Published on August 13, 2023
By Coach Emer Matienzo
Paco Manila: The aquatic arena came alive yesterday as the 2nd Susan Papa Legacy Swim Cup made a triumphant return to the Philippine Columbian Swimming Association swimming pool. With the sun beaming down and spirits soaring high, the event proved to be a dazzling spectacle of athleticism and dedication.
Graced by the guiding hand of SLP President Fred Galang Ancheta, this much-anticipated competition attracted a remarkable turnout, although logistical limitations forced the unfortunate rejection of nearly 200 eager swimmers from the pool of almost 700 entrants. A testament to the sport’s popularity, this obstacle didn’t dampen the enthusiasm as competitors took to the water with fervor.
The event was divided into two engaging sessions. The morning session, reserved for the novice division, showcased the bulk of the participants who demonstrated their emerging talents. The dawn saw the action kick off at 7:30 am, with the arena echoing with the splashes and cheers of the swimmers and spectators alike. The session spanned until noon, providing a glimpse into the promising future of Philippine swimming.
Following a quick hiatus to prepare, the afternoon session unfolded with Class ABC swimmers ready to claim their spot in the limelight. Commencing promptly at 1:00 pm after a series of invigorating warm-ups, the Class ABC division exhibited a mix of vigor and finesse as swimmers navigated the lanes in pursuit of victory. To ensure a timely conclusion, relay events were tactically removed, ensuring the competition’s end before 6:30 pm, much to the appreciation of athletes and attendees.
While the skies remained unburdened by rain, a minor hiccup occurred when the meet had to momentarily pause due to snapped lane lines. This temporary setback, however, was met with resilience as organizers promptly attended to the situation, keeping the momentum flowing.
In the novice division, a cohort of exceptional male swimmers dominated the scene across various age categories. Noteworthy mentions included Fabian Ramos (6 and under), Ronaldhino Lopez (7 years old), Andrei Mesa (8 years old), Ennio Reyes (9 years old), Polex Santos (10 years old), Romer Canuto (11 years old), Lee La Madrid (12 years old), Jhoncarlo Araza (14 years old), Paolo Obial (15 years old), Razle Salvatierra (16 years old), and Abdula Salahudin (17 and over). On the female front, the novice girls division was equally illustrious, featuring standout talents such as Skyler Sofia Toribio (6 and under), Dominique Savilla (7 years old), Robin Mejla (8 years old), and others who etched their names in the competition’s history.
The top podium spot in the novice division was emphatically secured by the Sharknado Swimming Team, which amassed an impressive 395.50 points. Batangas City Brad seized the second position with 317 points, with Sec Sharks Swim Club following closely with 312 points. The Body and Mind Swim Club secured a commendable 306 points, while the San Pablo Titans and Sharpeedo Swimming Team claimed 194 and 190.50 points, respectively.
As the sun set on a day laden with aquatic glory, the Class A division stepped into the spotlight with unparalleled fervor. Distinct male talents emerged victorious, including Aleph Avellanosa (6 and under), Red Carido (7-8 years old), and others who left their mark in their age categories. Their female counterparts equally dazzled the audience, as exemplified by the accomplishments of Amity Cardenas (6 and under), Pia Magat (6 and under), and various other swimmers across different age groups.
The crowning moment arrived with the Class ABC division, as the top six teams showcased their supremacy. Batangas City Brad emerged triumphant, amassing an astonishing 584 points, followed closely by the San Pablo Titans with a remarkable 398 points. Galleon Tankers Swim Club, Bosay Resort Aquatic Club, Sharpeedo Swimming Team, and the Joey Andaya Seagulls Swim Team showcased their mettle, securing their places with 385, 373, 351.50, and 276 points, respectively.
The day wasn’t just about the exhilarating competition; it also saw SLP President Fred Galang Ancheta share future plans and initiatives. Among them are the introduction of new swimming competition formats featuring long-distance events, the incorporation of semi-automatic timing systems, and the utilization of Team Manager software tailored for coaches of Swim League Philippines.
The anticipation in the air was palpable as discussions revolved around upcoming events. The Canadian Coach Wilfred Arzaga’s seminar, fresh from his sojourn in Canada, drew excitement. The Bosay Resort Aquatic Club Class ABC Invitational, set for September 9, 2023, was also announced, with the added distinction of being a qualifying event for the 2024 International School Sports Association in Manama, Bahrain. The Federation of School Sports Association of the Philippines (FESSAP) confirmed that the ISF meet would feature top swimming countries like Australia, the USA, Japan, China, and more. The Bosay Resort Class ABC Invitational Meet also aims to elevate novice swimmers by introducing them to a 50-meter pool, providing them with an opportunity to potentially progress from the novice level to Class B or C as they refine their skills and rankings.
As the sun set on a day filled with fervent competition and indomitable spirits, the 2nd Susan Papa Legacy Swim Cup proved to be a resounding success, a testament to the dedication and passion of swimmers, coaches, and organizers alike. The legacy of Susan Papa continues to inspire and empower the swimming community, and this event serves as a tribute to her enduring influence on the sport.