McKenzie wins gold at Aussie Champs

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Sam McKenzie, 15, of the Tasman Swim Club broke the New Zealand age group record for the 100m freestyle at the Australian Age Group Championships in Sydney on Monday.

Sam’s time of 52.02 sec in the preliminaries broke the previous New Zealand record of 52.26 sec, held by Joshua Taylor-Martin of Gisborne.

In the finals, Sam was nearly as fast, at 52.06 sec, to win gold in the event, beating out Australia’s top 15-year-olds. Earlier in the day, the Waimea College student also chopped 14.44 sec off his personal best time in 1500m freestyle to finish in seventh place in his age group.

Also competing for New Zealand at the Australian meet are Tasman Club swimmers Caitlin Delaney, 16, who finished 14th in the 100m breaststroke, and Thomas Heaton, 16, who was 15th in 400m freestyle, in their respective age group events.

Nelson South Swimming Club’s Clara Foster, 15, has her first event, the 100m breaststroke, in Sydney on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, three swimmers from Nelson South are competing at the New Zealand Opens in Auckland.

Ellie Rukuwai, 17, of Nelson South Swimming Club sliced 0.11 sec off her personal best in the 100m breaststroke to make the open final with a time of 1 min 15.33 sec, in which she finished eighth amongst all New Zealand women swimmers. She shaved 0.87 sec from her time in the 200m individual medley to finish 20th in New Zealand.

Samantha Trevurza secured 15th place in the women’s 50m backstroke after earlier finishing 25th in the 100m butterfly, and Eddie Neill finished 24th in the 400m free.

Both meets continue through the week.