Last Updated on March 18, 2023 by Andrew Pirie

Sarah Vitug

Vitug edges closer to the National Record, Fil-Heritage action continues (Apr 21)Sarah Vitug edged closer to the Filipino National Record with another personal best of 4:27.65 winning heat 6 at Mt Sac Relays. Vitug who is trying to get a Filipino passport was just outside the national record of 4:24.87 of Marietta T. Magno set 24 years ago at Changhua.

Vitug is hoping to compete at the PNG. Vitug to qualify for the SEA Games needs to not just break the Phi Record but match the bronze standard of 4:21.

Vitug clocks 800 Personal Best (2013)

Sarah Vitug broke her personal best in the 800m from 2 years ago with a time of 2:11.68  at the California Nevada State Champs. Vitug ran a season’s best of 2:16.04 in the heats. Last week Vitug broke her 1500m PB. The Filipino record for the 800m is 2:07.01 set by Nenita Dungca 32 years ago. A time well within her reach of 2:08.41 is required for the SEA

Games bronze entry standard.


Sarah Vitug closes in on Long-Standing 1500m Womens National Record (Jul 4, 2013)

An athlete excluded from the lineup for the last SEA Games continued to lower her personal best. Vitug qualified for the last sea games as her mark of 4m34 was actually below the 4m38 bronze standard.

Fil-Heritage middle distance runner Sarah Jane Vitug carried on her astounding early season form clocking a performance of 4m32 (official results to come). The time broke her personal best of 4m34.37 set two years ago. The 23-year-old whose parents our Filipinos will see action at the National Games at the end of May. Vitug opened the year with 4m41 and followed with a 4m37 run.

Vitug is the #2 fastest Filipina woman ever over 1500m, edged closer towards the national record of Marietta T. Magno set over 2 decades ago in 1989 with a time of 4m24.87. The SEA Games bronze standard is 4m21 meaning Vitug will need to break the national record on her way to surpassing the SEA Games standard.


Motivated Middle Distance Runner Sarah Vitug Determined to represent the Philippines (rev 1)

July 16, 2013

It has been a long time since we have had a Women’s Middle Distance runner at the SEA Games.  But one determined young lady by the name of Sarah Vitug has set her sites on that challenge.  Summarized is an interview with Sarah Vitug which has been written in article form.



Sarah was born in San Diego California, and both her parents are Filipinos. Her parents hail from Central Luzon her mother is from Gerona, Tarlac and her father is from Pampanga. She classed her mom’s chicken Arroz Caldo as her favorite Filipino dish. But her favorite food is Sushi (which is a big tick in my book and health wise choice).

She attended University City High School in San Diego. Vitug received her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she earned a dual degree in Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications.  She is now a graduate student at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, in the Masters of Education program.


Sarah started competing at the age of 14, however, she ran 1-mile cross-country races in middle school for fun. (It sort of reminds me how I used to have to run Cross Country in Elementary daily as part of our curriculum). Vitug admitted that she loved having the tag of ‘Little Fast Asian Girl’ in grade school.

As a freshman in High School, my coach discovered I was a great 800m Runner.  With cross-country training in the following fall seasons, I developed endurance, in which I used to excel in cross-country distances like the 5k and longer track races like the 1600m.

Vitug attributes most of her success to her high school and University coaches.

If it weren’t for my legendary high school coach, Jim McCarthy, instilling in me an unconditional love for running, I would not have had success in my career. Also, Coach Scott Guerrero at Loyola Marymount University has invited me to run for such an amazing program, I feel that he has taught me so much in just a few short months I have been under his guidance.


Motivated and Determined

Surprisingly Vitug’s role models are sprinters. US Olympic 200m Champion Allyson Felix and US Olympic 400m Champion Sanya Richards-Ross. They’ve proved to everyone that consistency, hard work, faith, and determination will get them to the top.

Vitug wanted to thank Pinoyathletics for this interview with this statement

I think it is a great opportunity to reach out to all the Fil-Am athletes. It warms my heart to know that I am training and competing, not just for myself, but also for our country.



Last SEA Games 2011 Vitug made the Bronze Medal criteria which were (4:38.81 from 2009) for 1500m. She ran 4:34.29. This year the bar has been raised higher with the 800m standard at 2:08.41 and the 1500m Standard at 4:21.19. This means Vitug must now surpass the Filipino Record and go even beyond that to qualify for the SEA Games.

My goals in Track and Field are to set the Filipino National Records in the 800m (2:07.01 set by Nenita Dungca) and in the 1500m (4:24.87 set by Marietta T. Magno) – Vitug.

The long-standing records of Dungca and Magno have stood for over 20 years. Dungca ran that time in 1985, and Magno in 1989.  Magno went on to win the 1993 SEA Games 1500m title.

Vitug’s best performances of 2:12.25 and 4:34.29 set last year rank her eighth and third (only behind one other past fil-heritage athlete, and Magno). Vitug did not compete last season (2012) over 800 and 1500 choosing to focus on Cross Country.  But will be back competing this year.

Yes, I intend to compete at the 2013 SEA Games in the 800 and/or the 1500m. Because I was not able to compete last track season due to redshirting, I plan to see great improvements in my times this coming track season that will prepare me to run well at the 2013 SEA Games.

Part of those plans may or may not include participation at the Philippine National Games in June where Vitug is certain to dominate the local fields based on her best performances. Vitug said she will look into the possibility of participating if it does not conflict with her school schedule but now has no plans.


Transcript of Performances


Sarah Jane running herself back into shape

After taking 2012 off track due to transferring college 23-year-old Sarah Jane Vitug again took her season lead down from 4:41.46  to 4:37.33 at the Ben Brown invite on March nine. Sarah Jane who ran 4:34 in 2011 is the 2nd fastest Filipina ever in this event. She made the bronze standard in the 2011 SEA Games at 4:38 however the bronze standard is now 4:21. Which means Sarah Jane will need to break the national record of 4:23


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By Andrew Pirie

Andrew was elected Vice President of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians in 2020 after being a member for 7 years. He has worked as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant from 2013-2015, Consultant, and Sprint Coach at Zamboanga Sports Academy from 2015-2017. And Currently is Consultant Coach with VMUF 2021- Current editor and chief of, and has recently done consultancy work for Ayala Corp evaluating the Track and Field Program. Coaches Sprints, Middle and Jump events he is  Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification in Sprints and Hurdles. Currently working towards a Masters Degree in Education. He can be contacted on [email protected] You can find more information on Coaching here

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