CAL Swimmers shine at UAAP Swimming Championships

This season of the UAAP Swimming Championships brought out the hearts in our CAL swimmers as they fought with valor to bring their respective school the success it deserves. A total 51 student-athletes representing Atenedo de Manila University (ADMU), University of the Philippines (UP) and University of Santo Tomas (UST) have given pride not just to our CAL family but also to their own alma maters as they’ve led their teams to numerous medals, individual titles as well as team championships.  CAL collegiate male swimmers dominated the Men’s Division as at least two CAL swimmers places top three in all the UAAP events. Almost the same can be said for collegiate female swimmers only coming up short in the top three for 2 events in the entire meet. Despite having fewer CAL boys and girls for the high school division, our CAL juniors held the fort with numerous medals including record breaking swims.

This season’s Men’s Division MVP Albert “Aldo” Batungbacal has led the CAL team with 3 new UAAP records at the 100m (1:05.78) and 200m Breaststroke (2:22.95), and improved his own record at the 1500m Freestyle with a time of 16:42.61. Joining Batungbacal’s individual record breaking stint are Philip Joaquin Santos for the 400m Individual Medley with a time of 4:43.92 in the Boys Division, and first time UAAP participant, Suzanne Vernon Himor, at the Girls 200m Butterfly with a time of 2:25.30. Women’s Division 3-time MVP Hannah Dato kept her team strong earning 102 out of the 411 total points earned by team and dominating at 6 out out of her 7 events. Fighting alongside Hannah is another first time UAAP participant and this year’s Women’s Division Rookie of the Year,  Andrea Ann Tiffany Ngui. Andrea claimed the title with a strong first place finish at the 100m Freestyle, silver at the 50m Freestyle and two third place finishes for the 200m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly. Miguel Arellano claimed the Rookie of the Year Award for the Men’s Division with a strong second place finish for his 200m Butterfly and fourth place points for the 1500m Freestyle and fifth place points for the 800m Freestyle.

New relay records have been broken with the help of our CAL swimmers for their respective colleges. Relay events are crucial in building the team’s momentum as well as showing intense pride when winning for their alma mater. These team players include;

Men’s Division:

  • Jethro Roberts Chua (400 Freestyle)
  • John Carlo Doragos (800 Freestyle)
  • Jessie Khing Lacuna (200 Medley & Freestyle)
  • Paolo Gabriel Mutuc
  • Axel Toni Steven Ngui (200 Medley & Freestyle)
  • Gerard Christoffe Reyes (400 Medley)
  • Giancarlo Silva (200 & 400 Medley)
  • Justin Vito Sy (400 Medley & Freestyle)

Women’s Division:

  • Ariana Makaela Canaya (200 Medley)
  • Janna Mikayla Taguibao (200 Medley)

Girls Division:

  • Francheska Baccay (400 Medley)

CAL’s UAAP veterans who have garnered gold and top points for their respective schools include:

  • Barreto Rafael (100m Freestyle, 50m Butterfly, 50m Freestyle)
  • Jessie Khing Lacuna (200m IM, 100m Butterfly, 200m Freestyle, 50m Butterfly, 200m Butterfly)
  • Romina Rafaelle Gavino (800m Freestyle)
  • Ariana Herranz (200m Backstroke)
  • Gerard Christoffe Reyes (200m Backstroke)
  • Axel Toni Steven Ngui (400m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke, 50m Freestyle)
  • Nadine Tee Ten (50m Freestyle)
  • Pricila Loren Aquino (200m Breaststroke)

Another impressive feat was the increased number of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishes by all CAL swimmers in the following events: Men’s & Women’s 200m IM (Lacuna, Batungbacal, Dapat & Dato, Herranz, Gavino), Women’s 800m Freestyle (Gavino, Saavedra, Tee Ten), Men’s 100m & 200m Breaststroke (Batungbacal, Mutuc, Silva).

With UAAP’s level of competition rapidly increasing, the CAL swimmers continue to deliver strong & hearty performances to bring pride for college teams and for the greater good of the sport of Swimming. We surely can not wait for what’s in store for our CAL tankers for Season 80.

Written by: Marichi Gandionco

Photography by: Raine Gavino

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