Living up to its moniker as the ‘Very Scenic University’, VSU pulled off a massive event that gathered the Visayan people to conquer the university’s scenic tides and rough terrains.


Visayas State University (VSU) took advantage of its tides and terrains as it recently concluded its notable first Open Water and Aquathon Tournament from April 6-7, 2024 as part of the banner activities of the Centennial Celebration, which are also co-presented by the different course-organizations of the campus and significant interest groups outside the university.


Besides the Goodwill Games, which has been part of the many anniversary celebrations, collaborative efforts of the different unit heads inside VSU paved the way for the possibility of holding this prestigious event that gathered swimmers and aquathletes of different parts of the Visayas Cluster, coming from the cities of Catbalogan, Tacloban, Ormoc, Baybay, and Cebu who vied for titles of the multifaceted categories – 12 years old and 40 years and above divisions.


The event panned out in a two-day span; with the open water competition concluding on the first day and the aquathlon event on the following day.


Day 1: Open Water Competition


The vigorous competition between Events 1-3 distributed to men, women, girls, and boys category unfolded on day 1, with Ormoc Kingfisher Swim Team (OKST) and Ormoc Aquatic Edge Tri-Team (OAETT) dominating event 1 for Girls 12 and Under 500m courtesy of Zoey Ranot, Zakiah Arsua, and Aliya Adre for first, second, and third place; and Hans Samputon and Alfonso Sumabat of OAETT took the first and third place for Boys 12 and Under 500m. Additionally, Ran Sabang of Little Santorini Mountain Res grabbed the silver.


Event 2 of the same day featured a diversified winners reppin’ different cities. Karla Emilia Co (SHS- Ateneo de Cebu) got the gold in Girls 14 and Under 1k; Xander Johanne Canin and Marinila Urboda of VSU snatched gold and silver, respectively in Women 18-24 1k category; Ethelbert Deguit (Ormoc Aquatic Edge Tri-Team) snagged first place in Boys 14 and under 1k and Levi Mantanonna settled with silver of the same category. Ronald Aarik Marcon of Mmis Burgundy Hawks Swim Team and Robney Gatoc of VSU landed golds in Men 15-17 1k and Men 18-24 1k divisions, respectively.


The last event of Day 1 (event 3) permuted the most divisions, with Dhexie Bersabal of SHS-Ateneo de Cebu and Juliet Allysa Sedeño of Mmis Burgundy Hawks Swim Team finished in first and second place in Women 2k; Coby Rivilla, Rex Dela Cruz Jr of OKST and Akio Habana of UP Cebu Fighting Maroons earning Men 2k’s podium awards.


For Boys 14 and Under 2k featured Vince Yap of OKST and Bryle Villahermosa of Mmis Burgundy Hawks Swim Team as first and second placers; Quintin Sabalandee of SHS-Ateneo de Cebu bagged the gold, and Carron Cañas (Tltg-Go For Gold) on silver in Men 15-17 2k division.


In the Men 18-24 2k Renz Corbin was proclaimed the winner with Rey Conol (UP-Cebu Fighting Maroons), Albert Godinez (Asian Orthopedics) as top 3 finishers for the said category. Billy Pagulong of VSU earned Men 25-29 2k category gold award while Emmanuel Alferez of Iman Basic Swimming Technique, Laurencio Logaygay Jr of Sealions Swimming Team, and Ryan Chan declared as the first, second, and third places respectively for Men 30-39 2k division. Andrie Pacayra sizzled for gold and Gerard Rivilla and Angelo Sumabat of OKST estates at second and third place for Men 40 and Over 2k category respectively.


Day 2: Aquathlon


Rigorous challenge in waves and land combination took place on the second day as the Aquathlon (Open Water + Run) transpired on the VSU Beach. OAETT conquered Girls 12 and under in the 2k (500m swim + 1.5k run) category, sending Lauren Tan, Kydie Guinto, and Kelli Marie Dimzon on first, second, and third spot. While Boys 12 and Under in the same division brought Hans Samputon, Rafael Toledo, and Abraham Josh Estrera on the first three finishes in event 4.


Ormoc Kingfisher Swimming Team (OKST) dominated most of the category in the last event (event 5) of the two-day tournament. Rex Dela Cruz and Edel Royeras of OKST wrapped gold and third finishes, while Bryle Villahermosa of Mmis Burgundy Hawks Swim Team slithered second in Boys 14 and Under 7.5k (1.5k swim + 6k run).


John Penserga and Audres Dumandan, both from OKST, concluded first and second awards in Men 15-17 7.5k (1.5k swim + 6k run) category. Men 18-24 of the same event saw Albert Godinez (Asian Orthopedics) in gold, Daereic Cañete in silver, and Chico Campo of VSU in third place. The Men 25-29 hoisted Billy Pagulong and Jaymar Baslan of VSU at first and third places while Michael Gorre inserted himself in second place. 


Men 30-39 had Emmanuel Alferez (Iman Basic Swimming Technique), Kris Dy, and Presco Bug-os clasped in the top positions in the said category, while Men 40 and over at the same water distance to run ratio gripped on Melito Lattao of Twigs Tri Team for first place and Angelo Sumabat of OKST at second place.


Men (open) at 7.5k of the same combination hang onto Akio Habana of UP-Cebu Fighting Maroons on top post, Renz Wynn Corbin and Carron Paulter of Tltg-Go For Gold at second and third places.


Event 5 Women category of 1.5k Swim + 6k run (7.5K) uplifted Elizza Maureen Ecalla of OKST on gold spot, followed by Mary Angelic Villocino at second place.


The two-day battle of swimmers and aquathletes alike was hailed successful through the collaborative work of Dr. Aleli A. Villocino, Vice President for Student Affairs and Services; Dr. Charis B. Limbo- Rivera, Director of the Institute of Human Kinetics (IHK) which is the university’s unit in hosting sporting events; Mr. Jessie Arriola, Vice President of Philippine Aquatics; Chief Referee Mr. Benjoe Jimenez, among with other IHK faculty- Mr. Edilberto Artiga, Race Director; and Prof. Vicente Antipaso as the Consultant.


Course-related organizations who also took part behind the success of the tournament are the officers and members of APEX and ADARNA- the course organization of Bachelor of Physical Education and Bachelor of Culture and Arts Education offered under VSU-IHK.

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