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Final Night in Hawke's Bay Delivers Smiles All Round

Day 5 Wrap of the 2024 Apollo Projects New Zealand Age Group Swimming Championships

The final night of racing for the 2024 Apollo Projects New Zealand Age Group Swimming Championships brought about more smiles as the two weeks of national championships in Hawke's Bay came to a close.

The racing kicked off with the Men's 400m Freestyle. Ariel Muchirahondo (Swim Rotorua - 4:04.84) was impressive winning the 15 years final, demonstrating his skills across the strokes with a margin more than 10 seconds over his closest rival. Coast teammates Brendan Visser and Larn Hamblyn-Ough were fighting at the front of the Men's 17-18 years final with both taking turns with the lead. Visser (4:00.99) took the lead in the final 100m to secure the victory ahead of Hamblyn- Ough (4:02.47).

The winner of the Zonal Emerging Swimmer of the Year (Makos), Brooke Bennett (North Canterbury - 17:08.81) took out the fastest timed final of the Women's 1500m Freestyle. Bennett led from the outset and finished ahead of Nina De Coster (St Paul's - 17:16.73) and Olivia Emmett (Club 37 - 17:19.51) who were battling it out for the 16 years title.

The Men's and Women's 50m Breaststroke saw some stand out performances. Hara Hughes (United - 28.99) continued his impressive performances in the breaststroke events this week, by taking out the 17-18 years title, more than half a second in front of Oliver Morton (Nelson South - 29.64) and Benson Li (North Shore - 29.68) who had a close battle for second.

"It's a good thing to see under 29 seconds. I was aiming for the NZ Record but I'm happy with the title."

Monique Wieruszowski (North Shore - 30.97) continued to show her power and dominance in the Women's 50m Breaststroke 16 years title, to complete her impressive two weeks in Hawke's Bay.

Te Paki (Northwave - 1:00.32) had a record breaking swim in the Men's 100m Bactstroke to break his own NZ Age Record en route to the 13 years title, taking 0.34 seconds off his previous record set last month. Finn Harland (Coast - 56.15) rounded out his last national age groups with another win in the Men's 100m Backstroke to claim the 17-18 years title in another qualifying time for Junior Pan Pacs.

"I'm pretty happy with that. That was my 34th race in the past two weeks so I wasn't expecting too much. I'm just glad to finish my last NAGS with a win."

Liv Peebles (North Shore 1:03.06) took her first title for the championships in the Women's 100m Backstroke with a competitive field of 17-18 years. Peebles beat teammate Anna McGowan (North Shore - 1:03.54) and Savannah-eve Martin (Coast - 1:03.57) in what was another epic finish at the wall.

The final event for the Championships was the Men's and Women's 200m Butterfly events, with local Caleb Carlisle (Napier Aquahawks - 2:07.58) and Brooke Swan (Nelson South - 2:21.51) both winning the 17-18 year age group titles to round out the championships in Hawke's Bay.

The Hansell's Trophy was awarded to Charlotte Murphy (Aquagym) for breaking the NZ Age Record by the biggest percentage margin during the championships in Women's 100m Freestyle Multi-Class (S6).

Monique Wieruszowski (North Shore) was awarded the Life Members Trophy for the most outstanding performance of the championships in the Women's 100m Breaststroke.

United (2605 points) took out the Top Club award after a close battle with Coast (2381 points), with the lead changing multiple times across the five days of racing.

Congratulations to all swimmers who competed across the championships and thanks for being part of the action! Whilst there are too many results across all age groups, we have tried to highlight some of the close races and results from the day.

As the racing concludes after a big two weeks at the Hawke's Bay Regional Aquatic Centre, we would like to thank everyone for their support of the events. We are forever grateful to our technical officials for volunteering their time, our wider community of swimmers, coaches, team managers and staff (events, venue and HP) who collectively provide an exciting atmosphere pool side.

A special thank you to our partners who support us in bringing these championships to you. Thank you to Apollo Projects, the Napier City Council and Hastings District Council alongside Hawke's Bay Tourism, and the Hawke's Bay Regional Aquatic Centre powered by Pak N Save Hastings. Thanks to our other partners Aotea Electric, Kingspan, Arena, Teamline, Allproof Industries and Active Refrigeration for their ongoing support of swimming.

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