 200-meter run and 110-meter hurdles on Sunday (Dec. 19, 2022). Villaran is competing in the ongoing Philippine Sports Commission-Batang Pinoy National Championships hosted by Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. (Photo courtesy of Miguel Arca)

BACOLOD CITY –A 15-year-old runner from this city has emerged as among the fastest in the ongoing Philippine Sports Commission (PSC)-Batang Pinoy National Championships after winning two gold medals at the Quirino Sports Complex in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur province.

Mico Villaran, a Grade 9 student of Romanito P. Maravilla Sr. National High School, ruled the boys' 200-m run and 110-m hurdles to give Bacolod the golden harvest on the first day of the athletics competition on Sunday afternoon.

Miguel Arca, Villaran's coach and physical education teacher, told the Philippine News Agency on Monday that his ward's achievements were the fruits of hard work and determination in the past two years amid the uncertainties posed by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

"He's really happy. The Covid-19 pandemic halted sports competitions but we continued to train. In my mind, I knew the time will come that he can compete again. I just told him we should always be ready," he added.
In grade school, Villaran first tried his hand at volleyball, but eventually realized that his talents lie in athletics instead.

Arca said that since the teen athlete is an only child, his parents initially had reservations in letting him travel during training and sports meets, but he made them understand of the opportunities that await their son in sports.

In 2019, when he was 12, Villaran won three gold medals in his favorite events in the elementary division of the provincial meet of Negros Occidental.

He was then set to compete in the Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association Meet, but the event was canceled due to the Covid-19 lockdown. (PNA)