Last Updated on December 30, 2022 by Andrew Pirie
Mervin Guarte is the latest induction into Pinoyathletics Legends of Track and Field.
Table of Contents
Mervin wins the Bet
Guarte meets all criteria
Having amassed a cabinet full of silverware in Athletics. With 5 Silvers in Middle Distance events in Athletics and a Bronze.
For 9 years he has held the Philippine Record and even more unbreakable Junior Record which both are united at 3:47.65 from the 2011 SEA Games.
He also is no longer active in Athletics having made the move over to Obstacle Course Racing.
Mervin Guarte was born 3 August 1992. From Calapan City, Mindoro. Guarte qualified for the Palarong Pambansa in 3rd Grade at that time running 400, 800, and 1500.
It wasn’t until Grade 6 that he started showing considerable improvement.
Mervin would train with his older brother to prepare himself for future competitions. He also had to jog 5km to get to school. He would run barefoot back and forth daily to build his stamina.
In High school, he trained with his first Coach. Coach Ilagan. Ilagan later went on to be the Coach at the University of Batangas.
Ilagan also developed and worked with former National 400m Runner Rodrigo ‘Reneboy’ Tanuan, Former NCAA Champion Ryan Naquita, Ryan Bigyan, and Marco Vilog who also later became national champions and made it to the national team.
It was at the Palarong Pambansa where Mervin after surpassing the Palaro 800m Record in the Heats dueled with Salvador Garin (IV-A). A very fierce brutal fight with elbows thrown with Garin winning 1:55.69 to 1:56.31. Mervin did win the 1500m in 4:07.94.
One of the Highlights of Mervin’s Junior Career was how he was able to place 4th at the Asian Juniors in the 1500m in 2010.
With his success at High School Level. The college recruiters came calling. It was a veteran coach by the name of Jec Gando from San Sebastian College that Mervin ended up being coached by. Under Gando Mervin broke and still has the 800, 1500, 3000m Steeples, and 5000m NCAA Records.
SEA Games Medals and Rivalry with Duong Van Thai
Mervin was then taken into the National team by Coach Ojon Artiaga. And he unified the Philippine Senior and Junior Record in 1500m with a time of 3:47.65 which still stands to this day.
Breaking the 18-year-old record of Hector Begeo 3:49.0 set in 1993.
And demolishing the junior mark of Victor Idava 3:55.6 which had stood before the Gintong Alay era since 1974.
“Coach Pak (Ojon) was a very caring coach. Like a father and he cared alot about the wellbeing of his Athletes. Mervin fondly recalled. A lot of people don’t quite understand Coach Pak. But he was good to me.”
Guarte later went on to win a string of several more Silver Medals at the SEA Games. Having a fierce rivalry with Vietnamese athlete Duong Van Thai.
Van Thai is undoubtedly the greatest Middle Distance runner in the History of the SEA Games.
On several occassions Mervin pushed Duong Van Thai to blanket finishes at the line running with the utmost fury.
Van Thai who is the same age as Mervin is still active and looking at defending his SEA Games 800 and 1500 titles at home in 2021.
In 2017 Mervin was removed from the National team by PATAFA despite being the National Champion and SEA Games Bronze medalist. Reasons being cited as coaching issues. Despite numerous appeals and runs, he decided to move on after a year. He then made the life-changing move to Obstacle Course racing.
“Obstacle Course Racing Management has looked after me alot.
They are very supportive.
I have several coaching working together on my programs. A coach for strength, a coach for Obstacles, a coach for endurance.
The President of the Association consults with the coaches regarding my program.”
Mervin Guarte Finally becomes SEA Games Champion
After 7 silver medals at SEA Games from 2011 to 2015. National 1500 Junior and Senior Record Holder.
Mervin Guarte finally became a SEA Games Champion. Mervin took the gold medal in the Men’s 5km Obstacle race.
In the process of defeating Asian champion Mohd Saddam Mohd Pittli of Malaysia.
It was a 1-2 finish for the Philippines with Milky Mae Tajares taking the surprise silver.
After being removed from the PSC Payroll by PATAFA despite being a SEA Games bronze medalist in 2017.
Mervin Guarte finally decided to walk away from the sport and try his luck at Obstacle Course Racing.
A change that allowed him to finally secure a hard earnt Gold.
Mervin who recently became a father has now netted 200,000 pesos for the gold achievement that will also go well toward his home in Occidental Mindoro.
Overall the Philippines swept 100% of the Gold medals in this event or 6 of 6 events.
