They’ve done it again.
The Oamaru Swim Club’s remarkable juniors rule the South Island pool.
Once again Oamaru has been named top club at the Makos junior festival, an extraordinary achievement for a club from such a small town.
Oamaru finished the 2019 Makos festival, held at Invercargill’s Splash Palace from February 15 to 17, on 1292 points.
That tally was 293 points clear of the second-placed Queenstown Swimming Club.
Oamaru always looked likely to do well at the 27-club festival, but the youngsters still had to deliver in the pool.
And deliver they did.
Their team of 11 swimmers achieved 42 placings (17 firsts, 13 seconds and 12 thirds) and set a whopping 83 personal best times.
Among the leading performers were:
Deegan Croucher (girls 11 years)
Another outstanding weekend for Deegan, with six firsts (200m backstroke, freestyle and medley, 100m butterfly, backstroke and medley) two seconds and two thirds. Her best time improvement was -15.58 seconds for first in the 200m backstroke.
Eric Strachan (boys 10 years & under)
Eric dominated his age group with five first placings (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle and medley, 200m freestyle and medley), one second and three thirds. His biggest time improvement came in the 100m medley, with a -15.99sec improvement.
Levi Heffernan (boys 12 years)
As predicted, Levi proved to be a strong competitor in this age group and for his nine individual events. He had three wins (50m, 100m and 200m freestyle), two second placings and seven personal best times.
Olli McDiarmid-Jones (boys 12 years)
Another strong competitor in the Oamaru team. He won the 200m butterfly, came second in the 100m and 200m breaststroke, and was third in the 50m breaststroke and 100m butterfly. He achieved personal bests in all eight events he competed in.
Tarona Taafaki (girls 12 years)
Tarona competed in eight individual events, winning the 100m butterfly, placing second in the 50m backstroke and third in the 50m butterfly. She was also a member of the winning mixed 12 and under 200m relay team.
Hanna Strachan (girls 11 years)
Hanna had 12 personal best times from 12 races. She had three second places, all for breaststroke – 50m, 100m and 200m.
Neighton Fraser (boys 11 years)
Neighton competed in 11 individual events and placed third in the 200m medley. He was also part of the winning boys 12 and under 200m freestyle relay team.
Other Oamaru swimmers who can be proud of their efforts are: Frankie McDiarmid-Jones (girls 10 years), who achieved five new personal best times and was part of the winning mixed 12 and under 6x50m freestyle relay team, Ella Fraser (girls 11 years), who achieved four time improvements in her four races, Maddison Phillips (girls 11 years) who set nine personal best times and was part of the third-placing girls 12 and under 200m freestyle relay team and James Soal (boys 10 years and under) who achieved top 10 finishes in all five of his events.