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Outstanding Performance at Speedo Grand Challenge

Speedo Grand Challenge Wrap-Up


Team NZ has represented at the Speedo Grand Challenge in California over the last weekend. The team includes Melissa Cowen (North Shore), Molly Shivnan (Mount Maunganui), Gina McCarthy (Hamilton Aquatics), Chris Elson (QEII), Jack Hendy (Parnell), Cooper Morley (North Shore), Sam Brown (Capital) and Liv Peebles (TBSS Central City).


The competition, held in Irvine, California, held a Championship final for the top 4 qualifiers, with the top three finishers winning a cash prize. There was then an A final for the next 8 qualifiers and B final for the next 8.


Day One

Day One was off to a great start with McCarthy and Brown both making the Championship finals for their respective 200m Individual Medleys. Elson followed suit by making the Championship finals for the 50m Freestyle, with Hendy making it through to the A final for the same event. Shivnan was close to a PB in her 50m Freestyle which got her into the A final, and Peebles made the B final. Cowen also performed well in the 100m Breaststroke, making the A final. Of the 7 swims of the day Team NZ had 3 Championship finals, 3 A finals and 1 B final. An impressive start to the meet.


In the finals McCarthy improved on the heats with a 2:18.10 for her 200m Individual Medley, finishing 4th. Brown ended 3rd in for his 200m Individual Medley, finishing with a 2:03.12, his second ever best time. Elson also finished 3rd, with a 23.08 in the 50m Freestyle, where Hendy also improved on his time (23:44) to finish 3rd. Shivnan (26.95) and Peebles (27.13) also performed well in their 50m Freestyle finals and Cowen battled to a 1:14.4 in her 100m Breaststroke B final.


Day Two

Day Two was another fantastic day for Team NZ with lots of finals. McCarthy and Brown started the day again by making a Championship final for their 400m Individual Medleys. McCarthy and Shivnan then followed that with another Championship final for the 200m Backstroke. In the 100m Butterfly, Elson made the fourth and final Championship final of the day. Peebles rounded out the heats with a PB in the 100m Butterfly. Morely swam the 200m Backstroke, finishing with a 2:13.02.


The finals also saw some solid performances from Team NZ with McCarthy (4:49.41) and Brown (4:24.26) both finishing 3rd in their respective 400m Individual Medley Championship finals. Elson followed by setting a PB of 53.84 to finish 2nd in his 100m Butterfly Championship final. Shivnan (2:15.89) and McCarthy (2:16.84) finished 2nd and 3rd respectively in their 200m Backstroke Championship final. It was a great night all round for the team.



Day Three

Day Three again saw some good performances with Cowen qualifying for the A final in the 200m Breaststroke and Morley making it through to the A final in 3rd place for his 200m Backstroke. McCarthy continued to impress, qualifying for the Championship final after a low ranking start in the 200m Breaststroke. Peebles also put in a great performance, setting a PB in the 100m Backstroke and making the Championship final. Shivnan also swam the 100m Backstroke, making it through to the A final. Elson and Henday also both made it through to the finals, in the 100m Freestyle.


The final night of finals saw some top performances from Team NZ with McCarthy swimming a PB (2:33.67) and placing 3rd in the 200m Breastroke Championship final. Peebles was the highlight of the night in winning the 100m Backstroke Championship Final in a time of 1:03.10.

Congratulations to the team for their outstanding performance at the Speedo Grand Challenge! The USA Tour are now back in New Zealand after a great experience and a lot of learning in California.

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