Not content with breaking a 23-year-old swimming record, Oamaru’s Levi Heffernan thought he might as well go ahead and break a few more.
The 11-year-old represented the Oamaru Swim Club at a meet in Cromwell at the weekend in the 11 to 12 years section, where he broke five long-standing Otago 11 years records – four, held by Ronald Poon, which had stood since 2009.
Swimming the 50m freestyle in a time of 28.81s, he shaved close to a second off Poon’s mark of 29.61s and more than one-and-a-half seconds off the 100m freestyle record of 1.04.99s with a swift 1.03.44s.
In the 200m freestyle Heffernan clocked 2.20.67, a slender 0.20s quicker than Poon, and in the 400m freestyle the Oamaru swimmer knocked more than two seconds off the previous mark of 4.58.55s with an electric 4.56.51s.
Heffernan’s fifth record came in the 50m butterfly in a time of 32.19s, squeaking past the previous record of 32.63 achieved by Sam Carradus way back in 1995.
Levi, who has been swimming competitively for about two years, said he did not go out planning to break any records, but was happy nevertheless.
“I feel proud of myself. It was a bonus.”
He also took home the trophy awarded for the most points gained at the meet, beating swimmers several years older than him – a fitting way to cap off what was an outstanding effort by the young swimmer.
“I think it shows that I can go further with my swimming,” he said.
Levi also earned $350 in prize money for his efforts.
Leigh Petrie, of the Oamaru Swim Club, said Levi had a “fabulous” meet and his results were testament to his hard work and ability.
“This is a great achievement for Levi as he heads into the championship season with the Otago long course age-group championships being held in Dunedin from November 30 to December 2, where Oamaru will be sending a large team of junior and senior swimmers.
“He will be looking to add some long course records to the short course ones just broken on Saturday.”
Deegan Croucher (11), Kari Croucher (13), Adrianna Dowling (11), Maddison Phillips (11) and Hannah Strachan (11) also competed and four achieved personal best times.