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New Zealand Open Championships

Northwave swimmers Hayley McIntosh and Ciara Smith led the way for the Northland swimmers at last week’s New Zealand Open Championships in Auckland. Just five Northlanders swam at Opens, four from Northwave Swimming Club and one from Bream Bay.

Hayley (17) won three silver medals and one bronze in her four freestyle events, from 200m to 1500m. Hayley’s time (8.41.87) in her 800m free swim put her under the New Zealand age group record of 8.45.28 set by Tabitha Baumann in 2013. Hayley, Northland’s Swimmer of the Year last year, now trains with the NZ high performance squad in Auckland and is working towards qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. At the Swimming New Zealand Awards last Saturday night, Hayley was also awarded NZ Swimming Alumni Zonal Emerging Swimmer for the Harlequins zone.

Ciara (16) placed second in the three breaststroke events, with personal best times in her 50m and 100m swims. Her 100m time was just 0.01 second outside the NZ record for 16 year olds, 1.10.51, set by Annabelle Carey in 2005. Ciara equalled the 50m record with her swim in the final at the recent New Zealand Age Group Championships.

Teammate Annabell Simpson (16), training hard for the upcoming Australian Age Group Championships which she will attend along with Ciara, was eighth in 200m backstroke, 12th with a personal best in the 100m backstroke and 17th in 50m backstroke.

Paul Linton (Bream Bay, 16), swam just one event, 100m backstroke, placing 18th with a personal best time.

Madeline Whittam (Northwave, 13) at her first Opens championships, was 23rd in 100m breast and 26th in 50m breast.