2023 Apollo Projects NZ Age Group Swimming Championships: Day Two Wrap
The second day of the 2023 Apollo Projects NZ Age Group Swimming Championships continued from where the first day left off, with another exciting day of racing at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre. Following some great swims in the morning heats, the energy generated from cheering on teammates was electric during the finals session.
Whilst there were some strong swims across the board, congratulations goes to the two swimmers who broke NZ records during the finals session. A week after achieving the qualification time for the World Aquatics Junior Championships, Zoe Pedersen (Coast) continued her rich vein of form in the girls 50m freestyle on route to breaking the 15 years NZ age record (25.63). Asher Smith-Franklin (North Shore) also continued his record breaking swims into the boys 50m freestyle multi-class by shaving 0.05 seconds off his S14 NZ record (26.81).
To open the finals, the boys 200m freestyle saw a good battle in the 15 year old age group, with Isaac Gear (Mt Eden) leading out the field before a fast finishing Hunter Lloyd (Raumati) closed the gap. Gear held on to take the win (1:59.87) by 0.01 seconds. Kevin Zhang (Roskill) backed up his impressive heats swim to lead from start to finish in the 16 year old age group, finishing in 1:52.40, which is just outside the NZ age record.
Rylee Sayer (Matamata) took home the girls 50m freestyle multi-class (32.11), before returning later in the evening to claim the girls 50m butterfly multi-class (46.82). Asher Smith-Franklin also claimed his second title of the evening in the boys butterfly.
In the boys 200m breaststroke, the 13 year old age group saw a tight contest to be first on the wall, with Jethrow Yoon (Phoenix Aquatics) touching as the first Kiwi (2:35.24). The 14 year old boys also had a close tussle, with Cameron Karpik (United) sneaking under 2:30 for the first time (2:29.41) ahead of Nemanya Markovic (Roskill – 2:30.11). Jacob Story (Mt Eden) continued to display his development with a strong swim to touch just outside the 15 years NZ age record.
For the girls 200m breaststroke, a great battle was formed during the 15 year old age group, with Jasmine Lyles (Phoenix Aquatics) going stroke for stroke with Monique Wieruszowski (Aquabladz) before Wieruszowski motored home in the final lap (2:37.93). Melissa Cowen (North Shore) produced a standout performance in the girls 200m breaststroke age groups to take charge from the start to claim the 17-18 age group title (2:32.36).
The girls 50m freestyle raised the crowd noise up a notch as the shorter events produced some close finishes. Anahira McCutcheon (TBSS Central City) set a personal best (26.96) just ahead of Alyssa Lawson (St Peter’s – 27.06). Milan Glintmeyer (Kiwi West) was impressive in posting a personal best time of 26.84 to win the 14 year old age group. The 15 year old age group was also a tight one, with Charlotte Parmenter (Jasi – 26.79) just ahead of Anahera Martin (Stratford – 26.97). Summer Osborne (North Shore) made a late surge into the finish to win the 17-18 age group (26.59) by 0.04 seconds over Eva Allan (United).
Keira Allott (Mt Maunganui) was the standout swim across the girls 800m freestyle (9:00.24) to claim the 17-18 age group.
For the second night in a row, the crowd was at fever pitch during the relays. The 4 x 100m freestyle relays brought out the club support in full voice, with Coast (3:45.76) and New Caledonia (3:43.34) sharing the top step of the boys 15 & under podium. For the boys 16 & over, Aquagym (3:33.11) came from behind in the final leg to claim the prized target of the week as the national age group champions. The girls 15 & under saw Hamilton Aquatics (4:03.63) first on the wall, whilst TBSS Central City (3:56.07), Coast (3:58.05) and United (3:58.55) battled it out in the 16 & over age group, where Coast received the gold medal as top all Kiwi team. However, before the last race of the night started it was the relay team walkout that was also a highlight.
Congratulations to all the swimmers who swum during the day 2. Whilst we can’t fit everyone’s swims into the daily wrap, there have been loads of personal bests across the day. We can’t wait to see what day 3 has to offer!
Day 3 Preview
Day 3 kicks off with the boys and girls 200m backstroke, before moving into the boys and girls 400m individual medley. The 100m freestyle looks to present some exciting racing across girls, boys and multi-class events. The finals will also see the introduction of the mixed 4 x 50m medley relay to the event schedule in 2023, with lots of relay teams entered once again.
Don’t forget to tune into the livestream from 9.05am (heats) and 5.30pm (finals).