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Masterton swimmers going great guns

By Gary Caffell

Masterton Swimming Club members had made a big impact by the halfway point of the national division two championships being held over four days in Rotorua this week.

A record number of more than 470 swimmers are taking part in the event which is a short course (25m) competition with an age component of 12 to 18yrs.

The last three years had seen entries number between 250 and 350.

Just how well Masterton are performing is illustrated by the fact that while they are represented by just the nine swimmers they completed the first two days sitting 13th out of 101 clubs on the points table.

Spearheading the Masterton effort was Oliver Donaldson, 15, who won gold medals in the 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke and bronze medals in the 100m breaststroke and the 100m individual medley.

Hayley Bresaz, 15, finished a close fourth in her 200m freestyle and lowered her personal best time by 4secs in the process and five personal best times had been registered by 12-year-old Hannah Cohr.

Lachlan O’Connell, 16, and Lily Hamill-Harris, 13, had both recorded four pb’s, Amelia O’Connell, 13, and Tom Parker, 14, three pbs and Ksenia Arnopp, 18, clocked a pb in his 200m individual medley.

Pleasing too was the performance of the Masterton under-18 boys relay team-Lachlan O’Connell, Codyh McGlashan, Tom Parker and Oliver Donaldson, who finished a close fourth in the final, well up on their seeding of sixth and in a time 3secs faster than they managed in the heats.

Not surprisingly, Masterton head coach Anna Kitching is delighted at the form shown by her small team, praising their “gutsiness” during a programme which often sees them having to compete at night after long morning sessions.

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