As expected, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles ruled the first day of action by bringing home three gold medals, three silver medals, and one bronze medal in the 80th UAAP Swimming Championships at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex Swimming Pool.
At the forefront of Ateneo’s campaign once again is reigning MVP and team captain Alberto Batungbacal, who swam two individual events, finishing first in the 800m Freestyle (8:44.43) and second in the 200m Individual Medley (2:11.47) to collect 27 points to lead all swimmers.
Sticking close to Batungbacal in the MVP race is the De La Salle University’s debuting transferee Fahad Alkhaldi, who took home a silver medal in the 800m Freestyle (8:52.11) and a bronze medal in the 100m Freestyle (54.04) giving him 22 points.
DLSU also ruled both relay events for the day as Neil Puyo, Skyler Claveria, Red Silvestre, and Alfonso Bautista teamed up in the 4x50m Medley Relay to land first in 1:49.73 ahead of Ateneo (1:51.58) and the University of the Philippines (1:53.36). The quartet of Sage Yabut, Lance So, Richmond Santos and Alkhaldi topped the 4x200m Freestyle Relay in 8:09.64, clearly in front of UP (8:15.08) and Ateneo (8:22.86).
But the individual events were still dominated by Ateneo, as two-time MVP Jessie Lacuna defended his 200m Individual Medley title by registering a time of 2:06.93. Blue-chip recruit Miguel Barlisan comfortably conquered the 100m Freestyle in 52.56 followed by his teammate Jethro Chua who notched a time of 53.56.
Barlisan, whose older brother Adel was the team captain during Ateneo’s historic first Men’s UAAP title in Season 75, shared that he was “both excited and nervous” to finally compete in the UAAP after having a successful NCAA career representing La Salle Greenhills in the juniors’ division.
Although DLSU are inching closer to Ateneo in the team tally as the years go by, the Blue Eagles — who chase a fourth straight title — seem to still have the right weapons in their arsenal to thwart an uprising by their archrivals from Taft.
UAAP Season 80 Men’s Swimming tally after Day 1
ADMU – 105
DLSU – 81
UP – 45
UST – 25
AdU – 10
UE – 8
NU – 6
4x100m Freestyle Relay
The Preliminary Session begins at 8:30am while the Finals Session begins at 3:00pm.