IT WAS the school’s maiden participation to the 2nd All-Ateneo Swimming Championships but the tankers of Ateneo de Iloilo-SMCS were not intimidated at all.
With two of its nine high school swimmers getting the Most Outstanding Athlete awards, sophomores Moses Oliver Bito-onon and Caitlin Estepar, ADI-SMCS sneaked past Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Iloilo and Ateneo de Manila University for a Second Runner Up finish in a five-team swimming tournament held August 1 in Matina Ateneo de Davao University Campus Swimming Pool in Davao City.
Led by coach Roel Susbilla, the Ateneo Blue Dragons bagged 14 gold, 11 silver, and 5 bronze medals in total.
The most bemedalled of all is aquabelle Estepar who collected nine golds for the same number of individual events, and another gold and silver medals in relay events. Moses Bito-onon, on the other hand, clinched two gold and seven silver medals in individual events, plus a bronze medal in one relay event.
Both were named Most Outstanding Athletes in the 12-13 girls and 14-15 boys category, respectively.
Meanwhile, junior Jillian Castillon managed to grab two silver medals for individual events, with another gold and a silver in relay events. Another junior swimmer, Samantha Yvette Ibarreta, also culled a gold and a silver in relay events. Her younger brother Selwyn and freshman Ronald Kent Sta. Ana also snitched a bronze in the relay event.
On the other hand, freshperson lady swimmer Mikee Joan Cortez also latched two bronze medals for individual events and a gold and a silver in a relay. Meanwhile, the younger Bito-onon, Martin Alphonse, hauled a gold, a silver and two bronze medals for individual events with a bronze in relay category. Freshperson Alyssa Sirilan also gave her competitors a run for their money in her age bracket, showing potential for a future medal haul in her favorite events.
With the most participants in the said competition, 29 in all, host school AdDU Blue Knights retained its championship title, followed by the Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan delegation.
The Ateneo Swimming Team is set to join the Jesuit Athletic Meet next year in Davao. (Herman Lagon/Jose Anselmo Tenorio/Magis)