Swimmers bag gold at nationals

Sam McKenzie continued his golden run at the New Zealand Age Group Championships, winning three gold medals, two silvers and one bronze and breaking Nelson-Marlborough records in five events.

The 14-year-old from Tasman Swim Club, who attends Waimea College, won the 50, 100 and 1500 meter freestyle events in his age group to lead a group of medalists from the top of the South Island. The meet was held in Wellington over five days last week.

Clara Foster of Nelson South Swimming Club brought home a gold medal in the 100 meter breaststroke for 14 year-old girls and silver medals in the 50 and 200 meter breaststroke events. Foster had four other top ten finishes and improved on her best times in eight of her nine events. Her teammate Ellie Rukuwai won a bronze medal in the girls’ 16 year-old 50 meter breaststroke and was 4th in the 100 meter breaststroke. Foster and Rukuwai both attend Nelson College for Girls.

Thomas Heaton of Tasman Swim Club, who attends Garin College, won gold in the 15 year-old boys’ 1500 meter freestyle in a time of 16 minutes 13.34 seconds, breaking his own Nelson-Marlborough record for swimmers of any age. He got the silver medal in the 400 meter freestyle, was 4th in the 800 meter freestyle and 9th in the 200 meter backstroke. His time in the 800 free was another regional open record.

Other medalists were Talya Harwood of Tasman (2nd in 800 free, as well as 9th in both 200 and 400 free for 14 year-old girls), Sara Gane of Tasman (3rd in 100 breast and 7th in 200 breast, 15 year-old girls) and Matai McGuinniety of Nelson South (3rd in 50 butterfly, 7th in 50 back and 10th in 100 butterfly, 13 year-old boys).

Harwood, who attends Waimea College, set a new regional open record in the 800 free, as did Eddie Neill of Nelson South in the 400 meter individual medley. Neill attends Nelson College.

Madisen Stanley of Tasman Swim Club broke six regional records for 18 year-old girls, setting new benchmarks in the 50, 100 and 200 breast; 400 and 800 free; and 200 medley.

Three swimmers broke the Nelson-Marlborough record for 16 year-old girls in the 400 meter freestyle. Sally McMath of Blenheim joined Bailee Spriggs and Amy Coulton of Nelson South in breaking the record, with Spriggs recording the fastest time, 4 minutes 41.57 seconds. Spriggs also set age group records in the 200 and 800 meter freestyle events. Coulton was the previous record holder in the 800 free, and also bettered that record, but Spriggs was again faster.

Regional age group records were also broken by Caitlin Delany (800 free), Samantha Trevurza (50 back), Sara Gane (100 breast), Ellie Rukuwai (100 free, 50 breast and 100 breast), Sally McMath (100 fly), Matai McGuinniety (50 back), and Luke Kelly (400 free).

Nelson South’s team of Samantha Trevurza, Clara Foster, Phillippa Dwyer and Georgina Trengrove finished 9th in the 200 meter medley relay for the girls’ 15 years and under.

Achieving top ten individual results for Nelson South were Amy Coulton (7th in 800 free), Phillippa Dwyer (6th in 400 individual medley), Luke Kelly (8th in 1500 free), Eddie Neill (6th in 400 medley and 9th in 200 breast), Bailee Spriggs (5th in 800 free and 8th in 400 free), Samantha Trevurva (6th in 50 back) and Georgina Trengrove (10th in 400 medley).

Additional top ten finishers from Tasman Swim Club were Madisen Stanley (5th in 50 breast, 5th in 200 breast, 6th in 800 free, 8th in 100 breast, 9th in 400 free and 10th in 200 medley), Caitlin Delaney (4th in 50 breast, 5th in 800 free, 6th in 200 breast, 9th in 100 breast and 10th in 400 free), and Cara Pearson (8th in 200 fly and 8th in 400 medley).

Top ten finishers from Blenheim Swimming Club were Sally McMath (7th in 100 fly and 9th in 200 back) and Oriana Houra (9th in 50 breast).

Tasman’s Cassandra Hagan (12) and Nelson South’s Fraser Neill (18) and Libby Neill (15) also represented the region at the national meet.

The region’s swimmers will now turn their attention to competing for their schools, with the Tasman Secondary Schools Swimming Championships to be held on Wednesday 14 May at the ASB Aquatic Centre in Richmond.

Posted: Mon 05 May 2014