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The start of something extraordinary


Erika Fairweather broke her own 14-years national age-group record on the penultimate final night of the 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Suva, Fiji.

Fairweather, 14, from Dunedin’s Neptune Swimming Club, finished fourth in 4:13.55s, a vast improvement on her morning swim of 4:19.49s.

“This morning I miscounted my laps and thought I was finished at 300m, it made me really upset, but with the help of my coach Lars, I fixed that tonight and I’m really happy with a new personal best time,” say’s Fairweather.

The gold medal was convincingly won by Australian Lani Pallister in 4:07.76s. Americans, Claire Tuggle won silver (4:10.31s) and Mariah Denigan (4:12.59s) bronze. Eve Thomas (Coast) finished 8th in 4.21.61s.

Thomas Watkins (Capital) celebrated his 18th Birthday with another personal best time and A-final qualification in the men’s 200m backstroke.

In the morning heats Watkins time of 2:02.95s. was 0.23s inside his previous best. In the A-final Watkins finished 8th in 2:04.95s.

It was a USA 1-2 finish with Carson Foster winning gold (1:59.10s) over team mate Peter Larson (1:59.24s). Bronze went to Cole Pratt (CAN) in 2:00.82s.

Lochlainn O’Connor (Greerton) was 7th in the men’s 100m butterfly A-final, finishing in 55.89s.

Gianluca Urlando (USA) added the 100m title to the 200m he’d picked up on day one. Urlando’s winning time of 52.40s wasn’t enough to break Kiwi Daniel Bell’s 2009 Junior Pan Pacific record of 52.37s.

Van Mathias (USA) was second in 53.11s and Joshua Leindo (CAN) third in 53.66s.

In the Men’s 400m freestyle event, team captain Zac Reid (Aquabladz) had to withdraw from the championships due to illness.

Reid had the fastest entry time of all competitors coming into the event and managed to qualify for the A-final after a 4:01.00s heat swim, well below his best of 3:51.10s.

The A-final was won by Ross Dant (USA) in 3:52.44s. Silver went to Brendon Smith (AUS), 3:52.67s and bronze to Ethan Heasley (USA), 3:53.81s.

Reid is determined to continue supporting his team mates for the remainder of the competition before he and his coach Sue Southgate continue preparations for the Youth Olympic games.

Quinton Hurley (Jasi) achieved a personal best in the heats to qualify for the B-final where he finished 6th in a time of 4:03.31s, slightly off his morning swim.

Paddy Baylis (Swim Rotorua) recorded a PB in the morning heats or 4:07.23s.

In the women’s 100m butterfly, Hannah Bates (Aquagym) finished 6th in the B-final in 1:01.89s.

In the morning heats Greta Agnew (United) recorded a time of 1:05.76s, just slightly off her personal best of 1:05.43s.

Gina Galloway (United) and Gina McCarthy (Hillcrest) both went faster than their heat times in the women’s 200m backstroke B-final. Galloway finished third in 2:16.89s and McCarthy 6th in 2:19.75s.

The women’s and men’s 4x100m freestyle relay teams finished 5th in their respective finals.

The women’s quartet of Fairweather, Thomas, Amadika Atkinson and Chelsey Edwards finished with a time of 3:52.12s.

O’Connor replaced Reid in the men’s team alongside Tyron Henry, Michael Pickett and Watkins. Their best time was 3:27.00s.


Women’s 400m Freestyle.
Erika Fairweather. Time: 4:19.49s. *qualifies for A-final.
Eve Thomas. Time: 4:21.60s. *qualifies for A-final.

Men’s 400m Freestyle.
Quinton Hurley. Time: 4:03.16s. PB. *qualifies for B-final.
Paddy Baylis. Time: 4:07.23s. PB.
Zac Reid. Time: 4:01.00s. *qualifies for A-final. **Withdraws from meet.

Women’s 100m Butterfly.
Greta Agnew. Time: 1:05.76s.

Hannah Bates. Time: 1:02.76s. *qualifies for B-final.

Men’s 100m Butterfly.
Lochlainn O’Connor. Time: 56.33s. *qualifies for A-final.

Women’s 200m Backstroke.
Gina Galloway. Time: 2:18.25s. *qualifies for B-final.
Gina McCarthy. Time: 2:20.47s. *qualifies for B-final.

Men’s 200m Backstroke.
Thomas Watkins. Time: 2:02.95s. PB. *qualifies for A-final.


Women’s 400m Freestyle A-FINAL.
Erika Fairweather. Time: 4:13.55s PB + NZ age-group 14 years record.
Eve Thomas. Time: 4.21.61s.

Men’s 400m Freestyle B-FINAL
Quinton Hurley. Time: 4:03.31s.

Women’s 100m Butterfly B-FINAL.
Hannah Bates. Time: 1:01.89s.

Men’s 100m Butterfly A-FINAL.
Lochlainn O’Connor. Time: 55.89s.

Women’s 200m Backstroke B-FINAL.
Gina Galloway. Time: 2:16.89

Gina McCarthy. Time: 2:19.75

Men’s 200m Backstroke A-FINAL.
Thomas Watkins. Time: 2:04.95s.

4x100m Freestyle Relay.
NZ Women’s - 1) Erika Fairweather, 2) Eve Thomas, 3) Amadika Atkinson, 4) Chelsey Edwards. Time: 3.52.12s.

NZ Men’s - 1) Tyron Henry 2) Michael Pickett 3) Lochlainn O’Connor, 4) Thomas Watkins. Time: 3:27.00s.

Important Links for the 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships 

  •       High Performance Swimming NZ Facebook page
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  •       Swimming New Zealand Twitter

    Fiji One will be livestreaming the event. Click HERE to view stream. 

    Click HERE for event psych sheets. 

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