Harwood tested against NZ's best, selected for World Juniors

Talya Harwood, Thomas Heaton and Caitlin Delany of the Tasman Swimming Club tested themselves against New Zealand’s Olympic swimmers at the 2016 New Zealand Open Swimming Championships last week and came up smiling, with Harwood and Heaton narrowly missing out on podium finishes.

Harwood, 17, competed against Lauren Boyle and made the finals in all three of her events, improving her personal bests (PBs) by 9 seconds in the 400m and 800m freestyle and claiming 4th place in the 1500m freestyle.

Heaton, who attends Garin College, had two PBs as well, in the 400m and 800m free, and was 4th in the 1500m, just missing 3rd place by 0.05 seconds. Delany (Waimea College) had three PBs and three finals, including 5th place in the 50 Breast.

The meet serves as the Olympic trial for New Zealand swimmers, and six swimmers, including Boyle, qualified in eight events. A further trial will be staged in Canada next week for the 13 NZ swimmers who are based in North America.

New Zealand’s Para-Swimmers also impressed at the meet, with eight swimmers going under the nomination standard in 24 events.

It was a good week for Harwood. The Waimea College student was named last week to represent New Zealand at the World Junior Open Water Championships at Hoorn in the Netherlands from 16 to 18 July, 2016. She was also selected for Sport Tasman’s Pathway to Podium programme for New Zealand’s rising young sports stars.

Harwood won the women’s section of this summer’s Nelson Sea Swim Series and won the 16-17 year age group in the New Zealand 5km Open Water Championship at Lake Taupo in January. She also finished 3rd in the 10km event at Taupo.

Also chosen for the Pathway to Podium programme were Sam McKenzie of Tasman Swim Club (Waimea College) and Clara Foster of Nelson South Swimming Club (Nelson College for Girls).

Posted: Sat 09 Apr 2016