Rukuwai top swimmer at regional champs

Rukuwai top swimmer at regional champs

Ellie Rukuwai (15) of Nelson South Swimming Club won the coveted Marie Saul Cup for Best All-Round Swimmer, collecting four golds, four silvers and three bronze medals while leading Nelson South to a sweep of the club trophies at the annual Swimming Nelson Marlborough Age Group Championships at ASB Aquatic Centre in Richmond.

While Sam McKenzie of Nelson Swimming Club won the most gold medals over the weekend, Rukuwai was the most consistent across all four strokes and accumulated the most points.

McKenzie (13), of Nelson Swimming Club, won all seven of the events he entered and broke two Nelson-Marlborough age group records in the process. Kaiori McGuinniety of Nelson South continued to re-write the record book for 18-year-old boys as he bettered five Nelson-Marlborough records and teammate Grace Woodall (17) added four, as each won several gold medals.

William Borrell (16) of Nelson won six gold medals and set one new regional record to go with the two he set last weekend in the 800m and 1500m freestyle events. Samantha Trevurza (14) of Motueka got a new regional record in the 100m backstroke and won all three backstroke events in her age group.

Georgina Trengrove and Matai McGuinniety of Nelson South took home the Pattison Family Cups for best 12-year-old swimmers. Sarah-Kate Birkett and Bendi Kepess of Nelson Swimming Club won the Margaret Young Cups for best 10-year-olds, and Sara Gane and Liam Clark of Blenheim collected the Durrant Family Cups for the best 14-year-old swimmers at the annual championships.

The final event of the meet was the Adam and Eve relay, which pairs the eight fastest boys with the eight fastest girls. William Borrell of Nelson and Bailee Spriggs of Nelson South won the event, holding off a late charge by Luke Kelly of Nelson South and Sally McMath of Blenheim.

Nelson South won the J R Buchanan Cup for the club with the most points overall, and just pipped Motueka for the YMCA  Cup, which goes to the club with the most points per entry, getting 15.50 points per entry compared to Motueka’s 15.48.   

Swimmers from Golden Bay and Waimea also competed, gaining a number of personal best times and taking home several medals.  Swimmers from Waimea are leading the 32-strong regional team heading to Timaru in two weeks for the South Island Country and Town meet. 

The competition season is now moving into the major national events.  Eight young swimmers from the region will be travelling to Wellington this weekend to compete in the New Zealand Junior Championships.  Nelson-Marlborough also has a strong contingent qualified for the National Age Group Championships in Wellington at the end of February.

Posted: Mon 11 Feb 2013