Ateneo’s two-year tradition of strong starts continue.
The Ateneo de Manila University Blue Tankers made their intentions felt by bringing home seven of the ten gold medals at stake in the first day of action in the UAAP Season 79 Swimming Championships, Friday at the Rizal Memorial Swimming Pool in Manila.
UAAP Men’s Swimming
The Blue Tankers’ medal haul for the day consists of four gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals plus a new UAAP record established in the 200m Medley Relay. UP won the other gold medal at stake in the 800m Freestyle Relay in UAAP record fashion.
Alberto Batungbacal won the first event of this year’s tournament in 800m Freestyle clocking at 8:46.68. UST’s Jux Solita clocked in at 8:52.80 to finish second while Eman Dapat of Ateneo rounded out the podium in 8:57.98.
The afternoon session started with an exciting match-up between the defending champions Ateneo, represented by Jeric Santos, Carlo Silva, Jessie Lacuna and Axel Ngui, and challengers La Salle represented by Neil Puyo, Alfonso Bautista, Red Silvestre and Miguel Narciso. The tankers from Katipunan edged their rivals in 1:46.91, a new UAAP record. The Green Tankers placed second at 1:48.42 while UP finished a distant third in 1:51.91.
It was all blue in the two succeeding individual events as Ateneo rookie Jethro Chua led the way in the 100m Freestyle in 52.86, upsetting graduating teammate Ngui who finished in 52.87 while it was a 1-2-3 finish in the 200m Individual Medley as Lacuna ruled in 2:09.04, Batungbacal was next in 2:12.46 and Dapat finished in 2:13.92. Alnair Guevarra of DLSU won the only other individual medal at stake in the afternoon with his bronze medal finish in the 100m Freestyle.
But the defending champions were upstaged by their neighbors in Katipunan in the 800m Freestyle Relay as UP’s Carlo Doragos, Gian Berino, Dexter Lacuna and Rafael Sta. Maria teamed up for a UAAP record time of 8:06.50. Ateneo’s Brandon Sing, Justin Sy, Dapat and Gerard Reyes only managed a time of 8:16.83 for second place. DLSU was third at 8:21.94.
However, at the rate the Blue Tankers are going, a third straight championship seems to be in the horizon as they command a lead of almost double that of the runners-up.
UAAP Season 79 Men’s Swimming Day 1 Rankings
Ateneo de Manila University – 132
De La Salle University – 67
University of the Philippines – 34
University of Santo Tomas – 26
National University – 11
Adamson University – 10
University of the East – 4
UAAP Women’s Swimming
Not to be outdone, the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Tankers also managed to bring home the three individual gold medals at stake in the first day while ceding the two relay events to UP. Gold medals from Romina Gavino in the 800m Freestyle (9:44.89), rookie Andrea Ngui in the 100m Freestyle (1:00.49) and Hannah Dato in the 200m Individual Medley (2:27.06) ensure the Loyola faithful that the girls will fight for a third straight championship.
Ariana Herranz provided needed backup for Ateneo as she finished third in 100m Freestyle (1:01.85) and second in 200m Individual Medley (2:32.39). UST’s Angelic Saavedra had a busy day collecting a silver in 800m Freestyle (9:49.28) and a bronze in 200m Individual Medley (2:32.48). Catherine Bondad of DLSU landed a silver in 100m Freestyle (1:01.30) and Nadine Tee Ten of UP was good for a bronze medal in 800m Freestyle (9:53.59).
In the relay events, it was all UP as the team of Anna Bartolome, Joy Rodgers, Janna Taguibao and Ariana Canaya erased the old UAAP mark in the 200m Medley Relay with their time of 2:05.04. The team of Erica Lukang, Taguibao, Tee Ten and Monica Padilla ruled the 800m Freestyle Relay in 9:18.00. Ateneo only managed a silver medal in both events as UST secured the bronze for both.
The scores don’t reflect the intensity of the matchup between Ateneo and UP as the Lady Eagles currently hold a 39 point margin over their rivals.
UAAP Season 79 Women’s Swimming Day 1 Rankings
Ateneo de Manila University – 113
University of the Philippines – 74
University of Santo Tomas – 42
De La Salle University – 35
University of the East – 6
Adamson University – 0
Action resumes today at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex Swimming Pool with 400m Freestyle, 50m Breaststroke, 100m Butterfly, 200m Backstroke and 400m Freestyle Relay.