Thursday, May 03, 2012

Echavez shifts focus

Echavez shifts focus
By Iste S. Leopoldo
Sun.Star Cebu
May 3, 2012

CEBU’s top tanker Loren Dale Echavez will try to defend her title in the 6K competitive division in the 5th Olango Challenge in Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City.

Her older sister, Cebu’s top triathlete Lohriz Echavez Lopez, who skipped all competitions due to her pregnancy, returns to action and will be joining 2K competitive division, which she won in 2010.

Her husband, Mendel, one of Cebu’s top runners who is gradually getting into triathlon, will also be making his debut in the open water swim in the 2K competitive male category.

Loren Dale said she finds this year’s competition tough considering that there will be more Philippine Aquatic Sports Association (PASA) members competing since it will be held right after the 2012 Palarong Pambansa.

“Excited and at the same time nervous with the presence of more top swimmers in this year’s edition,” said the 18-year-old Loren Dale, who won six gold medals in the in Private Schools Athletic Association national finals.

One of the toughest opponents who she is expecting to join is 2010 winner Erika Lukang, who beat Loren Dale in the Cebuan’s first attempt in open water competition.

Comeback swimmers
Loren Dale, who used to fear open water swimming, said she is now comfortable joining the event, which is organized by the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and her experience in triathlon, which includes an open water swim, has boosted her confidence.

Other local bets who are also expected to join are Christine Indaya and Trina Caeda of the Cebu Marlin Swimming Club. Matthew Vega, another top swimmer who took a break from the sport, will also join the 6K competitive category, while Cebu’s Oceanman champion Jesse Arriola Jr. is also expected to join.

“Surprisingly, we have several of Cebu’s former top swimmers making a comeback in this year’s edition. We are expecting a new set of top finishers this year as we will be missing some of last year’s winners, like 6K second placer Paula Vega, who is already in the US,” PBSP’s Riva Valles said.

Registration for the 2K and 6K division is still ongoing at the PBSP office in Mabolo.