NAGs 2022 kicked off last Tuesday in the Capital and it was fantastic to see some of the fastest age groupers from around the country compete in Kilbirnie. Performances of note from Wellington’s swimmers over the six days of competition included:
In the long-distance events that began proceedings; we saw three bronze medals for Hunter Lloyd, Alex Cecioni and Maia Adams in their respective age groups. This was followed by a breakaway gold from Sam Brown in the 400IM as he continues to chase down Lewis Clareburt’s times clocked over the last 4 plus years of dominance in the 400IM. Lucas Knapp opened his Championships with a silver in his age group for the 400IM and there were two silver medals for Neve Tassicker and Molly Player in the women’s 200IM - swimming under their new club Ngā Tai Tūātea a Taraika SC for the first time. The first day’s finals rounded off with a gold, silver and bronze for Finn Harland, Daniel Williams, and Alex Esposito in the 50m Back, showcasing Wellington’s strong Backstroke credentials in all the men’s age groups.
Day 2 saw two of Capitals young guns, Jayden Dickison and Lucas Knapp, grab golds in the 400 Free finals. This was followed by Pippa Nichol’s first podium placing, a bronze in the women’s 400 Free. The 100 Back saw repeat placings from Day 1 with 50 Back finals for the trio of Finn Harland, Daniel Williams, and Alex Esposito. Molly Player also continued her impressive form with a silver medal in the women’s 100 Back (coming in just under her regional record achieved at Open Nationals 2 weeks ago). Tawa’s Hara Hughes reached out for a silver medal in the 100 Breast, hitting the pads between two United swimmers for Tawa’s first podium finish of the meet. A final Wellington medal went to new club Ngā Tai Tūātea a Taraika SC in the 4x100 Free 16&O event, their first ever relay medal at nationals and a fitting way to end a successful Day 2 at nationals.
Lucas Knapp and Finn Harland continued their work early in the Day 3 finals with a silver and a gold medal in the 200 Free. The women’s event saw a gold medal for Carterton’s Ava Wilson in the 13yrs category, and Pippa Nicol picking up a silver in the 17/18 years event. In the 100 Fly, PCA’s duo of David Zhu and Eric Yuan won gold and silver, before Joshua Amyes won his first NAGs medal in Capital colours - coming in 2nd behind Taiko Torepe-Ormsby. Georgia Wills and Hannah Campbell both won bronze medals in the 100 Fly, whilst Neve Tassicker finished the evening with a second silver medal of her week in the same event.
Day 4 finals saw 16 podium finishes for Wellington clubs as NAGs headed into the ANZAC weekend. The performance of the night came from Molly Player who won the 200 Back with a Wellington Open record of 2:16.54, going under her time of 2:16.90 made at Open Champs. The other Wellington gold medal of the evening went to Hunter Lloyd in the 200IM. This was then followed by 6 individual silver and 5 individual bronze medals for Wellington swimmers – four of which came in the women’s 400IM! Marina Nadilo and Neve Tassicker picked up a bronze and silver medal each before Georgia Wills and Maia Adams went up against each other in the 17/18yrs to come away with 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Finn Harland came in 2nd in the 200 Back 16yrs category, whilst Alex Esposito picked up his 3rd backstroke bronze of the event in the same event. David Zhu, Tyler Miles and Georgina Bell won silvers with Joshua Amyes and Bianca Yeldon scooping up bronze medals in the 50 Fly.
The 4x200 relays wrapped up the evening with Ngā Tai Tūātea a Taraika SC winning 2 silver medals in the men’s and women’s events, coming in 3 seconds before Capital’s 15&U quartet in the bronze position.
Days 5 & 6 saw some seriously impressive swimming. Finn Harland broke two Wellington Age Group Records in the 50 and 100 Free by going a 52.25 and 23.96, respectively. In the 200 Breast Hara Hughes featured again, picking up a silver. Ngā Tai Tūātea a Taraika SC stamped their mark yet again with men’s and women’s silvers in the 4x100 Medley Relay. Maia Adams finished her great week off with a bronze in the 1500. In the 200 Fly, Jayden Dickison Lucas Knapp and David Zhu won gold and Eric Yuan finished with a silver.Hannah Campbell and Georgia Wills both won Gold and Jenna Rolston Larking ended with a bronze.50 Breast saw Hara Hughes win gold for Tawa, and Ngā Tai Tūātea a Taraika SC finished the region’s racing off with a bronze in the 16&O Mixed 4x100 Free relay.
Well done swimmers! It was fantastic to host you down at the WRAC for NAGS 2022.