The Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles successfully defended their UAAP Women’s Swimming Championship this UAAP Season 78. It was narrow title win; the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons were in it right to the end.
For Raegan Gavino, this championship was hard earned but not certain until the last whistle. “It was gonna be a close fight between us. It was really a close fight between everyone. I didn’t expect anything naman but I just pushed myself to try and get it.”
Gavino said it was advice from Ateneo coach Archimedes Lim that guided each of them to succeed as individuals and as a team. “It’s like what coach Archie said, the championship will rely on our individual goals so it was great that we were able to establish and reach our individual goals before we were able to reach our championship.”
The UP Lady Maroons in particular were the Lady Eagles’ closest competitors in the championship race. The Lady Maroons even led the Lady Eagles, only for the latter to recover immediately. “Absolutely not. We knew it was gonna be close”, shared Gavino when asked if she expected the Lady Maroons’ chase for the title. She added, “We didn’t know who was gonna be ahead but we had a really emotional third day because it was a really super close fight and it would come down to this [Last] day. We’re all happy. We didn’t expect to win.”
It was peculiar to note that Ateneo did not train as a team during past seasons. Gavino says that doing so now can only be good. “When you train as a team, you know it and we try to cheer each other on training pa lang. So you know when you’re in competition, everybody is going to be supporting you and pushing you also.”
With the championship secured, Gavino only had one wish for Ateneo in future UAAP seasons. “To continue the reign of championships and keep improving as a team.”
At the conclusion of Season 78, Gavino was awarded the Rookie of the Year honor. But she still has more goals to fulfill for herself and her teammates in their UAAP careers. “To keep bettering ourselves throughout the years. I want to personally beat Ate Kim (Uy)’s record. The 9:26:11 in the 800m Freestyle event.”