Oamaru’s golden generation of young swimmers will seek to make another splash in Auckland next week.
A team of 10 is heading to the National Aquatic Centre for the New Zealand short course championships starting on Sunday.
The rise and rise of the Oamaru Swim Club is reflected in the fact that number is double the five who qualified last year – and only three of them actually competed.
It has been a testing time for the swimmers as they have had to deal with two challenges above the usual demands of their training.
All their training earlier in the year was built around 50m swimming, in preparation for the national age group championships, and short course racing (25m) requires different racing and training strategies.
Oamaru swimmers were also turfed out of their own pool for a month as the Waitaki Aquatic Centre was closed for renovations.
That forced the team – and its always supportive parents – to travel to Timaru six days a week for training, a demanding schedule that highlighted the young swimmers’ dedication.
The busiest Oamaru swimmer in Auckland will be Alice Petrie (girls 13 years), who is competing in eight events: 50m and 200m freestyle, 50m, 100m and 200m butterfly, and 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke.
Boys 15 years swimmer Jaxson Macdonald-Piner (50m, 100m and 200m freestyle and 50m, 100m and 200 butterfly) and girls 13 years swimmer Penny Keeling (200m, 400m and 800m freestyle and 100m, 200m and 400m medley) are each in six events.
Iessha Mansfield (girls 13 years – 50m, 100m, 200m and 400m freestyle and 200m backstroke), Tandia Gooch (girls 16 years – 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle and 50m and 100m butterfly), Tiana Mansfield (girls 15 years – 400m freestyle and 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke), Emma Petrie (girls 15 years – 200m medley, 400m and 800m freestyle and 200m backstroke), Micah Hayes (boys 14 years – 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle and 200m medley), Charlie Gilbert (boys 13 years – 200m, 400m and 1500m freestyle) and Abbey Wilson (girls 13 years – 400m and 800 freestyle) round out the team.