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Tankers return fierce for SMP Swim Challenge 2022

Article by: Lea Ysabel Q. Evangelista
Photos by: Maurine Claire F. Kim

After a three-year interruption due to the pandemic, the Mapúa Tankers kicked off their return as they competed in the Samahang Manlalangoy ng Pilipinas (SMP)’s “The Reunion Swim Challenge 2022 Leg 3” and bagged several medals, from October 22 to 23, at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Like other athletes, the Swimming Team was forced to halt all activities when the pandemic hit. Workouts and drills were held online as they found their own means to train in the pool. After two years, their face-to-face training resumed last August following the return of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) Swimming Competition. With the restrictions easing back to normal and leagues reopening, the Tankers, with the encouragement of Coach Ricardo Dilapdilap, grabbed the opportunity to dive into the competition scene through the SMP Reunion Swim Challenge.

The lineup for the SMP Swim Challenge led by Team Captain John Mar Armocilla consisted of Luigi Miguel Crisostomo, Sean Elijah Enero, Vanz Gabriel Goh, Michael Anakin Lirio, Charles Laurence Tamayo, Michael Joshua Villamater, Johann Carlos Manubay, Joseph Benedict Villamater, Jon Andrew Reguyal, Red Vladimir, Reyes, and Isaias Dael for the Senior Men’s Division. Meanwhile, Marie Mikaella Faye Estrella, Julia Javiña, Althea Marie Nanit, and Samantha Alexis Garcia made up the Senior Women’s Division.

The weekend competition proved to be a success for the Mapúa Tankers as eight swimmers from the roster won in various categories. Estrella won big in the Women’s Division with two golds for 50 meters fly and 200 meters free, as well as a silver for 100 meters free and bronze for the 4x50 meter mixed freestyle relay. Enero bagged two golds for the 50 meters freestyle and 50 meters breaststroke with two bronze medals for the 50 meters backstroke and 4x50 meters mixed relay for the Men’s Division. Crisostomo clinched a gold medal for 50 meters breaststroke and a bronze medal for 4x50 meters freestyle relay. Javiña earned silver for 50 meters backstroke and bronze for 50 meters breaststroke. Meanwhile, Manubay notched a silver medal for 200 meters freestyle, Reguyal took bronze for 100 meters freestyle, Garcia nabbed bronze for 4x50 meters mixed relay, and Villamater splashed a bronze for 50 meters backstroke.

The Team Captain shared that SMP served as a preparation for their return to the upcoming NCAA season and for the players to re-familiarize themselves with the competition setting. The experience also sought to be a confidence boost and a form of bonding for the team. With the reinstatement of their normal training mode, the team created a harmonious environment and established closer relationships among the members. Crisostomo mentioned that “being able to train and compete alongside with your teammates is really an uplift and a boost for all of us,” when describing the team’s return to the pool after a long period of virtual training.

After their victory, the Tankers went on to focus on their training for the NCAA Season 98 Tournament. The Team Captain explained that they have started to amplify their training early on, each personally taking on additional sessions like running, biking, and boxing, with all of them eager to do their best for the team and the University.

Crisostomo shared the league’s prestige given the variety of sports it holds and hoped that the students would extend their support to each of them. “Being there and supporting your athletes would be very much appreciated ‘cause kaming athletes we’re just really seeking for support from our fellow schoolmates,” he expressed.

With the competition fast approaching, Amorcilla invited fellow Mapúans to watch out for the team. “Ipapakita talaga po namin na we are better this time, and we will do our best to win a medal and title for the Mapúa Swimming Team,” he added.

The Mapúa Tankers are set to compete in the NCAA Season 98 Swimming Tournament from December 1 to 3 at the same venue. For announcements and the latest news, students can check out their Facebook page and get to know them more through the team’s Tiktok account.

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