Age Group Championships kicked off
The first day of the 2018 Aon National Age Group Championships kicked off with Ciara Smith and Pierce Collins in record breaking form. Lewis Clareburt also returned to competition following the Commonwealth Games.
Smith, 17, from Northwave, continues her dominance in the girls 16-18 years 50m breaststroke, breaking her own 17-years National Age Group (NAG) record with a time of 32.21s in the final.
Smith had to fight for the title, coming from behind at the 25m mark to overhaul Kaylee Jackson from QEII club.
“It’s all about the challenge and digging it in that brought me home, it’s nice to have a fast race to start off the week,” Smith said.
Jackson was second in 32.59s and Ellie Eastwood (United), third in 33.77s.
Collins, 13, from SwimZone Racing club in the Hutt Valley, broke his own NAG record in the boy’s 200m butterfly with a new personal best time of 2:13.92s in the heats.
In the final, Collins established a commanding lead from the start to win by over 11 seconds in 2:16.02s.
A jubilant Collins said after the race, “I was just following my race plan that my coach set out, and it was great to hear the support of my team mates.”
Hugo Batchelor (Kings), was second in 2:27.44s, and Jake Stephens (Napier Aquahawks), third in 2:29.40.
Fresh from winning a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games, Lewis Clareburt, 18, from Capital won the boy’s 16-18 400m freestyle and 200m butterfly finals.
In the 400m freestyle final, Clareburt was in a tight tussle with Aquabladz swimmer Zac Reid right through to the end with Clareburt winning by only 0.07s.
Rather than take some time off after the games, Clareburt was eager to compete again, “I wanted to see if I could back it up and see how fast I could go.”
On the close finish against Reid, Clareburt said, “I knew Zac would always be there, I didn’t expect him to go that fast, so it surprised me a bit, but I just had to dig deep.”
Reid finished second in 3:52.07s with Andrew Jeffcoat (Fairfield) third in 4:03.55s.
In the 16-18 years 200m butterfly final Clareburt won in 2:01.01s. Ollie Rayner (North Canterbury) was second in 2:06.53s and Lochlainn O’Connor (Greerton) third in 2:06.94s.
Another double title winner on the first night of finals was 13-year old Tyler Finau, who set two personal best times in two different events.
Finau, from the Enterprise swim club won the 12-13 years 100m freestyle final in 59.96s to go under the one-minute mark for the first time.
Zoe Crawford (North Shore), finished second in 1:00.03 and Elizabeth Murphy (Fulton) was third in 1:00.33s.
In the 200m butterfly final, Finau won convincingly in 2:25.12s from Grace Baik (United), in 2:31.26s and Imogen Amor-Bendall (Comet), who was third in 2:31.45s
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