Monday, May 02, 2011

Echavez, Cañeda collar top titles

Echavez, Cañeda collar top titles
By Marsante G. Alison
Cebu Daily News
May 1, 2011

The delayed release of her passport became a blessing in disguise for University of San Carlos' (USC) Loren Dale Echavez, who won her first open-water swimming title by topping the 6-kilometer competitive women's category of the 4th Olango Challenge “Swim for Nature, Swim for the Future” held yesterday at the Tambuli East beach resort in Lapu-Lapu City.

Echavez was supposed to miss this year's event after she was scheduled to leave for Hong Kong last week for an international swimming competition.

The bemedalled swimmer, however, missed the trip after her passport was not released on time by the Department for Foreign Affairs (DFA) due to minor complications resulting from her Australian Visa application. But she is still scheduled to leave last night.

Because of the incident, Echavez decided at the last minute to compete in the Olango Challenge. She won't regret her decision as she crossed the finish line first in her category with a time of one hour, 23 minutes and 40.87 seconds.

This is Echavez's second participation in this open-water swimming competition and she attributes her achievement to the fact that she has now grown comfortable competing in this kind of race.

Last year, Echavez finished second because she held back in surging ahead of her competitors as she was scared she would get lost in the open sea. Yesterday, Echavez was leading even the men participants during the first loop.

“I am very happy, this is a great achievement. There were big waves and I itched a lot,” said Echavez, who added that she had to avoid a lot of jelly fish while negotiating the race course.

This year's competition was mostly ruled by the Cebuanos with members of the Cebu Blue Marlin (CBM) swimming club entering the top 3 in most categories. All CBM tankers were also students of the University of Cebu (UC).

CBM's Paula Abigail M. Vega placed second to Echavez with a time of 1:30:40.28 while third place went to another CBM tanker, Cristine Indaya, who clocked 1:32:29.30.


The men's division in the 6k competitive category was dominated by Noel Cañeda also of CBM. He crossed the finish line at 1:20:36.63.

Trailing him at second place was his CBM colleague Michael David M. Vega, who finished the race in 1:32:26.44. Salvaging third place was Chandell Canizarez with a time of 1:32:32.

CBM tankers also swept the 2k competitive women's division with Trina Cañeda leading her colleagues with a time of 31 minutes and 36.02 seconds. Cañeda was trailed by Joyce Huguete (32:11.00) and Romylin Nina Ignacio (32:08).

The men's division was dominated by Emilio Rafols of the Polo Duck Pirate with a time of 27:57.87. Placing second was Imperial Palace's Rey Suerte (30:58.83) and settling for third was Joshua Rosada of CBM (32:08).

The 6k fun men's division was topped by Rico Q. Enriquez of Team Imperial Palace (1:20:23.)

Imperial Palace's Jey Campania reigned supreme in the 2k fun men's with a time of 28:50.40.

The 2k competitive relay was dominated by the Sugbu Triathlon Team, which got a time of 1:28:26.

The team is composed of Franz Baguio, Gavin Solijon and Jebb Cane.

The 2k fun relay had the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc (RAFI) claiming first place with a time of 1:56:57. The team is powered by Amaya Aboitiz, Keith Ocampo and Gabriel Lamparas.