Ateneo defends UAAP swimming crown today


Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) eyes to bag its third straight crown in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s and women’s swimming championships today at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex swimming pool in Malate, Manila.

“Competition has definitely leveled up, they (competitors) know they have to adjust their program to catch up, and we know they have improved. And for us to stay above, we have to keep improving. Of course it gets harder as the performance gets higher too so we always look at what we can control and that is the performances of our swimmers individually and as a team. Championship, three-peat would be sweet though,” said Ateneo swimming program director Archie Lim in an email on Wednesday.

Despite missing the services of Kimberly and Basille Uy and Gio Palencia, Lim said that some of his wards went out of their comfort zones.

“We have new recruits year. Events might be different so (there are) some swimmers we ask to train for events even though it is not their specialty.”

The Ateneo swimming director considers De La Salle University (DLSU) and University of the Philippines (UP) as contenders for the title in the upcoming season.

“I know La Salle has poured in a lot of resources for their team, and UP will always be a contender. I am not discounting any other team though. I don’t know how their programs have gone but we focus on our own.”

Lim refused to make any prediction for his team, “We have worked hard so hopefully great swims as with the previous years.”

Ateneo tankers followed a rigid training regimen that includes two to three hours of swimming nine to 10 times a week, gym workouts and monitored nutritional intake.

Axel Ngui, reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP) Hannah Dato, as well as two-time MVP, UAAP Season 78 Athlete of the Year, and two-time Olympian Jessie Lacuna will lead Ateneo’s charge. But Lim said that he expects all his swimmers to step up in their respective matches.

In the juniors division, the Ateneo Blue Eaglets will gun for their 12th consecutive title.

“This year is the first time for the senior high school students to swim. I know a lot of school were able to recruit senior high school swimmers, so it would be interesting,” said Lim.

The UAAP Season 79 swimming championships will open with the events 4×50-meter medley relay, 100-meter freestyle, 200-meter individual medley, 800-meter freestyle, and 4×200-meter freestyle relay.


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