LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA — University of Santo Tomas took care of business in both the Boys’ and Girls’ Divisions during the third day of the UAAP Season 82 Swimming Championships, Saturday at the Trace Aquatic Center.
UST stretched its lead and moved closer to dethroning defending champion De La Salle Zobel in both divisions. The Junior Tigersharks have 319.50 points against De La Salle Zobel’s 273.50 points in the Boys’ Division while having 312 points against University of the Philippines’ 243 points in the Girls’ Division.
Lord Mikhail Cruz, Nigel Romey, Merell Neri, and Jerico Salas capped the day with a record-breaking gold in the 200m Boys’ Freestyle Relay. They clocked in with a time of 1:41.38, taking down a two-year-old mark set by previous UST swimmers. Their girls’ team of Honey Escarez, Chloe Laurente, Julianne Javier, and Alexandra Bonite also took home the gold in 1:55.47, just a full second off the UAAP record pace.
UST’s Camille Buico bested fellow Most Valuable Player contender Zoe Hilario of UP to take the gold in the 200m Girls’ Freestyle at 2:13.58. The high school ace then added another mint in the 50m Girls’ Butterfly finishing in 29.39 seconds.
Shayne Lugay also added the 100m Girls Backstroke gold for UST, negotiating the distance in 1:09.00 to help the team take a huge leap in the penultimate day.
Hilario still managed to bring home gold after topping the 400m Girls’ Individual Medley in 5:24.02. The other gold for the day went to De La Salle’s Bela Magtibay in the 100m Breaststroke, who finished in 1:18.10.
In the Boys’ Division, CJ Arceo added the 100m Breaststroke gold to his collection with a 1:07.36 finish to lead the charge for UST. On the other hand, teammate John Niel Paderes took the 100m Backstroke gold with 1:01.26.
Meanwhile, Wacky Santos of Ateneo put himself in the cusp of another MVP plum after his record-smashing gold in the 400m Individual Medley. The previous year’s Athlete of the Year broke his old mark of 4:41.31 with a new UAAP record time of 4:40.45.
JP Elises of Zobel rounded up the day’s winners with a 2:02.36 finish in the 200m Freestyle.
De La Salle Zobel completed the Girls’ Division top three after the third day at 196 points. Santos and the rest of the Ateneo squad then rounded up the leaders for the Boys’ Division with 147 points.