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New Zealand Age Groups Championships

Eleven Northland swimmers headed to Wellington last week to test their mettle against nearly 700 of the country’s top swimmers at the c.

Northwave’s Ciara Smith (16) came home with three gold medals in her favoured breaststroke events, improving her time in 50m breast with an outstanding swim to equal a longstanding New Zealand record, 32.33 seconds, set by Annabelle Carey in 2005, and swam a personal best in 100m breast to be just .08 seconds outside Annabelle’s 2005 time of 1.10.51. Ciara also placed fourth in her age group in 400m IM and 14th in 200m IM.

Clubmate Annabell Simpson, also 16, won Northland’s other medal, a gold in 200m backstroke. She was fourth in both 50m and 100m backstroke and sixth with a personal best time in 200m fly.

Northwave’s Madeline Whittam (13) placed fifth in 100m and 200m breast and sixth in 50m breast, and Tyler Jepsen (12), competing in a mixed age group of 12 and 13-year olds, placed 11th in 400m free and 15th in 200m free.

Bream Bay’s Paul Linton (16) placed fourth in 50m back, sixth in 100m back and ninth in 200m back, while teammate Kieran Swords (18) placed 6th in 100m fly and 8th in 50m back.

Bay of Island’s Archie White (15) made three top 20 finishes in 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke.

Other Northland swimmers at the event were: Teegan Farr (17, Northwave), Cameron Ludgate (17, Whangarei), Ocean Shadbolt (15, Bream Bay), Conor Willy (17, Dargaville). Paul Linton (Bream Bay) and Northwave’s Hayley McIntosh, Ciara Smith, Annabell Simpson and Madeline Whittam will compete in Auckland next week at the New Zealand Open Championships, then Ciara and Annabell will head to Australia in mid-April for the Australian Age Group Championships.