Tasman swimmer Caitlin Delany has had a fortnight she’ll never forget and now has an American college journey to plan.
The 18-year-old won a national title in the open women’s 200m breaststroke at the New Zealand Short Course Championships in Auckland earlier this month.
She also claimed two age-group titles as well as a silver at the same meeting and was named winner of the Glue Family Cup for Greatest Achievement in Sport at the Waimea College Sports Awards.
Last week, she also verbally agreed to a swimming scholarship at San Diego State University.
Caitlin describes 2016 as a breakthrough year.
“It’s all down to the training that has paid off…. good coaching and putting in the effort.
Those nine pool sessions, a weight and a dry-land session each week has helped mould her from someone who swam for fitness at 13 years old into a champion.
“I remember training for fitness and I played a lot of other sports and then we got a new coach and he told us we’d be swimming competitively and I ended up really enjoying it.”
A promising netball defender, Caitlin realised she had to make a choice and chose the individualised sport of swimming over a team environment.
“I like how the results come down to your hard work.
“I was quite heavily freestyle and then I decided I wanted to try other strokes so I gave breaststroke a try and the more I did it the more it clicked.”
She says taking the top award at the Waimea College Sports Awards was amazing recognition both for her and her sport.
She says agreeing to go to an NCAA Division One swimming college is an exciting prospect.
“I know they have amazing coaches and a great team and I know they’ll be competitive within their conference.”
Caitlin had three other colleges keen for her swimming talent on their campus.
She will study business and commerce.
The former Brightwater Primary School and Waimea Intermediate school pupil moved with her family to Richmond to be closer to the pool where she trains.
She says her family and coach Andy Adair have been hugely instrumental in her success and she is very appreciative of their support.