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The start of something extraordinary

Taranaki teenage trio swim their way into the limelight

Three Taranaki teenagers along with world junior champion Gabrielle Fa’amausili produced the standout performances of day three at the Mayfair Pools 2016 New Zealand Open Championships in Wellington today.

Eliot Lundon-Moore and Zac Reid, both of the Aquabladz New Plymouth club, become the latest two swimmers to reach the qualifying standard for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships while United’s Fa’amausili achieved her second qualifying swim of the week.

The national age championships double as the trial for swimmers to qualify for August’s Junior Pan Pacific Championship in Maui.

Fa’amausili was only 3/100ths of a second off her New Zealand 16 years age group record in the 50m freestyle tonight, winning in 25.65s which was also under the Junior Pan Pacific qualifying time of 26.11.

Breaststroker Josh Gilbert (Stratford) broke his third New Zealand age group record of the meet, this time winning the 14 years 200m breaststroke which was his fourth national age group title.

Gilbert went 2:23.64 in tonight’s finals to break his own record by more than a second to be well clear of the field, his closest rival finishing in 2:32.29.

Commonwealth Youth Games swimmer Lundon-Moore edged his way under the 200m breaststroke time in this morning heats with a time of 2:19.60 but was unable to claim the national title tonight which went to Howick Pakuranga’s Mario Koenigsperger (2:16.37).

Koenigsperger is too old to be eligible for the Junior Pan Pacs.

Reid also reached the qualifying standard in the morning in the 400m freestyle clocking 4:01.58, but was just edged out in the final by Capital’s Lewis Clareburt who took honours in 4:01.89.

“I’m pretty knackered, it was a hard swim this morning and then Lewis really took it tonight,” Reid said. “I just couldn’t hold on I was a bit dead, but I’m real happy about this morning and real stoked to get the time.

“I’ve been on a couple of New Zealand teams but not at that pinnacle event and it’s really exciting and especially being in Hawaii that’s a cool place to go.”

Reid recently claimed a bronze medal in the 1500m freestyle at the Australian age group championships and is hoping to repeat his performance later this week to get another qualifying swim in.

“I’m looking for the time for that as well. I went under it over at Aussie age so hopefully I can back that up and go the time again.”

The other national record fell to 13 year old Gisborne swimmer Michael Pickett from the enterprise club who clocked 25.00s to win his age group in the 50m freestyle, which was 35/100ths of a second inside the previous record.

The competition runs until Friday with heats from 9am and finals from 6pm.

The event is live streamed for a subscription of $15 for the week. Live streaming is available here.

CAPTION: Josh Gilbert in action.

NZ Age Groups