HOKONUI Aquatics and Murihiku Swimming Club both had teams of swimmers travel to Dunedin last weekend to compete at the Otago Short Course Champs.
The Hokonui team was made up of Bryan Bennett, Marlin Bennett, Shakayla Brown, Emma Dawson, Julian Hastie, Clark Jamieson, Gabrielle Le Roux, Roxanne Le Roux and Joel Wilson.
While the Murihiku team was Luke Biggar, Olivia Biggar, Tamaki Fukui, Magnus Jamieson, Olivia Johnson and Anita White.
The trip north was well worth it for all the swimmers as all of them improved on their seed times in at least two events.
Marlin Bennett led the way in this area by improving in all four of his events.
Others to achieve four improved times were Juliana Hastie, Clark Jamieson, Joel Wilson and Olivia Johnson.
Magnus Jamieson had an outstanding meet, winning all six of his events.
This was a real achievement for Jamieson and hopefully is a good indicator of him having a good meet when he travels to Christchurch next month to take part at the South Island Short Course Champs.
Marlin Bennett converted his improved times into two first placings and two second placings at the weekend.
Other swimmers who achieved podium finishes were Bryan Bennett with two 2nd placings, Shakayla Brown with one 3rd, Emma Dawson also with one 3rd, Juliana Hastie with a 1st and a 2nd, Clark Jamieson with two 1sts and two 2nds and Roxanne Le Roux with two 2nd places.
The Murihiku swimmers who joined Jamieson on the podium were Olivia Biggar with one 2nd and two 3rd placings and Anita White who achieved a 3rd placing.
This meet provided our local swimmers the opportunity to witness two New Zealand age group short course records being broken by Erica Fairweather in the 16-year-old women’s 200m and 400m freestyle.
To see a swimmer of the calibre of Fairweather is an inspiration for all up and coming swimmers.
While not wanting to take anything away from Otago, it is nice to be able to claim a local link with Fairweather through her father Mark who grew up in Invercargill and was part of a well-known local sporting family.
The next local meet is the Hokonui Sprints on Sunday, August 23, in Gore, with entries needing to be in by Sunday, August, 16.
Hokonui has shown a resurgence in the number of competitive swimmers during the past few years, which has coincided with the arrival of Mariano Nani as coach.
Alongside the new coach, a group of enthusiastic and committed parents have supported their children in their swimming endeavours.