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The start of something extraordinary

Reid, Fa’amausili star on final night of junior swimming champs

Junior world champion Gabrielle Fa’amausili finished as she began on the final night of the Mayfair Pools New Zealand Age Group Championships in Wellington.

The 16 year old from the United club in Auckland enjoyed two wins on the final night, including another time under the qualifying standard for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships.

The national age championships doubled as the official trial for the Junior Pan Pacs to be held in Hawaii in August, against full strength teams from USA, Japan, Australia and the rest of the Pacific.

Fa’amausili clocked 57.05s to win her final in the 100m freestyle for 16 years age group, the fastest of all tonight, to go under the qualifying standard by 25/100ths of a second.

She followed this with a win in the 50m backstroke, the event that she won her world title in, in 28.95s to bring her tally to six wins from six finals.

“I’m really happy with how the week went and I’m just happy with my training and everything with my new club,” said Fa’amausili who moved to the United club last year under head coach Igor Polianski, the former Olympic backstroke gold medallist.

“I’m just looking forward to achieving bigger and better things throughout the year and I’m doing it with such an amazing team as a bonus as well so yeah I’m just real happy with how the week went.

“I’m definitely going to take some time off now and just rest and re-evaluate everything for the new season and concentrate on Oceania’s which is the next big thing and then work towards Junior Pan Pacs.”

The other qualifying effort on the final day fell to Taranaki freestyler Zac Reid from the Aquabladz New Plymouth club who clocked 15:58.28 for the 1500m freestyle.

The 16 year old, the fastest of all age groups, had to dig deep with a brilliant final 100m in 1:02.77 to dip under the qualifying standard for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships by just 0.6s.

Fa’amausili led the way with six golds from six swims, ahead of the five golds earned by Gina McCarthy (Hillcrest), Yeonsu Lee (North Shore) and Chelsey Edwards (SwimZone).

Edwards impressed tonight with a win in the 14 years 100m freestyle in 57.87s, which was just half a second outside the New Zealand age group record.

Top of the pops in the male competition was North Shore’s Wilrich Coetzee with victories in the 200m butterfly and 50m backstroke and second in the 100m freestyle for 17-18 years. It brought his tally to seven gold medals and 11 medals in all to top the medal count.

Behind him was Tryon Henry, 14 years, from Howick Pakuranga with six golds, including a win in the 100m freestyle tonight, from the five wins to Josh Gilbert (Stratford), 14 years, and Lewis Clareburt (Capital) 16 years.

One of the swims of the night was by St Peters swimmer Dan Caldwell who won the 17-18 years 100m freestyle in 51.87s, which was just 24/100ths of a second outside the qualifying time for the Junior Pan Pacs.

The team for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships will be officially named tomorrow.

CAPTIONS: Zac Reid in action in action at the Mayfair Pools New Zealand Age Championships in Wellington.

The image is free for editorial use only. Credit: BW Media

NZ Age Groups