2023 Apollo Projects NZ Age Group Swimming Championships: Day Four Wrap
The penultimate night of the 2023 Apollo Projects NZ Age Group Swimming Championships continued to bring the energy levels up in the crowd. The camaraderie was on full display during the relays, with all ten teams performing a conga line for the athlete walkout of their teams. Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Lewis Clareburt was also in the house and adding to the excitement by capturing content during the warm-up of the swimmers in the pool.
Osborne Qualifies for World Aquatics Junior Championships
For the racing, there were some superb swimming during the night. Summer Osborne (North Shore) had a strong back-end in her girls 200m freestyle to post a personal best 2:01.79 to achieve the qualifying time for the World Aquatics Junior Championships in Israel. Osborne continued with the form she displayed last week in Auckland where she was selected to represent NZ at the World Aquatics Championships to be held in Fukuoka.
Monique Wieruszowski (Aquabladz – 1:08.88) was superb in the girls 100m breaststroke to claim the 15 years age title with a time just 0.14 seconds behind her NZ record that she set last week to qualify for the World Aquatics Junior Championships. Melissa Cowen (North Shore) won the 17-18 years title ahead of Lanihei Connolly (TBSS Central City – 1:11.50) in a tight contest.
Milan Glintmeyer (Kiwi West) claimed her fifth and sixth age group titles (14 years) of the week after impressive swims in the girls 200m freestyle (2:07.95) and the girls 50m butterfly (28.18).
Kevin Zhang (Roskill) achieved a new personal best in the boys 200m individual medley (2:05.58). Zhang achieved splits all faster than his previous best from Auckland last week, on route to claiming his third 16 years title in Hawke’s Bay.
Larn Hamblyn-Ough (Coast) put on distance swimming display in the boys 1500m freestyle, where he was the fastest age group swimmer in the event (15:46.40). Finishing just outside his personal best from last week, he powered home to the roar of his teammates to finish 39 seconds ahead of the 10km national champ Alex Dunkley (Roskill – 16:25.82).
Asher Smith-Franklin (North Shore) continued his fine form, claiming two more national titles in the boys 200m individual medley (2:24.22) and 200m freestyle multi-class events (2:09.10). In the girls multi-class, McKenzie Drage (Aquagym – 4:17.87) achieved a big personal best to claim her first national title in the girls 200m individual medley, with Rylee Sayer (Matamata – 2:35.92) winning the 200m freestyle.
Epic Race Finishes
The night started out with the girls 100m breaststroke, with the first race a close one between Anahira McCutcheon (TBSS Central City – 1:18.20) and Alyssa Lawson (St Peter’s – 1:18.34).
The boys 50m freestyle saw the pool lined with coaches and teammates, with the 15 years race being tight between Isaac Gear (Mt Eden – 24.48), Mason Wang (United – 24.62) and Noah Ireland-Spencer (Otaki – 24.81). The following race went down to the wire too, with Jasper Cornish (Coast – 23.73) bettering Kevin Zhang (Roskill – 23.86) with his touch on the wall. All eyes stayed on the pool as the 17-18 years climbed up on the blocks. They wouldn’t have been disappointed, as Harrison Klouwens (TBSS Central City – 23.33) beat 2022 Junior Pan Pacs teammates Ollie Lutton (Aquagym – 23.46) and Finn Harland (Coast – 23.53).
The girls 50m butterfly came down to the touch on the wall in a few races too, with Rylee McBride (Wharenui – 28.55) just ahead of Anahera Martin (Stratford – 28.84) and Chloe Peters (Hamilton Aquatics – 28.91). The 16 years was another good battle, with Amelia Bray (TBSS Central City – 27.64) claiming the victory ahead of Zoe Pedersen (Coast – 27.93) and Brooke Swan (Tasman – 27.99). Perhaps the closest race of the night fell to the 17-18 years however, with Liv Peebles (TBSS Central City – 28.12) just getting her hands on the wall ahead of Josiane Hill (Jasi – 28.17).
The epic showdowns continued into the 4 x 100m medley relays, with the girls 15 & under seeing Hamilton Aquatics (4:32.77) hold off a fast-finishing United (4:32.84). The 16 & over girls had a come-from-behind victory from United (4:16.04) thanks to an impressive anchor leg from Eva Allan.
The boys 15 & under NZ title was claimed by United (4:06.48) who was just slightly back from New Caledonia (4:05.83). The boys 16 & over saw North Shore (3:57.35) make a passing move in the freestyle leg to claim the victory ahead of United (3:59.19) and Jasi (4:05.16).
Congratulations to all the swimmers who swum during the day. 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 the final day has to offer!
Day 5 Preview
The final day kicks off with the 100m backstroke for boys, girls and multi-class. The 200m butterfly is followed by the boys 400m freestyle, as well as for multi-class (both boys and girls). The 50m breaststroke for boys and girls promises to be one to watch, before the girls 1500m freestyle will round out the 2023 Apollo Projects NZ Age Group Swimming Championships.
Don’t forget to join us for the Aquablack Signing and Autograph Session from 4pm tomorrow in the main pool foyer with Lewis Clareburt and Mya Rasmussen.
Tune into the livestream from 9.05am (heats) and 5.30pm (finals).