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Wieruszowski & Smith Lead The Charge

Event Wrap of the 2023 Hancock Prospecting Queensland Championships

In December, a team of 30 National Age Programme athletes competed for New Zealand at the 2023 Hancock Prospecting Queensland Championships held in Brisbane. These athletes had qualified for the National Age Programme over the past 12 months, starting as early as December last year and then periodically at specific meets throughout the year.

The Queensland Championships is a key event for our age groupers to attend and get experience racing some of the best age groupers in the world. Our team had to put their best foot forward in the heats to quality for finals as Queensland Champs is regarded as the most challenging Age Group competition in the world with both Japan and Singapore sending teams and only 2 visitors per final.

Head Coach, John Gatfield, sees great benefit in having the team compete in Queensland as part of their development.

"Success at the Queensland State Swimming Champs isn't about skill in the water; it also tests our athletes resilience, having to produce results in very hot and humid environments, with long days, changing timelines and embracing tough turnaround times."

The athletes had to endure 7 long days of being at the pool from 7am and leaving finals at 10pm with a short midday break for athletes to have lunch, change suits and have a quick nap.

Gatfield noted this was all part of the experience for the swimmers.

"All athletes were challenged to be more accountable for their performances, making sure they were warming up, loosening down and ready to race at the appropriate time."

The team had some impressive results, with all swimmers excellent in creating a performance environment for each other to thrive in. Some of the highlight swims were Monique Wieruszowski (North Shore) breaking her NZ Open and Age Group Record in the 50m Breaststroke (30.21) and Gaby Smith (Vikings) smashing the Paris qualification time in the 200m Individual Medley (SM10). Altogether, the team walked away with a massive bunch of medals and a lot of pbs!

Swimmer Jasper Cornish speaks on the privilege of being on the team.

"Its been a great privilege to be able to represent NZ against some top competition over in Australia, lots of PBs and great swims by the whole team. Im very grateful for the opportunity i have been given to race once again at QLD Champs."

Congratulations to how the team performed abroad in Queensland and we look forward to seeing them in action in 2024.

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