Fairweather just 0.05 sec outside NZ record

Erika Fairweather. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Erika Fairweather. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Erika Fairweather’s national record might be "teasing" her, but she has started her national championships with a bang.

The Neptune swimmer won the women’s 200m freestyle in 1min 55.49, just 0.05sec outside her national record, at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre last night.

She swam a controlled race and held her nerve when Laticia-Leigh Transom (Club 37) started to put the pressure on and pull for that top spot through the middle of the race.

But Fairweather put her foot down in the final lap to win ahead of Transom, who finished in second despite some initial technical difficulties, in 1min 58.42sec.

Fairweather pulled her Dunedin team-mate Caitlin Deans in for a hug after the race, after Deans claimed bronze in 2min 00.72sec.

"I’m stoked. That record’s teasing me a little bit now but, you know, any 1min 55 swim’s a good swim," Fairweather told Swimming New Zealand post race.

"I knew [Transom] was going to take it out fast and so to have her right there was really cool."

Fellow Neptune swimmer Zac Reid secured silver in the men’s 200m freestyle in 1min 48.90sec.

Olympian Lewis Clareburt (Club 37) started his week off strongly to lead the race on his way to another national title in 1min 47.18sec.

Kane Follows (Neptune) also reached the podium on day two.

He pushed Andrew Jeffcoat all the way in the men’s 100m backstroke to win silver.

Follows stormed home to squeeze Jeffcoat and finish in 54.46sec. Jeffcoat (Club 37) won another national title in 54.28sec.

Neptune swimmers Poppy Henderson (28.03sec) and Esme Paterson (28.47sec) finished sixth and seventh respectively in the women’s 50m butterfly.

Kiwi swimmer Meg McLaughlan (1min 17.22sec) finished seventh in the women’s 100m breaststroke.

Oamaru swimmer Liam McGowan (24.98sec) was sixth in the men’s 50m butterfly and Alexandra swimmer Caleb Ludlow (1min 07.39sec) seventh in the men’s 100m breaststroke.

All Otago swimmers, plus a couple of extras, will be back for in the pool for the heats this morning followed by their finals tonight.