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Making Waves in Mt Maunganui

Event Wrap - 2023 Aquaknights Zonal Secondary School Open Water Swimming Championships

The 2023 Aquaknights Zonal Secondary School Open Water Swimming Championships were held in windy conditions at the iconic main beach in Mt Maunganui as part of the Banana Boat NZ Ocean Swim Series' The Mount Swim. Students battled it out across three courses, the 2.8km, 1250m and 500m. The event was a success with 58 swimmers from 25 schools across across the central North Island zone.

2.8km Event

After their successful swims at the NZ Secondary Schools Open Water Championships many students continued their medal tally, including Talitha McEwan (Mount Maunganui College) who lead the 16-19 years girls across the line in the 2.5km event. Zoe Wilkinson (Aquinas College) and Sophie Bryant (Napier Girls' High School) followed in second and third. The boys saw Quinn Boyle (Hamilton Boys High School) finish first with Matthew Joblin (Campion College) following in second.

The 14-15 years boys was a close race between Harry Pool (Tauhara College), who lead the boys' group, and Oliver Pepers (Papamoa College), narrowly missing out by half a minute. Aiden Bollee (Aquinas College) rounded the boys out in third. The girls saw Hayley McIntyre (Waikato Dio) put in a great swim to finish first with Madeline Hobo (New Plymouth Girls’ High School) not far behind in second. Neave Hills (Rototuna Junior High School) crossed the line in third place.

Tessa Scott (Waikato Dio) put on another stellar performance and finished ahead of Maggie Hammond (Mount Maunganui College) in second and Ella-Rose Luke (Whangamata Area School) in third, all collecting points for their schools. There were no 12-13 years boys competing in this event.

1250m Event

For the 16-19 years boys group Angus Blair (Gisborne Boys' High School) was the only competitor, however, he put in a great race finishing with the best time overall. In the girls division, Niamh Manning (Tauranga Girls' College) was the first to the line. Samantha Ward (Rototuna Senior High School) was hot on her heels, finishing only 6 seconds behind. Cara Mudie (Rotorua Girls' High School) completed the top three.

Isobella Davoren (Mount Maunganui College) put in an incredible performance, finishing first in her 14-15 years girls division and second overall. Maia Kervin (Cambridge High School) followed in second and Grace Richardson (Mount Maunganui College) secured the final podium place, only 10 seconds behind Kervin. Ryan Logan (John Paul College) won first place in the boys' division and third overall. Cooper Everett (Mount Maunganui College) crossed the line second and Ryleigh McEwan (Mount Maunganui College) finished third.

There were only two competitors in the 12-13 boys’ division, Sam Ruthe (Tauranga Boys' College) and Nicky Logan (John Paul College). Ruthe narrowly beat Logan to the line with less than 30 seconds separating them. Poppy Richardson (Mount Maunganui College) beat out Coco Wren (Whakatane High School) and Summer Pearson (Whakatane High School) for the first-place position.

500m Event

There were some repeat performances in the 500m event, starting with Talitha McEwan (Mount Maunganui College), in the 16-19 years girls division, swimming across the line first, with Niamh Manning (Tauranga Girls' College) following in second. Angus Blair (Gisborne Boys' High School) also continued his run of podiums. As did Quinn Boyle (Hamilton Boys High School) and Matthew Joblin (Campion College) finishing second and third.

Maia Kervin (Cambridge High School) was first across the line in the 14-15 girls group with Grace Richardson (Mount Maunganui College) and Hayley McIntyre (Waikato Dio) in second and third. Only 5 seconds separated the top 3. The boys saw Cooper Everett (Mount Maunganui College) in the top spot, Ryleigh McEwan (Mount Maunganui College) in second and Daniel Lewis (Whangamata Area School) in third.

Finally, the 12-13 years girls division saw Tessa Scott (Waikato Dio) put on another dominant performance, finishing first. Ella-Rose Luke (Whangamata Area School) secured her second podium of the competition, in second, and Taylor Batchelor (Hauraki Plains College) rounded it out in third. Mitchell Everett (Mount Maunganui College) was the only competitor in the 12-13 boys division, guaranteeing him a first-place finish. However, it wasn’t without a great performance, putting in a 14-minute swim and placing him 12th overall.

Top School

The Top School award went to Mt Maunganui College, who backed up taking out the national top school trophy by claiming the zonal top school award too.

Congratulations to everyone who participated on the day and made the event epic. Thanks also to our partner at the Banana Boat NZ Ocean Swim Series for hosting the event.

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