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International Representation

posted Sep 3, 2014, 3:12 PM by DCST Webmaster   [ updated Sep 3, 2014, 3:17 PM ]
Elizabeth Jordana, one of our Senior Elite swimmers, featured in the largest newspaper in the Philippines, the Philippine Star.

Fil-Am seeks to swim for Phl

By Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) Updated September 1, 2014 - 12:00am
Elizabeth Jordana
MANILA, Philippines - A 17-year-old Fil-Am swimmer, whose best long course time of 31.39 seconds in the 50-meter backstroke is .03 faster than the Philippine record, hopes to compete for the country in the near future and her father is now inquiring about the steps to take in acquiring dual citizenship.

Elizabeth Davis Jordana began swimming competitively in US regional meets since she was nine and is in the senior elite class of the Dad’s Club Team in Texas. Her father Martin, 51, was born in Manila and is a Filipino-Spanish mestizo with roots in Bicol. Her mother Sarah is American.

“My daughter is interested and would like to be considered to swim for the Philippine team,” said Martin who manages an engineering company in Texas. “I was born and raised in Manila through my young adult years and currently reside in Houston with my family. We would like to inquire about the requirements for eligibility and for the time standards necessary to be considered.”

Elizabeth, an honor roll student, sent in her best times as certified by USA Swimming – 50-meter freestyle 28.39 (Philippine record 26.31), 100-meter
 freestyle 1:00.88 (56.37), 200-meter freestyle 2:10.47 (2:04.26), 400-meter freestyle 4:35.71 (4:20.9), 50-meter backstroke 31.39 (31.42), 100-meter backstroke 1:05.6 (1:04.32), 200-meter backstroke 2:23.06 (2:16.44), 50-meter breaststroke 38.89 (34.10), 200-meter breaststroke 3:03.10 (2:33.38), 50-meter butterfly 29.7 (28.02), 100-meter butterfly 1:04.34 (1:02.16), 200-meter butterfly 2:30.87 (2:16.13) and 200-meter individual medley 2:27.13 (2:23.59). USA Swimming is a national organization that tracks every American swimmer’s progress and accomplishments. It also runs national level meets. A dedicated USA Swimming website shows the best personal times of swimmers from all over the country. 

Although born and raised in the US, Elizabeth keeps close ties with her Filipino relatives and has taken at least 16 trips to the Philippines. Her most recent visit was in January last year. Her grandfather Virgilio Jordana, uncle Joaquin Jordana and aunts Mariles and Rosanna live in Manila. Her parents try to bring the family to Manila for a vacation every year. Elizabeth is entering Grade 12 in the next term. 
“Elizabeth learned to swim when she was five,” said Martin in an e-mail to The STAR. “She joined her first competition in a summer league at the age of five. She has participated in major competitions such as the NCSA Junior National Swimming Championships where she timed 31.39 seconds in the 50-meter backstroke three weeks ago. My daughter would like to apply for dual citizenship. If she qualifies for the Philippine team and her schedule allows, she would like to compete internationally for the Philippines.” 

Elizabeth, one of three children (sister Hannah is 20 and brother Joseph is 16) isn’t just a star athlete. She’s also known to be an honor student and role model who gives a lot of her time for social causes. She is a volunteer kindergarten leader and teacher in church, a Heritage Student Council member and a swimming lesson teacher. 

While Elizabeth’s top 50-meter backstroke clocking is faster than the Philippine record, it’s 2.02 seconds off the Southeast Asian Games mark set by Singapore’s Shana Lim in 2011. But time is on her side. Elizabeth turns 18 on Sept. 3 and has several more years of competitive swimming ahead. The 5-7, 135-pound Fil-Am would like nothing better than to represent the country of her father’s birth and reap honors for the Philippines. 

Elizabeth’s coach is former El Salvador national swimmer Rey Aguilar who is on his 12th year with the Dad’s Club Team. Aguilar has taught swimmers in all levels from beginners to advanced nationally-ranked competitors. He specializes in butterfly and distance free. Elizabeth’s father said her strongest events are the 100-meter and 200-meter backstroke and the 100-meter butterfly. But compared to Philippine records, Elizabeth’s time in the 50-meter backstroke is what stands out in her resume.