NATIONAL mainstay Thanya Dela Cruz proved she was a force to reckon with in the breaststroke event even Czarina Cavite of Davao Del Norte shared the limelight with a triple-gold haul at the 2022 FINIS Short Course Swimming National Finals on Saturday at the Olympic-sized New Clark Aquatics Center in Capas, Tarlac.
Dela Cruz, a UAAP multi-medalist and 2019 SEA Games’ campaigner, claimed victory in the girls’ 19-over 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:14.16, beating Adriana Yulo of Iloilo Tiger Shark Swim Team (1:22.65) and Danielle Patricia Valenczuela of Megakraken Swim Team (1:28.54).
“It’s very challenging here considering na ako na yata ang pinaka-senior at mga kalaban ko mga up and coming. Maganda ‘yung start ko, buti naman po at hindi ako napahiya sa mga juniors ko,” said the 19-year-old freshman at the Ateneo studying AB Major in Development Studies.
Representing the Golden Zoomers Swim Team, the two-time SEA Games mainstay tries to make it a double in her favorite 50-meter breast on Sunday, hoping to break her own national mark of 30.4 seconds she registered during last year’s PSI tournament.
Cavite was the toast of the Mindanao delegation as the 10-year-old tanker representing DavNor Blue Marlins Swim Team became the event’s first tripe-gold medalist with victories in girls’ 9-10 100-m IM (1:28.83), 100-m butterfly (1:32.29) and 50-m freestyle (35.41).
The DavNor pride won over Reese Tacuboy (1:29.08) and Elisha Aparri of Sealions Swim (1:34.67) in her first event; before beating her rivals Reese Meciano of Silay (1:35.34) and Precious Solayao of Gigs (1:49.80) for her second gold. In hee third event, she defeated Reese Tacuboy (35.90) and Rhiane Aparri of Sealions (39.18).
“Masayang masaya po ako. Talagang pinagbutihan ko po para sa aking team, kay coach at sa mga sponsors namin,” said Cavite, a part of 100-athlete delegation from Mindanao.
FINIS Managing Director Vince Garcia expressed his gratitude to all participants, officials and key local government unit heads for extending their hand on the success of the competition which he planned to make a yearly program. “We’re very happy. ‘Yung makita mo lang na maraing kabataang swimmers ang nabibigyan mo ng tsansa na mag-excel, sapat na para sa pinagpaguran namin. Hindi tayo natatapos dito,” Garcia said.