Ateneo and La Salle made their presence felt early in UAAP Season 74 swimming by dominating the first day of competitions Thursday at the Trace Aquatics Center in Los Banos, Laguna, and threatening University of the Philippines’ bid to repeat as double champion.
Celina Gonzalez kicked off Ateneo’s domination with a victory in the 200-meter individual medley with two minutes and 29.092 seconds, grabbing the spotlight from UP’s Jackie Junio (silver, 2:32.03) and former high school Most Valuable Player Ingrid Ilustre of De La Salle (bronze, 2:32.50).
Jasmine Ong, the 2010 Rookie of the Year, also won gold in the 100-meter freestyle in 59.36, pushing UP bets Claire Adorna (1:00.66) and Roanne Yu (1:02.20) to the lower rungs on the podium.
The Lady Eagles also won gold and silver in the 800-meter freestyle behind rookie Kim Uy (9:42.91) and Ong (9:48.14), with Adorna (9:49.32) completing the podium.
The Lady Eagles also topped the women’s 800-meter freestyle relay with Yu, Jacquiline Cruz, Angelica Inton and Mia Crespo establishing a new league record of 9:34.06, smashing the old mark of 9:39.06 UP’s 2008 squad set.
UP won one gold on opening day through Aphrodite Magbanlac, Antonette Aquino, Tiara Tubio and Maria Elouise Labao in the 200-meter medley relay in 2:10.31.
The Green Archers also made their mark early in the four-day meet that ends Sunday with Tim Yap winning two gold medals—the 800-meter freestyle (9:22.53) and 100-meter freestyle (55.61).
Last year’s top rookie Johannsen Aguilar topped the 200-meter individual medley in 2:12.32, for De La Salle, whose 800-meter freestyle relay of Patrick Juen, Robert Estrellado, Jarvin Li at Bendrick Co also won in 8:51.12.
University of Santo Tomas got into the medal tally board with a gold behind the 200-meter medley relay team of Ruel Medina, Samuel Alcos, Jeremiah Tolentino and Karlo Salonga (1:56.52).
Ateneo, meanwhile, looked headed to a seventh straight boys’ crown by winning five gold medals right on opening day. UST clinched three girls’ division gold medals and University of the East bagging two also last Thursday.