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Pool party . . . Oamaru swimmers (from left) Iessha Mansfield, Tiana Mansfield, Alice Petrie, Micah Hayes, Tandia Gooch, Penny Keeling, Abbey Wilson and Charlie Gilbert prepare for the national championships. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Eight swimmers, one dream.

The cream of Oamaru swimming will be chasing medals at the New Zealand age group championships in Wellington next week.

The talented swimmers, master coach Narcis Gherca, manager Sonya Macdonald and supporters head north on Sunday, and racing at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre starts on Tuesday.

Morning preliminaries and evening finals will be held each day until Saturday.

Oamaru swimmers have been in excellent form in recent times, highlighted by a swag of medals and personal bests at the Makos region of the New Zealand Junior Festival last month.

Micah Hayes and Charlie Gilbert are strong contenders in the boys 14 years 1500m freestyle, and Tiana Mansfield will be targeting a medal in her favoured 100m and 200m backstroke events.

Iessha Mansfield is top ranked in girls 13 years freestyle events, while Penny Keeling and Alice Petrie will be also looking for good results – Keeling favouring the long distance freestyle races and Petrie in the 200m butterfly.

Tandia Gooch and Abbey Wilson will chase strong personal performances with long distance racing their main focus.

Two other Oamaru swimmers – Jaxson Macdonald-Piner and Emma Petrie – qualified for six events each but are unavailable, so will aim for the national short course championships in October.

To prepare for the meet, Oamaru swimmers have been travelling to Timaru on Saturday mornings to make the most of the 50m pool, one of the few remaining in the South Island.