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Youngsters making a big splash

The Masterton Swimming Club team who competed at the Swimming Wellington 13 years and over Long Course Championships over the weekend. Left to right: Oriane Davidson, Hanna Cohr, Jorja Younger, Isabel Bresaz, Charlotte Murray and Louis Oliver. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

SWIMMING

ELI HILL
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Young Wairarapa swimmers have proved they can “foot it with the best” after bringing home a sizeable medal haul from the Swimming Wellington 13 years and over Long Course Championships over anniversary weekend.

The event at the Wellington Aquatic Centre attracted hundreds of competitors from clubs around the North Island with a few competitors from Nelson also joining in.

Standouts from Wairarapa were Bridget Allan from Carterton Swimming Club and Masterton Swimming Club’s Louis Oliver and Hanna Cohr.

Allan took home gold in 14 years girls’ 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke as well as fourth in the 50m butterfly.

Louis Oliver of Masterton Swimming Club swimming butterfly over the weekend. He took gold in both the 50 and 100 metre butterfly events.

The same stroke proved to be a goldmine for Oliver, who won the 13 years 50m and 100m butterfly events.

Fellow Masterton swimmer Cohr won two bronze in the 14 years 50m and 100m backstroke.

Masterton Swimming Club head coach Piers Fuller said the club was delighted by how well the team performed.

“The calibre of competition at this event was incredibly high and our small team of athletes managed to foot it with the best.

“It is no mean feat just qualifying for this event, and all our Masterton swimmers dug deep and pulled out some amazing swims.”

Although they only had six swimmers at the event, the Masterton swimmers achieved 22 finals with 22 top 10 placings and 25 personal bests.

Fuller said the competition was not just about the medals won.

“Every swimmer competing at these top-flight events has put in enormous hours in the training pool and everyone who makes it on to the starting blocks deserves a great deal of credit.”

The coach was impressed with the performance of Oliver who also plays representative cricket and rugby for Wairarapa age group teams.

“Louis has shown remarkable dedication to all sports he pursues, and I am continually amazed by how he can produce consistently top performances time after time.

“His two golds in 50m and 100m butterfly showed his continued dominance in this stroke and it must be said that he always manages to handle both success and failure with grace and good spirit.”

Oliver said his training was focused on the National Age Group Championships, which are being held in Wellington from April 16 to 20.

“I’ll be doing heaps of training before and I’ve got to prepare for the event as well as I can.

“I’ve found butterfly is definitely my strongest stroke. I can hold my form in it for much longer, and it’s also the one I do the most training in.”

Oliver has qualified for the nationals in the 50m, 100m, and 200m butterfly events but is close to qualifying for the 50m backstroke.

“Currently I’m doing six trainings a week, between an hour and a half and two hours per training – just hopefully it’s enough.”

The thirteen-year-old said he would like to work his way up to competing in New Zealand open events, and possibly represent New Zealand in the future.

“I think myself and the team did pretty well. We had a lot of personal bests over the weekend.”

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