Southern Tagalog tankers, Echavez star in PRISAA

Posted at 04/24/2012 12:39 PM | Updated as of 04/24/2012 12:40 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Southern Tagalog swimmers and Cebuana phenom Loren Dale Echavez made waves to usher in the swimming competition of the 2012 Private Schools Athletic Association (PRISAA) National Collegiate Games at the Cebu City Sports Center last Monday.

Led by triple gold medalists Rabino Wilison and Jerome Magallanes, Region 4-A captured eight of the 16 finals yesterday.

Echavez, for her part, carried the colors of Central Visayas and swept the women's 200- and 50-meter freestyle to begin her campaign to win all of her eight events in the meet.

A freshman at the La Salle-Dasmariñas, the 17-year-old Magallanes topped the men’s 100-meter breastroke (1:13.4) and the 400-m individual medley (5:39.86). Wilson, a third year student at the University of Perpetual Help-Laguna, took the men's 200-m freestyle (2:13.99) and the 50-m freestyle (0:25.84).

Magallanes and Wilson then secured their third gold medals by teaming up with Roque Hizola and Julius Rarela in ruling the men’s 200-m medley relay with a time of 2:02.03.

Diminutive Jackelyn Orig of the Saint Anne College-Lucene shared the spotlight with her male teammates in topping the women's 200-m butterfly (2:43.16) and the 400-m IM (5:56.61), while Andrea Fuentes, Cherilyn Jurado, Erleane Medina and Helyna Magallanes capped Southern Tagalog's mighty show in winning the women's 400-m freestyle relay (4:51.00).

Gunning for a sweep

Loren Dale Echavez of Central Visayas is shown on the way to winning the women’s 200-meter freestyle gold in swimming in the 2012 PRISAA National Collegiate Games at the Cebu City Sports center pool Monday.

Easily the swimmer to reckon with in the women's division, Echavez did not disappiont her hometown fans as the third-year student at the University of San Carlos stamped her class in winning both of her individual events.

Echavez, who won seven golds and a silver in last year’s PRISAA Games, took the women's 200-m free with a time of 2:15.68, more than 20 seconds ahead of runner-up Jurado of Souther Tagalog (2:36.00). She then added the 50-m free in 0:28.06 to handily prevail over Western Visayas' Reynalisa Catapang (0:31.36).

"Gusto ko ma-sweep lahat ng eight events ko this year. Palagay ko makakaya ko with the help of my teammates," said Echavez, who had to settle for the silver in the 4x100 freestyle relay last year.

Western Visayas' Edsel Pasaporte was also a double-gold medalist in the opening day of swimming with victories in the men's 100-m backstroke (1:09.84) and the 4x50 freestyle relay (4:08.24).

Retaining titles

Davao (Region XI) made its presence felt in early athletics action with Michael Ian Constantino and Charito Bajuyo succesfully defending their titles in the men's 1500 and women’s high jump, respectively.

The 22-year-old Constantino of the Brokenshire College in Koronadal captured the men's 1,500-m gold in 4:01.2, while Bajuyo, a student at the University of Mindanao in Davao, cleared 1.58-m in securing the women's high jump gold.

La Salle Damariñas bet Jerome Oclaret of Region 4-A likewise retained his men's shot put crown with a heave of 12.26 meters, while Jerly Bornales of Western Visayas (Region 6) ruled the women's 1,500-m for the second year in a row (4:57.2), beating Divina Kitongan of the Cordillera Autonomous Region in a dead heat.

Davao routed MIMAROPA (Region 4-B), 94-18, and Central Luzon edged Western Visayas, 59-57, at the start of the women’s basketball tournament.