Swimming New Zealand homepage

The start of something extraordinary

Young stars of the future impress on second day of heats

The young guns fired most of the bullets on the second morning of heats at the New Zealand Short Course Championships in Auckland today.

While favoured swimmers impressed, it was the efforts of some of the young stars of the future who took the eye at the Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre on the North Shore.

Defending champion Willrich Coetzee (North Shore) topped qualifiers for the 200m individual medley in 1:59.12, the only swimmer under the two minute mark.

There was an impressive effort from Stratford’s Josh Gilbert, 15, who was one of three swimmers to record in the 2:03 bracket as the next fastest heat times overall.

In the women’s competition, 17 year old Ruby Matthews from the Otumoetai club in Tauranga was fastest of all in heats of the 200m individual medley in 2:16.96.

North Shore’s Finn Kennard-Campbell, 16, one of the stars of the recent national schools championships, topped all qualifiers in the 100m backstroke in 53.93s to head off defending champion Andrew Trembath (Neptune) in 54.01.

The women’s final should be one of the highlights of tonight’s programme with defending champion Gabrielle Fa’amausili (United) topping qualifiers in 59.69 ahead of fellow 16 year old star Bobbi Gichard (Howick Pakuranga) who clocked 1:00.69 and North Shore’s Caroline Baddock (North Shore).

United’s Eric Kahr was fastest in the 50m breaststroke in a personal best 27.91 with 15-year-old Gilbert returning to the pool to be sixth fastest overall in 29.30s.

Porirua’s Bronagh Ryan, who set a national open record in winning the 100m breaststroke on the first day, returned to top the heats in the 50m breaststroke in 31.56, the only swimmer under 32 seconds.

Another young secondary school standout, Hayley McIntosh from the Northwave club at Kamo in Whangarei, was fastest overall in the heats of the 400m freestyle in 4:14.17, which is a significant personal best.

The 17 year old was just ahead of 16 year old Caitlin Deans (Neptune, Otago) in 4:15.61 and North Shore’s Carina Doyle in 4:16.22.

The evening finals session begins at 6pm, with the championships also the official qualifying meet for December’s FINA World Short Course Championships. The championships run until Thursday.

CAPTION: Wilrich Coetzee. Credit BW Media.

NZ Short Course Championships