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The start of something extraordinary

Olympic bound swimmers scores wins at USA swim meet

New Zealand’s Olympic-bound swimmers Lauren Boyle and Glenn Snyders both won titles on the final day of the prestigious Santa Clara Invitational meet in California today.

Boyle added the 800m freestyle title to the 1500m freestyle she won on the opening day of the meet that attracted a number of American stars ahead of for this month’s USA Olympic Trials along with several internationals preparing for London.

Snyders set the tone when he won the 100m breaststroke in impressive fashion, after clocking a superb 1:00.87 in the heat. He was a smidgeon slower in winning the final in 1:01.44 but beat off the challenge from the great Japanese swimmer, Kosuke Kitajima, who won the 100m and 200m breaststroke gold medals in both Athens and Beijing Olympics.

The North Shore club swimmer, who trains at Swimming New Zealand’s High Performance Centre, was fastest out in a slick 28.50s and held on as the challenges, led by Kitajima, came at him coming home.

“They are the fastest two swims that Glenn has ever done while in full work, so I am pleased with his progress,” said coach Mark Regan. “I would have liked to have seen him go faster in the final because that’s something we have been working on, but it was an excellent swim and an excellent result.”

Boyle was all class in winning the 800m freestyle in 8:29.44, just over two seconds outside the meet record.

The 26 year old, also coached by Regan at the High Performance Centre, produced an impressive negative split, going through the 400m in 4m16s and coming home in the final 400m three seconds quicker. She went 1m2s for the last 100m and 2:05 for the final 200m to show that she is in excellent shape, beating off Venezuela’s Pan American medallist Andreina Pinto comfortably.

“It was a strong meet for Lauren and I am pleased with her times today. In both swims – the 1500m and 800m – she finished strongly and comfortably. It is encouraging and the racing is a good litmus test of our progress.

“We don’t have New Zealand swimmers winning many international swimming events over the years so that’s great for them.”

The pair will now join up with the rest of the Olympic squad in a training camp in Cairns this week.

Results, Santa Clara Invitational:

Men 100m breaststroke: Glenn Snyders (NZL) 1:01.44, 1; Kosuke Kitajima (JPN) 1:01.56, 2; Christopher Schurr Voight (MEX) 1:01.94, 3.

Women 800m freestyle: Lauren Boyle (NZL) 8:29.44, 1; Andreina Pinto (USA) 8:33.28, 2; Chelsea Chenault (USA) 8:37.28, 3.