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The start of something extraordinary

State NZ Secondary Schools Swim Champs draw record numbers

The second annual State New Zealand Secondary Schools Swimming Championships in Hamilton this weekend have already proved a real winner.

Forty-five new schools are competing this year with 425 swimmers entered from 124 colleges from Whangarei to Queenstown.

The competition that begins on Friday at Waterworld Te Rapa includes a number of high profile young swimmers including several New Zealand representatives who competed in this year’s Trans Tasman Tri Series in Australia. They comprise of Samuel Perry (St Peters), Carter Edgecombe (Hamilton Boys), George Schroder (Christchurch Boys), William Campbell (Christchurch Boys), Julian Layton (Napier Boys), Liana Smith (Strathallan College), Georgia Marris (St Cuthberts Auckland), Monique King (Long Bay College), Caitlin Rennell (Villa Maria) and Caroline Baddock (Diocesan Auckland).

Smith was the individual star in last year’s inaugural championships with six individual and two skins titles.

Those expected to shine include Hayden Church (St Kentigern College, Auckland) and Paige Schendelaar-Kemp (Pakuranga College, Counties Manukau) who are current national age group record holders.

Last year’s overall champion school, Wellington College will return to defend their title they won just ahead of local Waikato schools St Peters (Cambridge) and Hamilton Boys while Olympian Matt Stanley will attend the opening session on Friday afternoon.

Swimming New Zealand Events Manager, Kent Stead said that the increase in numbers is good news for the sport.

“The response from last year’s event was excellent, and this year we have again exceeded our expectation. This event is a great opportunity for swimmers to be recognised within their schools, and represent them on the national stage,” he said.

“One of the most popular events will be the relays which pit school against school and Skins events that really add some fun to the end of each session.

“We believe this championship will continue to grow each year and become an important part of Swimming New Zealand’s development pathway.”

There are four sessions, with Friday from 3pm, Saturday morning and evening and Sunday morning with each session comprising of individual races followed by relays and skins knockout races.