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The start of something extraordinary

State NZ Short Course Swimming Championships - Day 4 Wrap

Experience won out over youth on the fourth night of finals at the State New Zealand Short Course Championships in Wellington today.

World short course champion Lauren Boyle (North Shore) gave a glimpse of her outstanding class when she stormed to victory in the women’s 400m freestyle, despite only returning to light training duties recently following her success in Europe.

She was joined by Dunedin father Kurt Crosland (Neptune) who picked up his third title of the championships with an emphatic victory in the 50m backstroke, while it proved a coming of age for 21-year-old North Shore swimmer Laura Quilter who scored victories in the 100m butterfly and 50m backstroke.

Boyle, 25, turned in a masterclass to win the 400m freestyle in a world class 4:02.36, more than five seconds ahead of teenager Tabitha Baumann, while Chloe Francis completed the trifecta for North Shore.

Boyle, who heads to the FINA World Cup meets in Singapore, Tokyo and Beijing next month, is uncertain of her form given her time out of the pool after Europe and some quite different training last month.

“We’ve done a couple of boxing classes and some spinning on the bike so it’s nice to mix it up a bit and do something that is not having your head under the water for hours on end,” said Boyle.

“The World Cup meets should be fun but I am not sure how I will go as the training has been quite light and I am not really sure where I will get to in my training in the next few weeks.”

Crosland impressed when he scored two wins to make it four in this meet with victory firstly in the men’s 50m backstroke in 24.08, finishing comfortably ahead of record holder Daniel Bell from Taranaki.

The 29-year-old returned to out-class a strong field to win the 100m individual medley in 53.88, which was 1.5 seconds ahead of second placed Bradlee Ashby (Fairfield).

Crosland, from the Neptune club, dropped out of the sport as a young father and pressures of finance. He came back to the sport three years ago initially in the masters squads, winning medals at last year’s Oceania Championships and setting a world Masters record this year.

“It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication to get to this stage. Lots of early nights and putting in the hard work in training,” Crosland said.

“It’s awesome with my son who is now four. He is pretty much the reason I am swimming, to give him something to look up to when he is older.

“My goal next year is definitely the Commonwealth Games. I want to have a crack at the podium there. That’s the big goal.”

The imposing Quilter made it four wins to go with three second placings in her seven finals races this week. Tonight she was the only swimmer under the 59 second mark to win the 100m butterfly ahead of world championship representative Samantha Lee (Capital).

Quilter followed this when she out-touched teen star Gabrielle Fa’amausili (Laser Mt Eden) by 1/100th of a second to win the 50m backstroke.

Canterbury’s Sophie Pascoe, the world’s best IPC athlete in August, following her five world titles in her five events, continued on her imperious way.

The swimming superstar took out the 50m backstroke in 30.49 in a national and new world record. It was Pascoe’s fourth world record of the meet in as many days and a treat for all swim fans.

In other finals Olympian Matt Stanley, the national 200m and 400m freestyle record holder, edged his rivals in the 100m freestyle final. It proved a brilliant battle with 0.3s covering the first four swimmers as Stanley (Matamata) clocked 48.64 to edge out Steven Kent (Coast), Nielsen Varoy (Roskill) and 50m freestyle record holder Cameron Simpson (Templeton) in 48.64.

North Shore’s Chloe Francis clocked 2:14.81 to hold off the fast-finishing London Olympian Tash Hind (Capital) by half a second in the 200m individual medley.

In the battle of the sprints Eric Kahr (United) was too classy in the men’s 50m breaststroke in 27.90 from teammate Alex Peach.

The championships continue until Thursday before the inaugural Swimming New Zealand Zonal Championship on Friday.

Results, Day 4
Women 200m individual medley: Chloe Francis (North Shore) 2:14.18, 1; Tash Hind (Capital) 2:14.77, 2; Kate Godfrey (Neptune) 2:15.35, 3.
IPC Multiclass (corrected): Nikita Howard (Cambridge) 3:04.57, 1; Emily Grace (St Pauls) 2:54.89, 2; Tayla Clement (North Shore) 3:10.41, 3.
Men 100m freestyle: Matt Stanley (Matamata) 48.64, 1; Steven Kent (Coast) 48.94, 2; Nielson Varoy (Roskill) 48.96, 3.
IPC Multiclass: Daniel Holt (North Shore) 56.00, 1; Daniel Gaualofa (Bay of Islands) 59.53, 2; Jesse Reynolds (Fairfield) 1:00.78, 3.
Women 100m butterfly: Laura Quilter (North Shore) 58.93, 1; Samantha Lee (Capital) 59.09, 2; Caroline Baddock (North Shore) 59.12, 3.
IPC Multiclass: Bryall McPherson (North Shore) 1:24.70, 1.
Men 50m breaststroke: Erik Kahr (United) 27.90, 1; Alex Peach (United) 28.81, 2; Ben Walsh (Porirua City) 38.90, 3.
IPC Multiclass: Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 37.67, 1; Hamish McLean (Wanaka) 1:01.89, 2.
Women 50m backstroke: Laura Quilter (North Shore) 27.92, 1; Gabrielle Fa’amausili (Laser Mt Eden) 27.93, 2; Caroline Baddock (North Shore) 28.22, 3.
IPC Multiclass: Sophie Pascoe (QEII) 30.49, 1 (World Record); Rebecca Dubber (North Shore) 42.26, 2; Nikita Howarth (Cambridge) 43.19, 3.
Men 50m backstroke: Kurt Crosland (Neptune) 24.08, 1; Daniel Bell (Aquabladz) 24.83, 2; Matthew Stanley (Matamata) 24.93, 3.
IPC Multiclass: Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 34.50, 1; Hamish McLean (Wanaka) 52.24, 2.
Women 400m freestyle: Lauren Boyle (North Shore) 4:02.36, 1; Tabitha Baumann (North Shore) 4:07.51, 2; Chloe Francis (North Shore) 4:13.35, 3.
IPC Multiclass: Rebecca Dubber (North Shore) 5:53.74, 1; Tayla Clement (North Shore) 5:34.74, 2; Olivia Hay (Whakatane) 6:21.34, 3.
Men 100m individual medley: Kurt Crosland (Neptune) 53.88, 1; Bradlee Ashby (Fairfield) 55.37, 2; Steven Kent (North Shore) 55.45, 3.
IPC Multiclass: Daniel Holt (North Shore) 1:07.65, 1; Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 1:13.15, 3.