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Long Course Championships 2022: Review

This past Wellington Anniversary Weekend saw swimmers from around our region and country travel to the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre to compete at the Swimming Wellington 13 & Over Long Course Championships. We were surprised with a large contingent making the trip up from the South Island to join us, as well as many from the North trekking down to the capital. Being the first meet of the year to be held at the WRAC, it was truly one that few will forget.

The weekend saw six athletes topple Wellington Records. Four of these six hailing from Capital Swim Club. The first of the four was Hunter Lloyd. Lloyd broke a seventeen year old record, previously held by John Gatfield. Hunter went a 29.87 in the 13 year olds 50m Backstroke. Next from Capital was Lucas Knapp. Similarly to Hunter, Lucas too broke a seventeen year old record. It was in the 14 year olds 200m Freestyle. Formerly held by Luke Fairbairn in a time of 2:01.55, Lucas went a 2:00.38 – this is his first Wellington Record! The third record breaker from Capital was Lewis Clareburt. Lewis broke his own open Wellington Record in the 100m Butterfly. His old time was 53.32 and on Sunday he swam a 53.16. The final of the four record-breaking Capital crew was Finn Harland. In the 50m Freestyle, Harland raced under Kyle Barnes’s 16 year olds record of 24.50, going 24.14. A monster effort from Capital.

Eric Yuan of Porirua City Aquatics and Mitchell Heberley of Swimzone Racing are now holders of regional records. The former, Yuan, secured his record in the 13 year olds 100m Butterfly. He went a time of 1:00.33, breaking Pierce Collins’s 2018 record of 1:00.63. It was this time that Collins went to win his national title while he was with Swimzone Racing. Speaking of Swimzone, Mitchell Heberley displayed the strength of his club through his own 100m Butterfly record. In the 15 year olds final, Mitchell swam a time of 58.42, breaking Cameron Jones’s record which had been standing for ten years. Well done to Eric and Mitchell, as well as our other record breakers.

Following Sunday morning’s government announcement, adaptations and extensions were made to that evening’s racing to include the following Session 5 (with the 1500m Freestyle and 400IM removed). There was also a short Session 6 run on Monday morning which complied by the 100 person event limit that came into effect at 11.59pm on Sunday evening. That Monday session included the 1500m Freestyle and 400IM as timed finals. Despite these measure, it did not deter the teams and athletes from competing. Valiantly, the swimmers continued to race, getting new personal bests and points for their clubs. Three clubs pushed on to try get their hands on the Team Points Trophy. In third place, were our guests from Taranaki: Aquabladz NP. Second, came Capital Swim Club. And in first place, with 1480 points, Pirates Swim Team.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our officials and volunteers who gave up their valuable time over the long weekend to help us with the running of our competition. Seriously, without your help, we wouldn’t have been able to proceed with the meet so thank you! Finally, to the swimmers, coaches, managers and all involved: thank you for making the trip and putting in the effort towards this meet. We at Swimming Wellington always look forward to seeing you in action. We hope that we can host you again at some point in the near future. Until then – stay safe, follow guidelines and keep doing your best. Mā te wā.

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