16-Year-Old Pickett Blasts 22.66 to Equal Lifetime Best and New Zealand Age Record

2019 New Zealand Age Group Championships

16-Year Old Michael Pickett dominated the 16-year 50m freestyle to equal his own age group record in 22.66 marking one of three age group records set on the second night of racing at the New Zealand Age Champs.

Pickett is based out of Brisbane, Australia where he trains at St Peters Western – a club that plays host to a variety of Australian superstars including Ariarne Titmus, Jack Cartwright and Mitch Larkin. The 16-year-old also competed at Junior Pan Pacific Champs last year where he collected New Zealand’s only medal – a bronze in the 50m freestyle and his first time sub 23. His times show impressive improvement – since turning 16 he has dropped from 23.08 to 22.66 and from age 14 to 15 he dropped from 23.96 to 23.08. 22.66 qualifies him comfortably for the World Junior Championships where the time would have placed him 7th in the final in 2017. He races later in the week in the 100m freestyle in which he holds the current 12/U, 14, 15 and 16-year national records.

Another dominant performance came in the women’s 16-year 200m breaststroke. Fresh off breaking the 50m breaststroke national age record last night, Mount Albert Grammar’s Brearna Crawford took out a victory in 2:30.05 setting a new age group record and missing the open national record by just 0.27. The time also qualifies her for the World Junior Championships in August where her time would’ve made the final. The final age group record also came in the women’s 200m breaststroke with 18-year-old Ciara Smith setting a new mark in 2:33.64. This time also qualifies her for the World Junior Championships.

The only other World Juniors mark of the night came from Luan Grobbelaar in the 200m breaststroke. He took the gold medal in a comfortable 2:16.53. Also impressing, 16-year-old Bronson Lloyd of Raumati picked up two golds in the 200m breaststroke and the 800m freestyle. He came from behind to sneak the gold in the 200m breaststroke in 2:28.98 ahead of North Shore’s Hunter Garrod (2:29.66). In the 800m freestyle he dominated the field finishing in an impressive 8:28.43.

On the club points side North Shore lead the combined points with 804.5 followed by United with 506 and narrowly behind them Howick Pakuranga with 500. Rounding out the top 5 are Capital Swim Club with 421 and Evolution Aquatics with 410.



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