A STAR LEAPS PAST HIS HURDLES
12-year-old Niño Vincent Solis wins 5 medals in Milo despite practicing with ‘improvised hurdles’
The 110-hurdles is an individual event but track star Niño Vincent Colis of Basak Community School needed the help of two teammates just to train.
The reason? The school lacks athletics equipment—specifically the hurdles—so he asked two teammates to hold a length of bamboo at hurdle height so he can practice.
Their dedication to their fiveday weekly training and the support of the community paid off big time, as the 12-year-old won four gold medals and one silver in the 22nd Milo Little Olympics (MLO-Visayas Leg) at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).
“I did it to for my school. I want my school to be known. This is also for my coach, my parents, and the parents of my teammates” said Colis, who captured the gold medal in the elementary boys’ century dash in 13.40 seconds.
Colis snagged gold medals in the 110-meter hurdles in 20.24 and 400m hurdles in 1:11.88. Colis also powered his teammates to a gold medal in the 4x100m relay in 56.94 and a silver medal in the 4x400m relay in 4:56.93.
Math teacher Justin Pilario, who serves as the athletic coach for Basak Community School, said Colis only gets to practice with a standard hurdle when they go to the CCSC every Saturday.
“We have to improvise for us to continue with our program,” said Pilario. “Some of our athletes don’t even have spike shoes. They train barefoot. The others are using second-hand spike shoes.”
The team had to be resourceful and used the school stairs for training, running from the ground floor to fourth floor.
“There’s a ‘no collection poli- cy’ so we had to find other ways. Thankfully, the parents are committed to continue,” said Colis, who tells kids that this skill could land them a scholarship when they go to high school.
The team’s ace athlete, Colis, started running only a year ago, and has already encountered quite a challenge early in his career.
Nine months ago, Colis was left frustrated at the Cebu City Olympics after he stumbled and injured his left hand while competing in the 4x400 relay.
“I vowed to myself that I will bounce back stronger,” said Colis, who idolizes 29th Southeast Asian (Sea) Games 400m hurdles gold medalist and 100m dash silver medalist Eric Shauwn Cray.
Colis did just that on his return to the track. Aside from winning five medals, he also bagged the coveted Most Outstanding Athlete (MOA) award for elementary boys’ athletics.
Colis also improved on his silver medal finish in 100m hurdles and 4x400m relay in his athletic debut at the MLO-Visayas Leg 11 months ago.
Before the start of the event, Milo Sports Executive Lester Castillo encouraged the up-andcoming athletes to stand up after every failure and use it as a motivation to succeed.
“Let’s draw inspiration from the experience of defeat to assess on how we can improve. Champions never give up,” he said during the opening ceremony at the CCSC.
For the track star named after the Child Jesus, prayers also played a factor.
“I never imagined winning four gold medals. I just entrusted everything to God. I gave my best and let him do the rest,” he said.
Pilario said it was the first time in more than 10 years that his athlete had more than three gold medals and this year, the school racked seven golds, three silvers and a bronze this year.
Despite the success, Colis said he will take one step at a time and is hoping he will get closer to his dream when he competes in the Cebu City Olympics.
“My biggest dream is to make it to Cviraa and if I get lucky, to the Palarong Pambansa. I will work extra hard to get there,” said Colis, who will start his bid in the District Meet and Unit Meet in September.
Nilboy Colis, the father of Niño Vincent, said he almost let his son stop track after his injury in the Cebu City Olympics.
“I got nervous when he was injured, I wanted him to stop. But I saw the dedication of my son, so I let him continue. I’m giving my full support to him and I’m very happy that he finally got the gold medal,” he said.
We have to improvise for us to continue with our program. Some of our athletes don’t even have spike shoes. They train barefoot. The others are using secondhand spike shoes. JUSTIN PILARIO, math teacher and athletics coach of Basak Community School
CHAMPION. Twelve-yearold Niño Vincent Colis was named the Most Outstanding Athlete for athletics in his second stint in the Milo Little Olympics