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Ready to go . . . Members of the Oamaru Swim Club squad that will contest the Otago under-12 swimming championships in Dunedin on Saturday and Sunday. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

A strong Oamaru Swim Club squad will travel to the Otago under-12 championships at Dunedin’s Moana Pool this weekend.

The large squad of 20 features both new and experienced swimmers at long course (50m) competition level who had to earn the right to swim through a qualification process.

Times will be ranked for swimmers aged 10 and under, 11 and 12 with the exception of the 200m butterfly, 400m individual medley and 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle, which will be ranked for 12 and under swimmers only.

Oamaru swimmers ranked first in their discipline include Imogen Keeling (12) in the 400m individual medley, 100m and 200m breaststroke and 800m freestyle; Deegan Croucher (10) in the 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly; Morgan Baillie (11) in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke and 100m and 200m backstroke; Elenoa Asi (12) in the 200m backstroke; Jorgia McDiarmid-Jones (12) in the 50m and 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley; and Levi Heffernan (10) in the 200m individual medley, 50m backstroke, 100m freestyle.

Several other swimmers were ranked second or third, which gave Leigh Petrie, of the Oamaru Swim Club, plenty of confidence heading into the event.

She said Keeling, McDiarmid-Jones, Asi and Croucher were all swimmers to watch in the girls section, while big things were expected of Samuel Petrie, Baillie, Oli McDiarmid -Jones, Lloyd Fellowes, Heffernan and Neighton Fraser, who were all ranked in the top three of their respective styles.

Keeling had been training hard for the competition and felt she was well-prepared for the meet, thanks to the coaching of Oamaru Swim Club coach Narcis Gherca.

“It (training) has been going well,” Keeling said.

“With Narcis setting programmes he has planned for each of us, it’s good to know where you’re headed. I think I’ll go well . . . I should go pretty good.”