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UP breaks six-year UAAP record, Ateneo still on verge of three-peat

LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA — University of the Philippines may have won the day, but Ateneo remains poised to win its third straight title after Day 3 of the UAAP Season 82 Swimming Championships, Saturday at the Trace Aquatic Center. 

The Lady Maroons tallied 137 points for the day, seven more than the Lady Eagles. Still, Ateneo remains in the lead with 343 points, while UP is a distant second with 293.

Riding on the UAAP record-breaking performance of UP’s Janna Taguibao, Alyssa Pogiongko, Ariana Canaya, and Angela Villamil in the 200m Freestyle Relay, the Lady Maroons ended Day 3 on a high note. The team broke a six-year-old record held by Ateneo (1:54.09) with their time of 1:53.19. Ateneo only managed a time of 1:54.47 to finish second, while UST was a distant third in 1:58.26.

UP’s Rookie Erin Castrillo also bagged two gold medals in 50m Butterfly and 100m Backstroke. Her 50m Butterfly time of 28.19 seconds was simply too much for the rest of the field. Teammate Cindy Fernandez came in second at 29.56 seconds, while Ateneo’s Kristine Santos touched in third at 30.16 seconds.

Castrillo then faced Rookie of the Year rival Nikki Pamintuan of La Salle in the 100m Backstroke, where she prevailed in 1:06.32 against Pamintuan’s 1:06.99. With this win, Castrillo now leads Pamintuan by a mere two points in the Rookie of the Year race. Another rookie, UP’s Chesca Joves, took the bronze with her time of 1:08.55

Most Valuable Player race leader Chloe Daos of Ateneo stayed unblemished collecting two more gold medals in 200m Freestyle and 400m Individual Medley. She swam 2:11.86 for the gold medal in the 200m Freestyle, while teammate Andrea Ngui notched the silver in 2:15.64. UP’s Nadine Tee Ten took the bronze in 2:16.16.

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To end her day, Daos also surprisingly swam the 400m Individual Medley, where her 5:11.58 time was able to keep Pamintuan (5:14.07) at bay. Ateneo’s super-senior Raegan Gavino rounded out the podium in 5:20.72.

Aiding Daos in carrying the Lady Eagles is their own super-rookie Rona Lalimo, who collected her second gold medal of the season in the 100m Breaststroke. Lalimo swam to a 1:19.64 finish ahead of La Salle’s Nichole Evangelista (1:20.20) and teammate Jazmin Chua (1:20.30).

La Salle is at third with 165 points, while UST sits at fourth with 74.

The final day of UAAP Swimming action concludes with the 50m Backstroke, 200m Butterfly, 200m Breaststroke, 50m Freestyle, and 400m Medley Relay.

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