New-format champs make a splash

Zenith’s Caitlin Hewson (12) swims in the 200m freestyle at the Otago swimming championships held...
Zenith’s Caitlin Hewson (12) swims in the 200m freestyle at the Otago swimming championships held in Dunedin over the weekend. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
There were plenty of swimmers making plenty of finals at an enlarged Otago swimming championships at Moana Pool over the weekend.

The championships took place over three days and were for swimmers aged from 9 through to adults.

Previously, swimmers aged 12 and under competed in their own meeting while the swimmers aged 13 and above had their separate meeting.

But it was decided to combine the two meetings to create a bit of club spirit and enable   people  to watch all swimmers at all levels. There  were just under 200 swimmers competing.

Youth Olympian Erika Fairweather picked up nine first placings in the 14-15 age group, helping her Neptune club win a couple of relays.

But she was not the swimmer who won the most gold medals. That went to  the Kiwi club’s  Clara Peniamina.

The 11-year-old won 10 events and also picked up a second in the 200m backstroke.

Other good  performances came from Alexandra’s Liam Rees, who won four events in the 10-11 age group. He also picked up three silver medals.

Emma Morton, from the Cromwell club, won a couple of events in the 12-13 age group in the 100m and 200m breaststroke.

Kiwi club swimmer David Cannon won three events in the 16 and over  grade, winning the 100m and 200m breaststroke and also the 400m freestyle.

Ryan Dey won three events in the 12-13 age group, winning the 100m breaststroke, the 200m freestyle and the 400m individual medley.

Oliver Walker won three events in the 16 and over age grade while Madi Wills, also of the Kiwi club, won three events in the 14-15 age group.

In the 16 and over age group, Elliott Alloo and Ben Carr both won four events, swimming out of the Neptune club, as did Sean Diggle, competing in the 14-15 age group.

Jade Fairweather, Molly Law and Jessica Scott all had multiple wins with Scott winning six events.

Levi Heffernan had six victories in the 11-12 age group in a batch of success from the Oamaru Swimming Club.

Jordan Summers, of the Taieri club, picked up three wins in the 14-15 age group.Best from Wanaka were Cruz Morland with four victories in the 12-13 age group while Jack Findlay had three wins as did Benjamin Silipo.

No records were lodged as Swimming Otago is considering changing the age bands so every age level will have their own records, not  the  two-year bands as is the case at the moment.

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