Ateneo, UP rule UAAP swimming competition; Johansen Aguilar bags men’s MVPBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — Ateneo de Manila University clinched its first ever title in the men’s division while University of the Philippines stamped its class anew in the women’s side at the close of 75th UAAP swimming competition Sunday.
Rookie Axel Ngui, who broke records in three days of competition, powered the Blue Eagles, who garnered 365 points to top the competition at the Trace Aquatics Center in Laguna.
La Salle, behind Johansen Aguilar, wound up second place with 347 points while UP, after leading in the first day, ended up third with 286 points.
The Lady Maroons, meanwhile, collected 568 points to defeat the Lady Blue Eagles, who had 326 points, and the Lady Archers, who had 196 points.
The Lady Maroons capped their domination with a record-setting swim by Whitney Dy, Tiara Tudio, Dennice Cordero and Tin Hipol in the 400-meter medley relay with a time of 4:39.97.
“The hard work of the girls paid off. They always strive to work harder,” said UP head coach Noel Rivera.
La Salle’s Johansen Aguilar, meanwhile, underscored a seven-gold romp with dominance in the 50-meter backstroke, clocking in at 27.68 seconds to win his second straight men’s MVP honors.
“It was very challenging this year,” said the 20-year old Aguilar, who was also an athlete-of-the-year awardee last season.
The 18-year old Ngui, on the other hand, was just as impressive with six golds and silver medals — only yielding to Aguilar in the 400-meterindividual medley — to get the rookie-of-the-year plum.