University of the Philippines super rookie Quendy Fernandez featured for the Fighting Maroons in three of the five individual events, bringing home one gold and two silver medals on the third day of the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Swimming Championships on Saturday evening at the Teofilo Yldefonso Swimming Pool in Malate, Manila.
Fernandez was simply a cut above the rest in the Women’s 100m backstroke where she registered a fast time of 1:04.88 to overpower fellow Rookie-of-the-Year contender Mishka Sy (1:06.72) of Ateneo de Manila University and teammate Regina Castrillo (1:06.80) for the gold.
In the Women’s 50m Butterfly, Fernandez then played second fiddle to Castrillo as the senior Lady Maroon took the gold in 28.51 seconds while the rookie finished in 28.97 seconds. University of Santo Tomas took the bronze medal courtesy of Alyza Ng who clocked 29.42 seconds.
The final medal for the day of Fernandez came in the Women’s 200m Freestyle where De La Salle University’s own rookie, Hannah Sanchez, came out on top with a time of 2:12.42 to take the gold. Fernandez was a distant second in 2:14.19, while her teammate, Camille Buico, took the bronze in 2:14.39.
After the penultimate day of action in the championships, UP was able to slightly stretch its lead on the back of a total of eight golds, five silvers, and six bronze medals for 316 points. Ateneo was still second with 271 points as defending champions DLSU (148) figured in a close battle for third with UST (133).
Ateneo also had a productive day as they tried to keep pace with UP.
Rookies Sy and Ricielle Melencio registered their own 1-2 finish in the Women’s 400m Individual Medley, touching in at 5:08.74 and 5:18.92, respectively, to clinch the gold and silver medals for the Blue Eagles. Yet another rookie in DLSU Lady Tanker Dianna Cruz was a distant third at 5.22.72.
Annika Isip and Nirel Ibarra also secured the gold and bronze medals for Ateneo in the Women’s 100m Breaststroke. Isip ruled the race with her time of 1:15.26, while Ibarra touched in third at 1:17.45, behind UST’s own rookie, Shairinne Floriano, who placed second at 1:16.44.
The day’s final event saw the Ateneo quartet of Isip, Maiki Gonzaga, Charllyn Romanos, and Kirsten Manuel gain the upper hand at the end of the Women’s 4x50m Freestyle Relay in a close encounter with UST. The Blue Eagles took the gold medal in 1:52.60 against UST’s 1:52.75, and UP’s 1:53.63.
Fernandez leads all swimmers in the race for both the Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year plums with 66 points, in front of Sy who tallied 64 points. The two rookies look to finish strong on the final day of hostilities in the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Swimming Championships.
Sophomore Tiger Shark Jules Mirandilla (25.43) repeated against Ateneo’s Rafael Barreto (25.50) in a repeat come-from-behind fashion to register the win in the Men’s 50m Butterfly. DLSU senior Sacho Ilustre took the bronze in 25.79 seconds.
In another upset win, UP’s Josemarie Mapa sneaked past Men’s 100m Breaststroke favorite Rian Tirol of Ateneo in the last five meters to secure the gold with a time of 1:06.17. Tirol took the silver in 1:06.68, while the Fighting Maroons’ Martin Sayson rounded out the podium in 1:07.08.
DLSU also had a share in the gold medal rush as Ted Laminta swam 1:55.77 in the Men’s 200m Freestyle to finish first. Ateneo, again, ended up as runner-up courtesy of Marco Daos (1:57.17) while UP’s rookie, Matthew Alumbres (1:57.52), took the bronze.
In the Men’s 100m Backstroke, Tiger Shark John Neil Paderes bagged the gold medal in 59.55 seconds, ahead of La Salle’s Estifano Ramos (59.64), and Ateneo’s Phillip Joaquin Santos (1:00.07).
The UP Fighting Maroons took another gold in the Men’s 4x50m Freestyle Relay as Mapa, Kensaku Hatezawa, David Franco Dela Rosa, and Hans Chua successfully defended their winning streak in the event, clocking in at 1:38.33. UST touched in at 1:38.55 for the silver while DLSU (1:38.75) completed the podium to shut out Ateneo.
Some semblance of order was restored for Ateneo as Santos made a strong comeback in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley to ensure his team brought home a gold medal for the day. The MVP race leader dominated the race and left his competitors behind with a time of 4:45.93. Teammate Ianiko Limfilipino (4:48.39) overcame all odds to provide a 1-2 finish for the Blue Eagles, narrowly beating Green Tanker Laminta (4:48.69).
As the dust settled, the Ateneo Blue Eagles are still poised to retain their crown in the UAAP Men’s Swimming Championships after collecting six golds, nine silvers, and five bronze medals for 305 points.
DLSU is still running second with 244.50 points, ahead of UP (189.50) and UST (137).
The race for the MVP award will also have an exciting conclusion on the final day of action as Santos (67 points) still leads Laminta (58) and Daos (54). UP’s Matthew Alumbres is the clear favorite to win the Rookie-of-the-Year plum with 30 points.
The final day of action at the UAAP Season 86 Swimming Championships concludes Sunday with the 1500m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke, 200m Breaststroke, 200m Butterfly, 50m Freestyle, and 4x100m Medley Relay.