Making waves: Abra swimmers bag 15 golds; dominate 2024 CARASUC swimming tilt

LAGANGILANG, Abra (PIA) — “Isipin mo na magagaling ang kalaban mo pero isipin mo rin na mas magagaling ka.”

This is the motto of the University of Abra (UA) swimming team who recently bagged 15 gold medals and dominated the 2024 Cordillera Administrative Region Association of State Universities and Colleges (CARASUC) swimming tilt.

Swimming for Gold

More than eight years in the making, the swimmers of the University of Abra started to participate in the CARASUC swimming competition in 2015 when UA did not have yet a swimming pool to train their athletes.

In 2020, the school was able to build a 25-meter swimming pool where the swimmers can practice and master their sport.

UA Swimming Team coach Michelle Barbero shared that there are plans to improve the school swimming facility to further help their athletes hone their skills.

“We currently have a 25-meter pool and we are planning to expand it to 50 meters to improve training for our swimmers,” she said.

Swimmers of the University of Abra strike a pose with their coach Michelle Barbero at the Apayao Sports Complex during the Cordillera Administrative Region Association of State Universities and Colleges Athletic Meet 2024.

The coach also shared that aside from believing in their athletes, among the keys in hauling gold medals include discipline and perseverance in practice.

“We assure you that it is with proper training, hardwork and perseverance nu apay naka-achieve da ti adu nga gold during the CARASUC 2024,” she disclosed.

Swimmers of the University of Abra (UA) train at the UA swimming pool at the Lagangilang Campus in preparation of the 2024 Cordillera Administrative Region Association of State Universities and Colleges Athletic Meet.

Getting the Gold

Barbero shared that they started training at least a month before the competition with the last two weeks of intensive training. She emphasized that they focused on sticking to training routines, and inculcating discipline among the swimmers.

“Kapatpatang ko isuda ket kanayon ko nga ibaga na they should practice well because it is through their practice or training that will lead them to attain gold in the CARASUC competition,” she said.

Jhomar Aguilar Tadeo, who had an impressive haul of four golds, two silver medals, and one bronze medal during the CARASUC swimming event, said that practice and self-discipline are important aspects that helped him shine during the sports event.

“Dapat adda disiplina ti bagim ti training ken dapat nu oras ti training, training ngem dapat enjoyem lang ti bagim, don’t stress yourself,”  shraed Tadeo from Lagangilang.

Barbero also shared the pressure and expectation that both coaches and athletes need to handle during the competition proper. She explained that although it is not easy, they were able to handle both pressure and expectation by believing in the abilities of the athletes and focusing on a goal.

“Hindi namin inisip na pressure siya kung hindi inisip namin na challenge sa kanila. Hindi kami nagpa-apekto sa pressure kasi ayokong nape-pressure iyong mga athletes namin kasi kapag nape-pressure ang mga atleta, lalo silang hindi nakakapag-perform ng maayos,” she said.

Although the athletes are mentally ready with positive thinking and believing in their abilities, Barbero shared that the almost simultaneous events took a toll on the physical strength of the atheletes.

“I assure you na nandoon yung positive thinking nila na kaya nilang matalo iyong kalaban pero dahil sa pagkaka-sunod-sunod ng mga laro nila, iyong pagod ng katawan talaga ang naging hamon sa kanila.,” she said.

Tadeo  said that the biggest challenge for him  during the competition was tiredness due to the successive events.

“Na-experience ko, kalanglangoy ko paylang idiay 200-meter nga langoy ko, halos madi nak pay naka-ahon idiay swimming pool, adda man ti maysa event nga langoyekon,” he said.

PRACTICE IS KEY. Swimmers of the University of Abra (UA) sharpen their skills during trainings in preparation of the 2024 Cordillera Administrative Region Association of State Universities and Colleges Athletic Meet in Apayao.

Towards more gold

Despite the different challenges and experiences   in the CARASUC 2024 athletic meet, the Swimming Team Coach looks forward to getting more medals.

“We will work harder and harder just to train our swimmers and achieve all the golds. Magte-training kami ng mas maaga and at the same time magpu-push kami ng more routine sa training nila,” Barbero shared.

Meanwhile, Tadeo shared his happiness in the team and his achievements in the sports compretition. He also emphasized the importance of self-discipline for aspiring swimmers.

“Ti advise ko ti kayat na nga sumali ti swimming ket kangrunaan na ket self-discipline kasi uray kasano ka nga kalaing nga atleta, nu awan ti self-disciplina ti bagbagim, useless metlang amin,” he stressed.

The achievements of the UA swimmers serve as an inspiration to athletes in the university, instilling a sense of motivation and belief in their own capabilities. (JJPM, PIA-Abra/Rachelle Joy Alvis, PIA-GIP)

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