Jeremy Hopkins (Neptune) is expected to bring home a bag
of medals from the New Zealand age-group championships in
Wellington this week.
Hopkins (14) has made rapid progress since joining Gennadiy
Labara's Osca training squad.
Hopkins was Otago's best swimmer at last year's age-group
championships in Wellington, winning nine medals - seven gold
and two silver - and breaking six Otago records.
He has the top ranking in six events in the boys aged 14
grade and has second ranking in the 100m butterfly. His
top-ranking swims are in the 200m individual medley (2min
15.26sec), 50m butterfly (28.33sec), 200m freestyle (2min
1.34sec), 50m freestyle (25.67sec), 400m individual medley
(4min 49.74sec) and 100m freestyle (55.71sec).
The other member of the Osca squad tipped to do well is
Andrew Trembath (Neptune), who was Otago's best performer at
the South Island short-course championships last year. He
broke seven Otago aged 14 and 15 records and eight South
Trembath joined the Osca squad when his family shifted to
Dunedin after the Christchurch earthquake. He is ranked
second in the 200m individual medley (2min 9.37sec) and 400m
medley (4min 36.80sec) and is ranked third in the 50m and
Aleisha Ruske (Neptune), who won a gold, silver and bronze at
last year's championships, is ranked first in the girls aged
15 200m butterfly (2min 23.98sec) and second in the 100m
Hang Zhang (Neptune), a promising member of the Osca squad,
is ranked top in the boys aged 15 100m breaststroke (1min
08.75sec) and second in the 200m breaststroke (2min
Caitlin Deans (Waves) is ranked second in the girls aged 12
and 13 400m freestyle (4min 38.35sec) and the 800m freestyle
Oamaru swimmers Isobel Ryan and Jeremy Tasker made
significant progress with their performances at the Otago and
Canterbury championships at Moana Pool last month.
Ryan, a pupil at St Kevin's College, is competing in the
girls aged 16 backstroke and freestyle events, and Tasker in
the men's aged 18 grade. Tasker left Waitaki Boys' High
School last year and is studying marketing and commerce at
the University of Otago.
Other Otago swimmers likely to reach the podium include
Sophie Gibson (Queenstown), Sophie Fairbairn (Wanaka), Thomas
Heaton (Waves) and Stef Gillespie (Zenith).
The championships, at the Wellington Regional Aquatics
Centre, start today and finish on Saturday.