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Team NZ Makes a Splash at TYR Pro Meet

Mission Viejo TYR Pro Meet Wrap-Up

This week a team of New Zealand swimmers have been representing and competing at the TYR Pro Series in Mission Viejo, California. 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).

Day One

Day One started with cold and wet conditions and while not ideal, the team showed a strong and positive approach to the day's sessions. Elson started the day by swimming with some of the best in the 100m Freestyle. McCarthy followed in the 100m Breaststroke where she put in a great first swim, despite difficult conditions, and made the B-Final. Cowen also competed in the 100m Breaststroke and made it through to the C-Final. Again, despite the conditions and a rocky start, Shivnan made it to the 50m Backstroke C-Finals. Peebles also competed in the 50m Backstroke and put in one of the best performances of the day making it through to the A-Final with a time just outside her PB. Morley made it to the 50m Backstroke B-Final and Hendy, in the same event, just missed out on the A-Final and was the fastest qualifier for the B-Final.

McCarthy improved her second 50m tonight in her 100m Breaststroke, holding a much higher tempo into the wall. Her 1:11.70 was good enough for 5th place in the B final, after starting in the outside lane. Peebles has worked very hard at getting her start right since arriving in LA and she really nailed it in the final of the 50m Backstroke. 29.20 was our first PB of the meet and good enough for 5th place in a field that contained 4 Olympians! In the men's B final of the 50m Backstroke, Hendy started from lane 4 for the first time in his senior career. He was slightly slower than his heat swim, clocking 26.92 for 4th place. Our C final swimmers, Cowen (100m Breaststroke) and Shivnan (50m Backstroke) both improved their heat times with 1:12.12 and 30.25 respectively.

Day Two

Day 2 heats were off to a good start with Cowen making it to the B-Final for the 50m Breaststroke. Peebles swam the 50m Butterfly against a very competitive field and missed out on a final. Elson managed to qualify for the A-Final of the 50m Butterfly, with a 24.24. Shivnan made the B-Final of the 200m Backstroke with a 2:18.28. Lastly, McCarthy and Brown both made the finals of their 400m Individual Medleys.

The weather cooled down significantly for the finals session but despite this, the swimmers put in some solid performances. Elson finished 8th overall in the 50m Butterfly and Cowen finished 4th in the B-Final of the Women’s 50m Breaststroke. Shivnan swam one of her best races finishing 3rd in the 200m Backstroke B-Final. McCarthy and Brown just missed out on podiums for the 400m Individual Medleys, with both securing 4th place.

Day Three

Day Three saw Shivnan race well in the 100m Backstroke heats, qualifying for the B-Final. Despite struggling health-wise, Morley made it to the 200m Backstroke C-Final. Although Cowen originally missed out on the 200m Breaststroke finals by one place, she was bumped up to the B-Final giving her a chance to improve. Peebles put in a very strong swim in the 50m Freestyle and set a new PB, however missed out on the finals. Elson made it through to the 100m Butterfly C-Finals and both McCarthy and Brown continued to impress in the 200m Individual Medley. Both made it to the B-Final. Hendy and Elson both made it through to the 50m Freestyle C-Final.

The Day Three finals were definitely the best session, despite a rocky start. Unfortunately, Shivnan missed her finish in the 100m Backstroke and was given 8th place, however, it was otherwise an impressive swim. Both Brown and McCarthy led their 200m Individual Medleys but were overtaken in the final 50m, and they both finished 3rd.

Olympic Programme Leader Gary Francis was impressed with the team's performance in the competition,

“The Southern California weather proved a bit tougher than we thought, but the team showed great character and toughness.“

The team now look ahead to the Speedo Grand Challenge which runs from this Friday - Sunday USA time

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