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Mayfair Pools New Zealand Age Group Championships – Day 3 Wrap

Dunedin’s Andrew Trembath and Canterbury’s George Schroder impressed with classy qualifying swims on the third night of finals at the Mayfair Pools New Zealand Age Group Swimming Championships in Wellington.

The championships at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre double as the official trials for swimmers to be considered for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Hawaii and the second Youth Olympics in China, both in August.

The biennial Junior Pan Pacs involve full strength teams from the Pacific Rim including USA, Canada Japan and Australia as well as New Zealand.

Trembath, from the Neptune club, took out the 17-18 years 100m backstroke in a personal best 56.83s. This is more than a second inside the qualifying mark to be considered for selection for the Junior Pan Pacs and also the Youth Olympics.

He pushed clear from the start, which was his focus pre-race.

“It felt pretty good. I wanted a good start and a good first 15m, and focus on getting a good lead and a mental edge on everyone.

“I like to be ahead and see where the field is and push ahead from that point.”

He hopes his second qualifying performance, following the 200m backstroke on the opening night, will confirm his selection for what would be his first international meet.

“The target will be to get that racing experience at international level. I have qualified to go to the surf lifesaving worlds which are two weeks after Junior Pan Pacs.

“I would like to make a final at the Junior Pan Pacs and go low-56s and hopefully get to do some other races as well.”

Schroder (Aquagym) pushed the field to outstanding times in the 200m breaststroke finals.

The 18 year old, who is in the Swimming New Zealand high performance squad at the Millennium Institute, won in a superb 2:16.88.

His time, only 3/100ths of a second off the national age group record, was well under the qualifying times for both the Junior Pan Pacs and the Youth Olympics.

He also dragged second placed Jacob Garrod (North Shore), 17, under the qualifying marks for both international events with his 2:17.02 while third placed Ben Walsh (Porirua City) clocked 2:20.40 to go under the mark for the Youth Olympics.

“It feels great to go under the time for the Junior Pan Pacs. It’s what I set out to do and I did it,” Schroder said.

“Breaststroke is getting faster and the field is getting harder which pushes us all along.”

Schroder, who swam two seconds faster than he achieved in the recent national open championships, said this week was his target.

“I fully tapered for this meet. It was the aim all along. I went into the opens off hard training and without taper. “I want to get that New Zealand record in Hawaii and a place in the final and hopefully a podium will be the aims in Hawaii.”

The world class of 14 year old backstroke stars, Gabrielle Fa’amausili and Bobbi Gichard was to the fore tonight.

Fa’amausili (Roskill) took out the 50m backstroke final in 28.31s ahead of Gichard (Greendale) in 29.40 in the 14 years final, with the times the two fastest of the night in all grades including the 17-18 years division.

The Auckland swimmer was 17/100ths of a second outside the time she set in winning the junior world title last year, which is now recognised as the official junior world record.

The 50m backstroke is not swum at either the Junior Pan Pacs or Youth Olympics, with the pair to challenge for selection in the 100m backstroke on Saturday night.

Auckland’s Georgia Marris picked up her second title with victory in the 17-18 years 200m freestyle in a solid 2:03.40.

Waikato’s Sam Perry continued on his winning way with victory in the 17-18 200m freestyle in an impressive 1:52.88, which was under the time for the Youth Olympics although the St Peters swimmer is not eligible on age criteria. It was his third win of the championships.

North Shore’s Abbie Johnston claimed the 17-18 years 200m breaststroke from West Auckland’s Jane Ip, reversing the result from the 100m breaststroke final.

The championships continue until Saturday.

CAPTION: Andrew Trembath in action tonight. (Credit: BW Media)

NZ Age Groups