Oamaru swimmers busy as ever


Swimming just never stops.

The waves have barely settled on the old season and the gun youngsters at the Oamaru Swim Club are already gearing up for their first taste of competitive action of the new campaign.

Thirty-seven Oamaru swimmers are heading to Dunedin to compete in the annual Neptune meet at Moana Pool this weekend.

Some of them tasted success at the season-ending Otago secondary schools championships at the pool at the end of May.

The nine Oamaru swimmers combined for 20 top-three placings and 25 personal-best times.

St Kevin’s College pupils Mannix Fraser and Charlie Gilbert (both 14) each had busy days.

Fraser won three titles – the 50m and 200m backstroke and 200m freestyle – and added a silver (100m backstroke) and bronze (100m freestyle), while Gilbert competed in eight events, winning two and claiming medals in four others.

Waitaki Girls’ High School pupil Alice Petrie (13) won two golds (200m backstroke and 100m medley, in a personal best) and three silvers (100m and 200m butterfly and 100m backstroke).

St Kevin’s College swimmer Halalova Asi (13) set five personal best times from his seven events, and schoolmate Flynn Mankelow (14) also set five personal bests, from six events.

Micah Hayes, the sole representative from Waitaki Boys’ High School, turned 15 just two weeks before the event, so had to compete up a grade, and had to work hard for his top-eight placings. He set personal best times in the 100m butterfly and 100m medley, and finished fourth in both the 100m freestyle and 200m medley.

Abbey Wilson (13, Waitaki Girls’) finished fourth in the 200m freestyle and had three personal bests, and Mequa Smart (13, St Kevin’s) had a personal best in the 100m medley.

Earlier in May, the Oamaru Swim Club held its annual championships over three days at the Waitaki Aquatic Centre.

Thirty competitive swimmers took part in 16 individual events, chasing annual trophy honours and records that can only be claimed at the event.

It was thought the 22 club records broken in 2016 (nine in 2015) would be hard to match, but the club’s continued improvement, and the introduction of new events, led to no fewer than 31 records being broken.

A club spokeswoman said that was testament to the hard work and dedication shown by all swimmers as well as master coach Narcis Gherca.

Swimmers and their families, friends and supporters will have to wait until the club’s prizegiving on June 23 to find out the winners and record holders.bridgemediaNike