Competition in the women’s division of this year’s 81st UAAP Swimming Championship was by no means close.
Ateneo de Manila University collected 530 points to successfully defend their title, ahead of 1st runners-up University of the Philippines (352 points) and 2nd runners-up De La Salle University (143 points).
This is Ateneo’s second championship of the season and fifth overall in the Women’s Swimming competition.
At the forefront of the Ateneo charge was Chloe Daos who, by landing her seventh gold medal in the 200m butterfly, completed a flawless season en route to her second straight Most Valuable Player award. Teammate Dara Carreon provided ample support, as she was named this season’s Rookie of the Year aided by her gold medal in the 50m breaststroke and bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke.
In the final day of action, with five gold medals at stake, three of them went to Ateneo (200m butterfly, 50m freestyle and 400m medley relay), while UP (200m breaststroke) and DLSU (50m backstroke) had one apiece.
Former girls’ MVP Pricila Aquino (UP) capped her season with a gold medal by completing the 200m breaststroke in 2:49.46. Jazmin Chua (2:51.52) and Raegan Gavino (2:55.97) – both from Ateneo – rounded out the podium in the same event, to highlight the emergence of Ateneo as a contender in breaststroke events.
Dara Evangelista (DLSU) made an impression by ruling the 50m backstroke at 32.00 seconds, ahead of rookie teammate Andriana Canlas (32.36 seconds) and Ateneo’s Andrea Ngui (32.37 seconds). Ngui then exacted revenge over Evangelista later in the afternoon by finishing the 50m freestyle at 27.58 seconds against the taller Evangelista’s 28.35 seconds. Ariana Canaya of UP touched in at third place with a time of 28.43 seconds.
Ateneo’s 400m medley relay team of Courtney Gray, Sarah Alvina, Suzanne Himor, and Hannah Castañeda led all competitors from start to finish to clinch the gold medal in 4:43.92. UP were a distant second in 4:48.25 while DLSU was third in 4:54.94.
The 200m butterfly event aptly represented the dominant performance of the Lady Eagles this season as all four of their entries went faster than the other four challengers. Daos ruled the event in 2:21.42 followed by Himor (2:29.12), Gavino (2:30.15) and Kristine Santos (2:33.22).
With only a few members of Ateneo graduating this season, the Lady Eagles – spearheaded by Daos, Gavino and Ngui – will look to stretch their championship streak to three in the next UAAP Swimming Championship, where Ateneo are slated to host the 82nd Season.
Chloe Daos (ADMU) – 105
Raegan Gavino (ADMU) – 71
Nadine Tee Ten (UP) – 69
Andrea Ngui (ADMU) – 61
Pricila Aquino (UP) – 57
ADMU – 530
UP – 352
DLSU – 143
UST – 127
UE – 6