Local swimmers continue to climb to new heights, as numerous swimmers broke Nelson Marlborough records, won medals, and qualified for national and Australian meets at the Wellington Long Course Summer Championships held Friday through Monday.
Sally McMath (17) from Blenheim Swimming Club and Marlborough Girls College, led the record breakers, setting new Nelson Marlborough age-group benchmarks in five different events and new regional open records in the 100 and 200m backstroke. She also took home two silver medals and four bronze.
Sam McKenzie (15) of the Tasman Swimming Club, who attends Waimea College, brought home the most medals, winning gold in five different events and silver in two others. He also broke his own record as the fastest Nelson Marlborough swimmer ever in the 50m freestyle at 24.40 seconds in a 50m pool.
Caitlin Delaney (16) from Tasman Swimming Club and Waimea College set four Nelson Marlborough age group and two open records on her way to winning three gold medals and a bronze. Tasman’s Thomas Heaton, who attends Garin College, broke five regional age group records and collected one gold and won silver.
Meanwhile, Eddie Neill (17) of Nelson South Swimming Club and Nelson College, set four Nelson Marlborough age group and an open record, and teammate Clara Foster (Nelson College for Girls) won four gold medals in her age group while breaking two regional age group records.
Other record-breakers were Ellie Rukuwai (17), Luke Kelly (17), Bailee Spriggs (16), Matai McGuinniety and Daniel Trevurza (13) of Nelson South and Madisen Stanley (18) of Tasman.
McMath, Foster, Delaney, Heaton and McKenzie all achieved qualifying times for the Australian Age Group Championships later this year. They now must wait to see if they are selected to represent New Zealand at that competition.
Other swimmers bringing home gold medals for age group events were Ellie Rukuwai, Matai McGuinniety, Daniel Trevurza, Oliver Stark (13), Reuben Lile (10) and Skye Humphries (9) of Nelson South, and Bendi Kepess (12) of Tasman.
Nelson South, which took 24 swimmers to the meet, finished eighth on the team points table and was the highest scoring club outside of the Wellington region. Tasman was not far behind in 11th position.
Looking ahead, six Nelson Marlborough swimmers will be representing the South Island Makos in the Swimming New Zealand Zonal Competition being held in Auckland on Sunday 8 February. They are Caitlin Delany, Thomas Heaton, Tayla Harwood and Sam McKenzie of Tasman Swimming Club, Clara Foster from Nelson South, and Sally McMath from Blenheim. The meet will be televised live on SkySport 4.
Posted: Wed 21 Jan 2015