3 National Records Fall on Opening Day of New Zealand Age Champs

2019 New Zealand Age Group Championships

The New Zealand Age Group Championships opened yesterday with three age group records coming all on the women’s side.

The first record came in the preliminaries of the women’s 50m breaststroke. 15-year-old Raumati swimmer Lea Muellner took close to a second off her lifetime best to set a new age group record in 32.51. The previous record was held by now 16-year-old Brearna Crawford who responded in the finals dropping 0.7 from her lifetime best to sneak under the 16-year-old record in 32.23. Both Muellner and Crawford are in the 200m breaststroke tomorrow with Crawford looking to set another age group record and qualify for the World Junior Championships in Budapest in August.

In the 100m freestyle, Youth Olympics and Junior Pan Pacs veteran 15-year-old Erika Fairweather blasted a 55.60 to drop the record from 55.98. The time is faster than the 16 and 17-year records and qualifies Fairweather for the Budapest World Junior Championships. Chelsey Edwards won the women’s 17-18 100m freestyle in 56.45 also qualifying for the championships. Fairweather is due to race in the 50m, 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle along with the 400m IM, the 200m backstroke, and the 200m IM. She holds the current 14-year-old New Zealand records in the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle.

The men’s 100m backstroke finished as one of the best races of the night with Ohio State recruit Thomas Watkins finishing just 0.01 of a second behind Pukekohe’s Zac Dell with both flying under the cut time for World Junior Championships. Watkins led through 50 in 26.98 but Dell came back to take a narrow victory in 55.63 to 55.64. Both are racing later this week in the 200m backstroke with Thomas Watkins going in ranked 1stand Zac Dell going in ranked 3rd.

In the men’s 50m breaststroke Orlando Cristobal-Mandel took a dominant win in the 15-year-old category in 30.02 narrowly outside the age group record of 29.59. In the 17-18 years, Matthew Holder took the gold in 29.06 also narrowly outside the age group record of 28.68.

The meet runs for five days with tomorrow’s events including the men’s and women’s 200m breaststroke, 50m freestyle, 800m freestyle and the women’s 100m backstroke.


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