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The start of something extraordinary

NSW Swimming Championships - Day 1 Heats

Lucky 13 New Zealand swimmers are through to finals on the opening day of the New South Wales Swimming Championships in Sydney.

The Swimming New Zealand AquaBlacks and High Performance Squad along with the newly formed Wellington Regional HPC are among 66 kiwi swimmers from 17 clubs competing across the Tasman in the three-day meet that has attracted more than 1300 competitors.

The High Performance pair of Glenn Snyders (North Shore) and Tash Hind (Capital) both won their heats in the 50m breaststroke and 400m individual medley respectively on the opening morning of heats at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre today.

Snyders was 0.3s outside his national record clocking 27.68 in his heat with compatriot Luke Westgaard (Roskill Magic) third in 28.81.

Hind came from behind on the final freestyle leg to prove fastest in the medley heats in 4:48.57 ahead of Southland’s Natalie Wiegersma (4:49.26) with Beijing triple gold medallist and medley world record-holder Stephanie Rice third in her return from shoulder surgery.

Two others were among the top three in qualifying – Beijing Olympian Melissa Ingram (200m backstroke) and Delhi silver medallist Gareth Kean (50m backstroke) where were both third fastest in their respective heats.

Those through to tonights A finals are:

400m freestyle: Matt Stanley (HPC Matamata) 3:53.19, 4th fastest

200m butterfly: Shaun Burnett (HPC North Shore) 2:01.82 6th fastest

50m breaststroke: Glenn Snyders (HPC North Shore) 27.68, 1st fastest; Luke Westgaard (Roskill) 28.81, 3rd fastest.

400m individual medley: Tash Hind (HPC Capital) 4:48.57, 1st fastest; Natalie Wiegersma (Waverley) 4:49.26, 2nd fastest; Samantha Lucie-Smith (WRHPC Capital) 4:55.78, 7th.

50m backstroke: Gareth Kean (WRHPC Capital) 25.49, 3rd; Kurt Bassett (HPC Laser Mt Eden) 25.52, 7th.

200m backstroke: Melissa Ingram (HPC North Shore) 2:12.67, 3rd; Jessie Blundell (HPC North Shore) 2:12.91, 2nd; Penny Marshall (HPC North Shore) 2:16.26, 6th; Sophia Batchelor (AquaGym, Chch) 2:17.81.

Also tonight Lauren Boyle, Samantha Lucie-Smith and Emma Robinson compete in the fast heat of timed final of the 800m freestyle.