University of the Philippines kept up its onslaught of stellar performances during the final day of the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Swimming Championships on Sunday afternoon at the Teofilo Yldefonso Swimming Pool in Malate, Manila to reclaim the championship they last held in 2016.
Gathering a total of 11 golds, eight silvers, and eight bronze medals for 433 points, the Fighting Maroons’ campaign that gave UP its 21st championship in the sport also featured two new UAAP records.
Quendy Fernandez cemented her status as the tournament’s best swimmer by bringing home both the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards.
She dominated the Women’s 50m Backstroke final with a time of 29.87 seconds, just two-hundredths of a second shy of the UAAP record she established during the preliminaries. Teammate Regina Castrillo clinched the silver medal at 30.77 seconds while UST’s Jan Sarmiento took home the bronze in 31.26 seconds.
“Hindi ko inexpect na ganito yung outcome pero I’m blessed and I’m thankful pa rin po. Super happy po ako kasi dream ko po talaga mag UAAP and ma-represent po yung UP,” said Fernandez, an 18-year-old swimming prodigy out of Puerto Princesa.
Bela Magtibay further extended the Lady Maroons’ lead in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke, where she clocked in at 2:43.88. UST’s rookie Shairinne Floriano managed a podium finish, taking the silver at 2:45.16 as Ateneo’s Annika Isip rounded out the podium at 2:45.90.
UP’s Camille Buico and Ateneo’s Mishka Sy went head-to-head in the Women’s 200m Butterfly with the more experienced Buico gaining the upper hand during the final lap en route to the gold with a time of 2:22.11. Sy (2:23.42) placed second while Floriano (2:24.10) of UST secured the bronze, despite coming straight from the Women’s 200m Breaststroke event.
Alyza Ng of UST managed an upset win against the UP finalists in the Women’s 50m Freestyle, registering a time of 27.18 seconds to claim the gold. UP’s Buico and Atasha Dela Torre occupied the second and third spots, timing 27.28 seconds and 27.81 seconds, respectively.
The podium finishes of Floriano and Ng, powered UST past DLSU to finish second runner-up in the overall standings with 192 points. DLSU stood fourth with 167, sorely missing the heroics of key cogs Xiandi Chua and Chloe Isleta from last year’s campaign.
Meanwhile, Ateneo had their own comeback this season. Rising from their third-place finish from UAAP Season 85 to place second behind UP with 351 points.
Ending on a high note, the team of Samantha Coronel, Marjorie Manguiat, Isip, and Maiki Gonzaga came out on top in the 4x100m medley relay. Leaps and bounds ahead of DLSU and UP when they clocked in at 4:34.89.