Legends of Filipino Track and Field: Ralph ‘Waldy’ Soguilon


From Legends of the last few decades, we continue our write-up on Filipino Legends of Track and Field. Last month we caught up and interviewed Hector Begeo who still holds the long-standing records in several of the long distance events. And now we move on to a young man from General Santos who set his heart on breaking two very long-standing records in the Mens 100m and 200m Dash.

Ralph enroute to one of his many record-breaking feats in the US season of 2007.

He has experienced the highs and lows of the sports. But for National 100m/200m Record Holder Ralph Soguilon, he is finally turning over a new page in his life. Soguilon emerged as the unlikely winner of the 2000 UAAP Championships, and later on went to continue his form by winning the 2001 National Junior Title in the 100m defending his titles the following year and establishing his status as the fastest man in the country.

For five years Soguilon won the 100m, 200m & 400m at the UAAP, setting records which were only not made official Philippine Records due to lack of a wind reading being implemented. His times of 10.56s and 21.43s already surpassing the Philippine Records while he was only 19 years of age.

Over the next few years, his times remained stagnant, until the 2007 season when he was invited to be trained by US based coach Jerry Cablayan. In 5-6 meets, Soguilon lowered (10.57s to 10.45s) the 45-year-old National Record of Rogelio Onofre set at the 1962 SEA Games and the 23-year-old 200m record of Isidro Del Prado from 21.44s to 21.17s. Soguilon was looking to break 21s in the 200m having ran a windy 21.05s, and make the Olympic B Standard of 10.36s or 20.75s. Based on his form, his time would have secured him top three finishes in both the 100m and 200m at the South East Asian Games. But then tragedy struck, while practicing at the Rizal Stadium in Lane 1, he snapped his lower right tibia bone and needed to undergo several bouts of surgery.

Ralph really wanted the injury to get better and return to the sport he loves, and underwent an intensive rehab program with lots of follow-ups to the doctor. Meanwhile, he had finished his electronics and communications engineering degree, and started to settle in a career closely related to his course. For someone as passionate and driven as Ralph, just being able to run again is enough unless he is able to reach his full potential again. As this was not foreseeable, Ralph had to make some very important life changes. Ralph still loves the sport but felt he could better contribute as a coach and share his knowledge which enabled him to break two of the longest standing Philippine

records. Ralph also holds the record in the 4×100 established the 2005 SEA Games were they won a silver medal in 40.55s a team comprised of Albert Salcedo, Ralph Soguilon, Henry Dagmil, and Arnold Villarube.

Achievements

2000 UAAP Champion 100/200m (10.9 ht)

2001 UAAP Champion 100m/200m (11.13 and 22.51)

2001 National Junior Champion 100m/400m (10.97 and 51)

2001 Asian Junior Finalist, Brunei 100m (10.82)

2002 UAAP Champion (Records) 100m/200m/400m (10.56, 21.80, 48.58) no wind gauge

2002 National Junior Champion 100m/200m (11.03 and 22.13)

2002 Asian Juniors

2002 World Juniors, Kingston, Jamaica (11.16)

2003 UAAP Champion 100/200/400m (10.78, 21.43, 48.45) records in 200 & 400, again no wind gauges

2003 National Champion 100m (10.81)

2003 Asian Grand Prix 7th A Race, Manila (10.60)

2004 UAAP Champion 100m/200m/400m (10.78)

2005 UAAP Champion 100m-200-400m  (10.72)

2005 National Champion 100m/200m (21.55)

2005 SEA Games 100m, Silver in the Mens 4x100m after one team is dqed. (40.55)

2007 National Record 100m and 200m meets in the states (10.45 & 21.17)

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