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The start of something extraordinary

State NZ Short Course Swimming Championships - Day 5 Wrap

The veterans led the way on the final night of the State New Zealand Short Course Swimming Championships in Wellington.

Twenty-five year old world champion Lauren Boyle and 29 year old Kurt Crosland had dominant wins in their respective events at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre tonight.

Boyle, who won the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle titles, was happy with her results this week on a limited preparation following a break after her world championships success.

“I’m pretty happy with how I’ve done but it is a mental challenge to get back into the competitive mindset after a break,” said Boyle.

State AquaBlack Samantha Lee led the women’s 200m freestyle final at the 100m mark but Boyle powered home over the last half to claim victory in 1:56.17, only a second outside her own national record.

“I’m pretty tired on the last day of the competition so I had no idea how it would go. I just wanted to feel comfortable in the back end and come home strong and I think I did that quite well,” she said.

It was close but not quite enough for Crosland in the men’s 200m backstroke. The Dunedin swimmer was only 0.4s outside the national open record but he remains unfazed as he sets his sights towards the Commonwealth Games next year.

“My plan was to smash the third 50m and see what I had left in the tank, but unfortunately I just missed that record so next time I’m going to have a crack at it,” said Crosland.

Next year’s Commonwealth Games are always in the back of the father of one’s mind.

“Definitely the podium is the main goal for me so that’s going to be in the back of my mind training the whole time,” he said.

Crosland (Neptune) was the leading individual male at the championships with five titles in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke, and the 100m and 200m individual medley.

In other finals, 17-year-old Jane Ip scored a welcome national open title for West Auckland Aquatics when she won the women’s 100m breaststroke. She was the only swimmer under the 1m10s barrier, winning in 1:09.79 ahead of Beckie Dooley (Jasi) and Bronagh Ryan (Porirua).

The race was robbed of a potential national record when the 50m and 200m breaststroke winner Natasha Lloyd (North Canterbury) withdrew after falling ill overnight.

Local Capital club swimmer Isaac Foote grabbed his first national open pool title when he won the men’s 200m butterfly in 1:58.56, beating off the challenge from Wilrich Coetzee (North Shore) and Bradlee Ashby (Fairfield). Coetzee, 16, had the reward in breaking one of the oldest national age group records set by the great Danyon Loader 22 years ago.

Foote, 20, who has been one of the country’s leading open water swimmers, has switched his attention to the pool, with his long distance background a benefit to the demands of the 200m butterfly with his focus towards next year’s Commonwealth Games trials.

In para competition, world champion Mary Fisher (Capital) won the 100m breaststroke while Sarah Fuhrer (St Peters, Cambridge) took out the 200m freestyle.

Tauranga’s Nathan Capp (Greerton), a member of Swimming New Zealand’s High Performance centre, was in a class of his own to claim the 1500m freestyle in 15:07.18, well clear of Dylan Dunlop-Barrett (Coast) and Cameron Blair (Kiwi West) in the final event of the night.

Attention now turns to the inaugural Swimming New Zealand Zonal Championship tomorrow which features the 20 best swimmers 15 years and under and the best 20 swimmers over 15 years from each of the four zones. They will compete in a full championship programme condensed into two hours of quick-fire team competition. The Junior Zone Championships (15 years and under) starts at 8am and the Senior (over 15) at 11am.

Results, Day 5:
Women 100m breaststroke: Jane Ip (West Auckland Aquatics) 1:09.79, 1; Beckie Dooley (Jasi) 1:10.37, 2; Bronagh Ryan (Porirua City) 1:10.60, 3.
IPC Multiclass (corrected): Mary Fisher (Capital) 1:30.23, 1; Nikita Howarth (Cambridge) 1:28.33, 2; Emily Grace (St Peters) 1:33.71, 3.
Men 200m butterfly: Isaac Foote (Capital) 1:58.56, 1; Wilrich Coetzee (North Shore) 1:59.19, 2; Bradlee Ashby (Fairfield) 1:59.78, 3.
Women 200m freestyle: Lauren Boyle (North Shore) 1:56.17, 1; Tabitha Baumann (North Shore) 1:58.27, 2; Tash Hind (Capital) 1:58.23, 3.
IPC Multiclass: Sarah Fuhrer (St Peters) 4:14.51, 1.
Men 200m backstroke: Kurt Crosland (Neptune) 1:54.02, 1; Ben Gillies (North Shore) 1:57.05, 2; Matthew Hutchins (Wharenui) 1:59.25, 3.
Men 1500m freestyle: Nathan Capp (Greerton) 15:07.18, 1; Dylan Dunlop-Barrett (Coast) 15:29.20, 2; Cameron Blair (Kiwi West) 15:30.15, 3.