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Back in action . . . Members of the Oamaru Swim Club who competed in Wanaka (from left) Olivia McLean (10), Milly Campbell (10), Jorgia Mcdiarmid-Jones (15), Angus Burke (8), Cameron Notman (12), Hannah Burke (11), (front) Frankie Mcdiarmid-Jones (12). PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Oamaru swimmers have made a strong start as competition returns after Covid-19 restrictions.

At a Wanaka interclub meet on October 18, a small group of swimmers from the Oamaru Swim Club earned a haul of medals, personal-best times, and set two Otago records. More than 100 South Island swimmers competed at the event.

Olivia McLean (10) broke Otago backstroke records in her age-group for the 50m, which she swam in 37.29sec, and 100m, in which she recorded 1min 19.86sec.

In the 10 to 11 years age-group, Olivia also secured gold medals in the 50m backstroke, 100m backstroke, 200m backstroke, 100m individual medley and 200m medley; and silver in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke.

Angus (8) and Hannah Burke (11) claimed five gold medals each.

Angus achieved personal-bests in three events, and Hannah also collected three silver medals. Frankie (12) and Jorgia Mcdiarmid-Jones (15) won three gold medals each, and also collected a haul of silver and bronze medals.

The club’s 12-and-under freestyle relay team of Hannah, Olivia, Frankie and Cameron Notman gained a bronze medal, and the 12-and-under medley relay team of Olivia, Hannah, Frankie and Milly Campbell a silver.

It had been a long time between swims for members of the Oamaru Swim Club, and coach Narcis Gherca said they were excited to resume competition after months of training.

“The results were outstanding, which I expected, but more importantly I saw happy swimmers and proud parents, and that is our goal,” Gherca said.

With a focus on building the club numbers, it was exciting to see new members, such as Milly Campbell, competing and loving her first swim meet.

Oamaru Swim Club president Michelle McLean was thrilled with the results.

“These results, particularly the personal-best times, celebrate the hard work and dedication these swimmers put into the sport they love,” McLean said.

Senior swimmers have also been back in action at national events, which had to be either modified or postponed due to Covid restrictions.

Alice Petrie represented the Oamaru Swim Club at the New Zealand short-course nationals, and then swam for Waitaki Girls’ High School at the New Zealand secondary schools championships.

Waitaki Boys’ High School’s Samuel Petrie also competed at the secondary school championships, and set personal-best times in all four of his events.

Oamaru swimmers are now training for the Otago Spring Carnival meet in Cromwell on November 7 and Otago long-course events over the next two months.