Champion jumper who wants to be an engineer

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

MOST varsity athletes at the University of Mindanao usually take up Criminology or Education courses. But Marie Cris Morales Caintic did not join the majority as she chose BS Civil Engineering instead and is currently on her third year.

Being a champion athlete, having just snatched the women's triple jump gold medal and long jump bronze in the just-concluded 2014 Private Schools Athletic Association (Prisaa) National Games in Tagum City, does not mean having to compromise her obligation to her studies.

The 19-year-old Mer-Mer, born and raised in Campo, Kapatagan in Digos City, said her sports did not affect her academics since she started jumping at age 11.


"In fact, I've been an honor student since elementary. In college, it is more difficult to balance my studies and trainings since my course is not easy. But based on my experience, time management is very important in order to balance both. Third year na ako and still surviving," Mer-Mer told Sun.Star Davao.

The seventh among eight children of Ernesto, a farmer, and Corazon, a barangay health worker in Kapatagan, Mer-Mer is thankful for the varsity scholarship that she is availing at UM. She recalled how Sir Eran, their Kapatagan National High School athletics coach, motivated them to persevere in their sports to get scholarships in college.

"He reminded us to excel so we can avail of scholarship, graduate to have a degree and to escape from poverty," she shared.

That's why she makes every effort to train and at the same time make good in her studies. Over the past three years with the UM varsity, she has established a routine. She is up by 4 a.m. then trains for an hour. She then attends her classes until 3 p.m. and rests for an hour before resuming back her training. She goes home by 7 p.m. then sleep after dinner.

Since she joined their school's intramurals, Mer-Mer has indeed come a long way. She has been a consistent medalist in the Davao Region Athletic Association (Davraa) Meet with a sterling triple gold feat in the 2010 edition held in New Bataan, Davao Oriental. She also has a growing collection of Prisaa city, regional and national medals including golds.

But this Elma Muros fan still targets a medal in the Philippine National Games, an annual meet that serves as selection for national teams.
She believes in the saying, "Don't stop when you're tired, stop only when you're done."

Take it from the champion whose poverty never stopped her from pursuing her dreams in life.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 20, 2014.


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