Monique Wieruszowski Breaks Longest-Standing LC New Zealand Record With 30.87 50 Breast


Heading into this meet, the oldest long course record in New Zealand’s record books was the 31.21 50 breaststroke mark held by Zoe Baker. Baker swam that time at the 2005 New Zealand Championships on April 1, 2005. 15-year-old Monique Wieruszowski threw down a 30.87 in the women’s 50 breaststroke to bring the mark under 31 seconds for the first time and win a national title.

This swim got Wieruszowski under FINA A cut of 31.02. Her best time heading into the meet was a 32.83 from this meet last year.

Michael Pickett left nothing in the pool during his prelims swim of the 50 free at the New Zealand Open, posting a 22.25 in round one. That time was a new best time for Pickett and it was also a new national record. He took out Daniel Hunter‘s mark of 22.27 from the 2019 New Zealand Championships.

Pickett returned in the final where it would take another national record and best time in order to hit the FINA A cut of 22.12. Pickett pulled it off in the end, lowering the record again with a 22.11 to qualify for the World Champs team by just 0.01 seconds.

Heading into the meet Pickett’s best time in the 50 free was a 22.31 from the Queensland Championships in December 2022. Pickett will head into World’s this year with an improved entry time and will have a shot at improving upon his 34th-place finish last year when he notched a 22.59 in the prelims.

Cameron Gray, the new 100 free national record holder, placed second in the 50 freestyle and was a bit over the FINA A cut with a 22.33. Carter Swift swam a 22.77 for the bronze medal and Zac Dell hit the wall in a 22.93 for fourth.

While Wieruszowski and Pickett were the only national record-breakers on day five, another few swimmers managed to beat the FINA A standards in their events and add some events to the World Championships lineup.

Erika Fairweather won another title in the 800 freestyle, after winning the 100, 200, and 400 freestyles earlier at this meet. She swam an 8:18.00 in the 800 freestyle to clear her entry time of 8:24.01 and beat the 8:37.90 FINA A cut by a significant margin. She got dangerously close here to Lauren Boyle‘s 8:17.65 national record from 2015, missing it by just 0.35 seconds.

Fairweather has now qualified to race the 200, 400, and 800 freestyles in Fukuoka this summer. Eve Thomas, who won the 1500 freestyle on day one notched an 8:24.98 for the silver medal, which also got her under the World Championships qualifying cut.

In the men’s 200 IM, Lewis Clareburt posted a 1:59.14 to win the event by more than three seconds, out-touching Luan Grobbelaar‘s 2:02.56. Clareburt trailed his lifetime best and national record of 1:57.27 but got under the FINA A cut of 1:59.53, which means he will be able to race this event at Worlds if he chooses to. He did so last year and placed 7th in the final with a 1:58.11.

In the men’s 1500 freestyle and men’s 50 breaststroke, victors Larn Hamblyn-Ough (15:45.11) and Josh Gilbert (27.91) out-swam the fields but missed the World Championships cuts of 15:04.64 and 27.33, respectively. The same is true for Chelsea Edwards who won the women’s 50 freestyle with a 25.41, out-touching Rebecca Moynihan (25.66) but missing the 25.04 FINA A.

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1 year ago

Congrats to Monique, the New Plymouth Aquablades and her coaches. Retired coaches Sue and Donna have set up a wonderful program in New Plymouth and now Coach Mariano is continuing the pattern of excellence. Great to see a small town identify and produce talent at this level over multiple generations.

Last edited 1 year ago by SNZ
1 year ago

30.9 at 15 is FAST