Nelson South swimmer Matai McGuinniety won a gold medal at the New Zealand Age-group Swimming Championships in Wellington. Photo Nelson/Marlborough Swimming.

Nelson’s Matai wins swimming gold

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Matai McGuinniety of Nelson South Swimming Club won a gold medal in the 50m butterfly for 16-year-old boys at the New Zealand Age Group Championships in Wellington.

The Nelson College student set a Nelson-Marlborough record in the morning prelims with a time of 25.99 seconds, then rose to the occasion to break it again in the final, winning gold with a time of 25.83.

McGuinniety also set a regional record in the 50m backstroke and just missed a bronze medal in the 50m free.

Sam McKenzie of Tasman won the silver medal in the 100m freestyle for 17-year-old boys and a bronze in the 50 butterfly.

Sam, who attends Waimea College, also set a Nelson-Marlborough open record in the 50m butterfly and five regional age group records.

Nelson South’s Clara Foster (Nelson College for Girls) won silver in the 50m breaststroke and bronze in the 100m breaststroke for 17-year-old girls.

Tasman’s Sierra Thomas was also a double-medal winner, picking up bronze medals in the 400m and 800m freestyle for 12-year-old girls and breaking her own Nelson-Marlborough record for the 800m free in the process.

Three more Waimea College students who swim for Tasman club also made their mark.

Talya Harwood collected an age group bronze medal in the 800m freestyle and also broke her own Nelson-Marlborough record.

Teammate Xavier Anderson broke the regional record for the 200m butterfly for 16-year-old boys, and Bree Anderson broke regional records in the 100m and 200m backstroke.

For the evening finals, swimmers were grouped in youth and age categories.

In the hotly-contested races in the 16-18 year-old Youth category, Nelson South’s Georgie Trengrove from Nelson College for Girls joined Matai, Sam, Clara and Tayla in qualifying for finals, each achieving at least one top 10 finish in their age group.

In the Age category for 12-15 year-olds, several Nelson-Marlborough swimmers were top 10 finalists in their specialist events: Sophie Alexander, Ruby-Lou Stuart, Joshua Amyes, Bree Anderson, Bendi Kepess, Piper Riley and Sierra Thomas.