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Hawke's Bay Lights Up on Day One

2023 Apollo Projects NZ Age Group Swimming Championships: Day One Wrap

Hawke’s Bay was rocking on the first night of the 2023 Apollo Projects NZ Age Group Swimming Championships. We loved the atmosphere and energy that was generated on the opening night, with the first national event taking place in the new pool.


We were treated to some close races early on, with the pick of the girls 400m freestyle between recently selected World Championships representative Summer Osborne (North Shore) and Keira Allott (Mt Maunganui) in the 17 – 18 years olds. The two went stroke for stroke across the eight laps and were only separated by 0.09 seconds, with Osborne pipping Allott at the wall and finish in 4:21.06, faster than her entry time.


The boys and girls 100m butterfly produced some great racing, with Zoe Pedersen (Coast) and Amelia Bray (TBSS Central City) neck and neck in the 16 year old girls. Everyone had to turn to the scoreboard to spot the difference between the two. With only 0.01 seconds separating them, it was Pedersen who claimed the national age title.


In the boys 100m breast, Kevin Zhang (Roskill), Hara Hughes (Tawa) and Jacob Story (Mt Eden) all produced impressive swims in their respective age groups to be the swimmers dipping under 1:05.


In the 100m breaststroke multi-class, James Haydon (Parnell) claimed the boys and Rylee Sayer (Matamata) the girls respective national titles.


Across the girls 200m individual medley, we saw a close finish for the 13 year old girls, with Bianca Chan (Roskill) just ahead of Violet Carter (Ice Breaker) and Kiri Yamagami (Howick Pakuranga) all within a second of each other.


The first 50m events of the championships were the boys and girls 50m backstroke. The boys 14 year old event saw a tight finish between Max Cave (Aquabladz) and Chrissander Cerda (New Calendonia). Finn Harland (Capital) continued on from his impressive week at the 2023 Apollo Projects NZ Swimming Championships as the only swimmer faster than 26 seconds. Likewise, fellow World Aquatics Junior Championships qualifier Milan Glintmeyer (Kiwi West) displayed her backstroke skills to claim the 14 year old age group in 29.41 seconds.


The boys 800m freestyle saw Larn Hamblyn-Ough (Coast) lead the race from start to finish, as he continues to get the crowd cheering their support each lap. Hamblyn-Ough claimed the 17-18 year old age group title in 8:14.92.


The relays whipped the crowd into a frenzy to close out the opening night, with the exciting introduction of the mixed 4 x 50m freestyle relay for this year drawing lots of entries from clubs. In the 15 & under age group, Hamilton Aquatics held off a fast finishing Howick Pakuranga and United. Coast took home the 16 & over age group ahead of Jasi and TBSS Central City. The tactical component of which order to swim the mixed relays adds to the atmosphere, with the crowd and clubs cheering home their team.


Whilst we have highlighted some of the closer races on night one, there were also some outstanding performances across each age group and lots of personal best swims. A total of 42 individual national titles were crowned, with many swimmers claiming their first national age group title. Congratulations to all the swimmers who took part on an exciting first day.


We are stoked to be hosting events at the new facility in Hawke’s Bay and can’t wait to continue on day 2.






Day 2 Preview


Day 2 promises to be an exciting one with the boys 200m freestyle kick starting the session, before the boys and girls dive into the 50m freestyle multi-class. The boys and girls will take on the 200m breaststroke, where we will see World Aquatics Junior Championships qualifier Melissa Cowen (North Shore) one to watch.


The girls will take on the 50m freestyle with World Aquatics Junior Championships qualifier Zoe Pedersen one to keep an eye on, before the boys splash into the 50m butterfly, directly followed by the boys and girls in the 50m butterfly multi-class. The girls 800m freestyle timed finals will be split across the morning and evening, before finals session will see the 4 x 100m freestyle relay for boys and girls for both 15 & under as well a 16 & over.


Don’t forget to tune into the livestream from 9.05am (heats) and 5.30pm (finals).






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