Veteran campaigners Kyla Soguilon and Jason Villaruz led the list of the Most Outstanding Swimmer awardees in the Philippine Swimming League (PSL) 53rd Leg Series on Sunday at the Villareal Stadium in Roxas City, Capiz.
Soguilon, a gold medallist in the 2014 Western Province Aquatics (WPA) Swimming Gala in South Africa, bagged a total of eight gold medals to dominate the girls’ 9 years category. She topped the 50-meter, 100m and 200m freestyle, 200m individual medley (IM), 50m and 100m butterfly, 50m breaststroke, and 50m backstroke.
Villaruz, for his part, reigned supreme in the boys’ 17 years division as he ruled the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle, 200m IM, and 200m and 100m butterfly.
The John B. Lacson Swimming Team took the overall title with 1,344 points while Capiz Eaglerays Swim Club (880 points) and Aklan Swimming Team (798 points), settled for second and third, respectively.
“A lot of swimmers are feeling sad when we missed the Western Visayan Swimming competition and eventually the Palarong Pambansa, but PSL made the difference, the much-needed competition came when we need it most,” said Capiz Turbo Shark President Pepe Borres. “We are now going to the international competition, the best thing that will happen to us after the Typhoon Yolanda.”
The tournament, the first PSL event in Region 6, was participated by 110 swimmers from the provinces of Capiz, Aklan, Iloilo, Antique and Bacolod.
“Its a very good competition with good number of swimmers. In Manila [NCR] PSL started with 76 swimmers from 3 teams only when we had our initial Gala in 2011 while Region 6 even has better numbers of swimmers when started. A lot of them are potential swimmers and very much motivated,” said PSL President Susan Papa.
“It is heartwarming to see that after the catastrophe in Capiz, swimmers are very much alive. They have the fighting spirit to compete and show their best times,” the PSL chief added.
Marc Bryan Dula stole the limelight by breaking the boys’ 6 years 100m butterfly. He clocked 1:49.06 to erase the old mark of 1:54.57. Dula eventually copped the Most Outstading Swimmer honors his age-group.
The other Most Outstanding Swimmers are Julienne Fernandez (6 years), Jan Clarisse Arenal (7), Lessy Mena (8), Trisha Lei Bongco (10), Angeline Mae Eguia (11), Yzandra Mae Opina (12), Celine Delotavo (13), Alic Deniel de la Cruz (14), Patricia Alexis Molino (15), Amanda Mae Delfin (16) and Rose Mary Occeno (17) in the girls’ class; and Michael Gabriel Lozada (7), Wilse Jude Azarcon (8), Gulliver Clemente (9), Phyne Jethro Molina (10), Neo Ausan (11), Franchino Aplaon (12), Ron Metchel Luces (13), Kobe Soguilon (14) and Kim Abraham Jaro (15) in the boys’ event.
”Nothing is costly when you see the happy smiles from the swimmers whenever their names are being called. This is what PSL wants, to transform every swimmers in the country. Every swimmers had their dreams to look forward after the dooms day in Capiz,” said Papa.
The PSL is the national sports association affiliated with Federation of School Sports Associations of the Philippines and the longest-running grassroots developmental program.