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UP wins swimming titles

By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Sep 23rd 2013

UP bagged the men's and women's titles in the 76th UAAP swimming competition behind impressive gold-clinching performances since Day 1.

Make that a double splash.

University of the Philippines (UP) broke bread with destiny on Sunday, completing a rare five-peat in the women’s division while its men’s team emerged as new kings of the pool to annex the seniors’ titles of the 76th UAAP swimming competition at the PASA National Aquatics Center in Laguna.

Impressive since Day 1, the Lady Maroons capped another victorious season behind an overwhelming 587-point aggregate to match the league’s first five-peat essayed by University of Santo from 1957 to 1961.

Ateneo de Manila University jacked up 387 points to finish at far second while De La Salle University was third with 115 markers. University of the East (UE) played a nondescript role with just two points for fourth while traditional powerhouse UST opted to boycott the entire tournament in protest of former girls’ team member Anna Dominique Bartolome’s inclusion to the UP team.

Bartolome was allowed to compete after securing a temporary restraining order from a Quezon City court which kept the league’s two-year residency rule from exercising jurisdiction over her.

The Maroons ended defending champion Ateneo de Manila University’s reign, notching 452 points highlighted by a three-gold swing in the final day of competitions.

Season 76 MVP Johansen Benedict Aguilar and the rest of De La Salle University relegated the Eagles to third place, grabbing runners-up honors with 301 points against Ateneo’s 283 points. UST and UE wound up fifth (175) and sixth (18), respectively.

Cordero sisters strike anew

Denjylie and Delia Angela Cordero swam to record-setting finishes each to mark UP’s ultimate day in the podium. Denjylie clocked 2:37.75 to rule the 200-meter breaststroke and match the same standard she set in the preliminaries. Delia Angela then duplicated her preliminary time of 2:21.34 to win the 200-meter butterfly final.

UP’s 4x400-meter relay team was as dominating, out-pacing Ateneo and La Salle en route to a title-clinching 5:42.87 time.

Women’s MVP Anna Celina Gonzales of Ateneo salvaged two more golds to her name, winning the 50-meter backstroke (30.94) and 50-meter freestyle (27.23) sprints.

In the men’s division, Charlie Walker romped away with the 50-meter backstroke and freestyle golds for UP. Walker repeated his preliminary time of 27.33 to conquer the finals before logging in 24.05 in the freestyle event. The Maroons completed a three-gold rush by seizing the 4x400 meter medley in 4:12.10.

La Salle’s Aguilar saved his best for last, vanquishing the rest of the field to wear the 200-meter breaststroke (2:31.11) and butterfly (2:09.83) golds.

Meanwhile, the Eaglets coasted to their ninth straight title after tallying a season-best 567 points. De La Salle Zobel and UST wound up second and third with 239 and 204 points, respectively. Rounding up the boy’s standings were UE (138 points), and UP (93 points).

UE for its part fashioned out a three-peat with a 403-point total. UST settled for second with 371 markers while De La Salle Zobel collected 197 points for third. UP was dead last with 173 points.

Gerard Christoffe Reyes of Ateneo was named boys’ MVP while Christine Jhoy Mendoza took home the same award in the girls’ division.