Oamaru squad starts well

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Oamaru swimmers made a promising start to the new season at the annual Neptune meet in Dunedin at Queen’s Birthday Weekend.

Twenty-four swimmers competed at the event, which was switched to a long-course format to allow more South Island swimmers to race over 50m ahead of the New Zealand open championships.

Among the star performers were:

Olli McDiarmid-Jones (boys 11 and under) reached the podium in all seven of his events, winning gold in the 50m and 200m breaststroke and 200m butterfly. His personal bests included 6.20sec in the 200m breaststroke and 6.90sec in the 200m butterfly.

Danny Gilbert (boys 12-13) won gold in the 100m (5.37sec best) and 200m butterfly and 400m freestyle.

Charlie Gilbert (boys 14-15) won gold in the 200m and 400m freestyle.

Tarano Taafaki (girls 11 and under) had eight top-three placings, including gold in the 50m and 100m butterfly.

Halalova Asi (boys 14-15) won gold in the 1500m freestyle.

Penny Keeling (girls 14-15) won gold in the 800m freestyle.

Deegan Croucher (girls 11 and under) won gold in the 400m medley in a 6.94sec personal best, and added two bronze medals.

Hanna Strachan (girls 11 and under) won silver in the 200m breaststroke and had two huge personal bests, 7.95sec in both the 200m freestyle and 200m breaststroke.

Rhys Charles (boys 14-15) won silver in the 400m freestyle (3.96sec personal best) and 200m butterfly.

Imogen Keeling and Jorgia McDiarmid-Jones each claimed two bronze medals in the girls 12-13 grade.

Jacob Harrison (boys 12-13), Eric Strachan (boys 11 and under), William Charles (boys 11 and under), Jessie Bayley (girls 12-13), Kari Croucher (girls 12-13) and Lance Bogdalski (boys 16 and over) were among the others to post multiple time improvements.

The next meet is the Oamaru Swim Cub championships, which starts on Sunday and continues on Tuesday and next Friday.

Following that is the third event in the Otago Winter Series, hosted by Oamaru on July 8.