VIGAN — Defending champion Pangasinan II valiantly repulsed the challenge posed by second running Dagupan City to clinch its title, its third consecutive since 2015, in the 2017 Region 1 Athletic Association (R1AA) meet that ended March 8 at Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur.
Pangasinan II racked up 58 gold, 52 silver and 47 bronze medals to build a commanding lead over resurgent Dagupan City with the latter accounting for 51 gold, 40 silver and 41 bronze medals.
Dagupan also placed second to Pangasinan II in the 2016 edition of R1AA held in San Carlos City.
Pangasinan 1 was in third place by harvesting 39 gold, 39 silver and 49 bronze medals while Urdaneta City had 38 gold, 31 silver and 43 silver medals for fourth place.
La Union was in fifth place followed by Laoag City in sixth place.
Erstwhile perennial champion Ilocos Norte could only account for 27 gold, 35 silver and 58 bronze medals to salvage seventh place in its worst performance ever in the R1AA, followed by Batac City for eighth place.
San Carlos City won 18 gold, 23 silver and 26 bronze medals, good for ninth place while host Ilocos Sur was in 10th place.
Alaminos City accounted for nine gold, five silvers and 20 bronzes for 11th place.
Pangasinan II retained the crown after it bagged 16 gold in the elementary division and 42 gold in the secondary division. In contrast, Dagupan snatched 14 gold in the elementary division while its secondary boys and girls grabbed 37 gold, most of which is in swimming.
Dagupan inched close to Pangasinan II following its victories in gymnastics, sepak takraw, arnis, athletics, badminton, basketball, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, chess and wushu.
A big surprise was Dagupan’s first ever archery team when it bagged four gold medals, one silver and one bronze in only its first appearance in the R1AA meet.
Dagupan also retained its title in boys’ secondary division in basketball while its 3-on-3 cage team won its first ever gold medal.
Mayor Belen Fernandez called up Dagupan City Schools Superintendent Froserfina Bravo and City Sports Commissioner Finnela Sim in Vigan from Dubai to congratulate the Dagupan delegation.
Members of Dagupan swimming team are mainstays of the Balon Dagupan swimming team formed by Mayor Fernandez and City Sports Commissioned Finnela Sim, a former member of the De La Salle Green Archers Swimming Team. (Leonardo Micua)