Six SNM swimmers win gold at Nationals

Six SNM swimmers win gold at Nationals

Sam McKenzie broke his own New Zealand record in the 100m freestyle while winning his fourth gold medal on the final day of the National Age Group Championships in Wellington. The 15-year-old from the Tasman Swim Club touched in 51.93 seconds, beating his record of 52.02 swum just three weeks ago. His was the fastest 100m across all age groups, beating even the 18-year-old swimmers.

Earlier in the day, Tasman teammate Thomas Heaton (16) won a gold medal in the 1500m freestyle, while McKenzie got the silver in his age group in that event.

Samantha Trevurza (16) of Nelson South finished the medal collection with a gold in the 50m backstroke. Her time of 31.00 seconds smashed her own Nelson Marlborough open record in that event.

In the 200m butterfly, Clara Foster (15) of Nelson South shaved 4.33 seconds off her personal best to finish 4th, and teammate Matai McGuinniety (15) improved by a similar amount to finish 6th in his age group. Tasman’s Cara Pearson (18) also was 6th in the 17-18 age group.

Nelson South swimmers had two other individual top ten finishes on the last day. Eddie Neill (17) carved 9.60 seconds off his previous best to finish 7th in the 1500m freestyle, and Oliver Stark (13) claimed the 8th spot in the 50m backstroke, taking a full second off his previous best and breaking a Nelson Marlborough record from 1986.

Blenheim’s Sally McMath (17) made her fourth final of the competition, finishing 8th in the 100m freestyle.

Nelson South’s girls 16 & over relay team of Samantha Trevurza, Ellie Rukuwai, Philippa Dwyer and Bailee Spriggs put the final touches on a great competition when they finished 9th in the club 400m medley relay.

Overall, Nelson Marlborough swimmers brought home 10 gold, 6 silver, and 4 bronze medals. In addition to McKenzie’s four golds and one each for Trevurza and Heaton, Nelson South’s Foster won two golds and a silver, with other gold medals won by Caitlin Delaney (16) of Tasman and Matai McGuinniety (14) of Nelson South.

Ellie Rukuwai (17) of Nelson South won three silver medals in breaststroke events, unable to get the better of Millie MacDonald from Parnell, with whom Rukuwai has been dueling for the past five years.

Delaney also won a silver and a bronze, and Trevurza won two silvers. The other bronze medals were won by Heaton, Tasman’s Talya Harwood (15) and Nelson South’s Bailee Spriggs (17), all earlier in the week.

Nelson South and Tasman both finished well up the club points table, with Nelson South 14th and Tasman 22nd among well over 70 clubs represented at the competition.

The Nelson Marlborough record book also got a significant re-write at the national competition, with 37 new records set. Rukuwai led the recordbreakers with four new age group records and three open records. McKenzie set four age group and two open records, while Foster had four age group and one open record.

Stephen Fryer, President of Swimming Nelson Marlborough, said “This is the first time that I can recall this region having six swimmers win gold medals at nationals. It’s a real credit to both the swimmers and their coaches. They have done us proud.”

Posted: Mon 11 May 2015