All in All Obstacle Course Racing was very successful in the SEA Games with the Philippines taking 100% of the Golds in Alabang, Philippines 6 of 6 Gold Medals.
If asked if he would consider returning to Athletics as Obstacle Course Racing is not in the program for the 2021 SEA Games?
Right now I’m happy with Obstacle Course Racing. Even if no SEA Games.
We still have the Spartan World Championship event in Abu Dhabi November or December 2020 depends on COVID.
I would be doing 21KM (20km 180 Obstacles and 1km of running).
Which is different to the 5km 20 obstacle event I did to win Gold at SEA Games.
If I do go back to Athletics it will not be in Middle Distance.
It will be Long Distance 5000m or up.
Maybe one day I want to be Milo Marathon Champion. But for now Im happy with OCR.
He also has very good training facilities at Bonifacio Global City of Obstacle Course Racing.
He trains at Philsports or UMak.
Guarte steps up to the 5000m
Mervin Guarte steps up to the 5000m. Better known as an 800 and 1500 specialist. He should be able to go sub 15 min and win the race.
Guarte has a tough schedule as he is also entered in the 1500m on Day 2.
Francis Medina wasn’t able to finish at SEA Games.
Had a PB of 50.93 at the Pre-Asian Games in March.
Along with 400 runner Michael Del Prado who will try his luck over 400 Hurdles, they are in a 4-man race.
Which includes SEA Games Bronze medallist Andrian of Indonesia.
Along with Medina another athlete who has already surpassed the bronze of the last SEA Games John Albert Mantua will see action in the Discus.
But obviously won’t have it as easy with 4 athletes ahead based on PB.
SEA Games Long Jump Bronze medallist Janry Ubas who has leaped 7.26, 7.38 this year looks to improve on his season’s best.
In the field is Deokhyeon of South Korea who has leaped 8.11m.
SEA Games 110 Hurdles Bronze Medalist Clinton Kingsley Bautista will be up against 2013 SEA Games Bronze Medalist Anousane of Laos in Heat 1.
Bautista is the strongest of the South East Asian athletes entered in 2 heats.
In the Javelin, Evalyn Palabrica SEA Games Bronze medalist in Javelin is up against the Top 2 in SEA Games Natta Nachan and Jiraya Wichaidit of Thailand. Palabrica PB of 48.25m dates back to 2014.
While Men’s Bronze medalist Melvin Calano of the Philippines also competes, up against Peerachet Jantra the SEA Games Champion from Thailand.
2018 Weekly Relays Oct 21 and Videos- Guarte running back into shape
Article by Andrew Pirie ATFS Statistician
Guarte wonderful run continued with a splendid 9:25 in the 3000M Steeple Chase yesterday. Most noteworthy is that Guarte ran his PB way back in 2014 which was then the NCAA Record. In contrast, his time is the 2nd fastest this year behind National Champion Richard Salano (9:23.81).
Mervin Guarte, has been under his new coach veteran Head Coach Dario De Rosas for 2 months. While he has made very good progress. Furthermore, Guarte started last week with a time of 3:54/3:55 in 1500. Which is nearly as good as the 3:53.63 he timed at the SEA Games last year to get his Bronze Medal. Due to a lack of quality opponents, Guarte was a lone wanderer winning the race with second place at a far distant 4:06 in 1500.
In contrast, the 26-year-old from Mindoro has been coached by Ilagan of Batangas, Gando of San Sebastian College, Ojon Artiaga (National Team), John Lozada (National Team), and now Dario De Rosas (National Team).
Also, Guarte holds the national record and junior record in the 1500m with 3:47.65 in the 2011 SEA Games. Above all, he has never won a SEA Games Gold but has 5 SEA Games Silver Medals in the 800 and 1500 and a few bronzes.
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“In 2020, Andrew advanced to the position of Vice President with the Association of Track and Field Statisticians, having devoted seven years as an active member. His impressive track record includes roles such as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant (2013-2015) and a distinguished stint as a Sprint Coach and Consultant at the renowned Zamboanga Sports Academy (2015-2017). Today, he offers his expertise as a Consultant Coach with VMUF, starting from 2021.
A recognized voice in the sports community, Andrew is the Chief Editor of Pinoyathletics.info. Additionally, his consultancy contributions to Ayala Corp in evaluating their Track and Field Program underline his deep domain knowledge.
Proficient in coaching sprints, middle-distance races, and jump events, Andrew boasts a Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification, specializing in Sprints and Hurdles. He is also on a progressive journey towards obtaining a Masters Degree in Education.