New Zealanders Rutter, Swift Highlight Opening Days Of Oceania Champs

2018 Oceania Swimming Championships

The 2018 Oceania Swimming Championships got underway earlier this week from Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, with open water swimming on Monday and action in the pool getting going on Tuesday. Both Australia and New Zealand have sent many of their young up-and-coming athletes, and there have also been top performances from Hawaiian, Samoan and Fijan swimmers early on.

22-year-old Kiwi Jonathan Rutter tops the charts of the first two days of competition with three individual wins, taking the men’s 100 breast (1:03.40), 200 breast (2:15.54) and 400 IM (4:27.47). Rutter has trained and competed in the U.S. before, holding all-time bests of 1:03.10, 2:14.45 and 4:25.14.

His countryman Carter Swift had two wins of his own over the first two days, claiming the men’s 50 fly (24.66) and 100 free (50.84). The 50 fly was a 1-2 for New Zealand, with 21-year-old Wilrich Coetzee taking 2nd to Swift in 24.94, and 17-year-old Hawaiian Michael Petrides took the runner-up spot in the 100 free (51.31). Petrides had a win on the first day in the 200 free in a time of 1:51.14.

Also earning multiple victories over the first two days was Hawaii’s Grace Monahan, New Zealand’s Paige Flynn and Australia’s Rebecca Jacobson.

Monahan, just 14, won the women’s 50 fly on day 1 in 28.09, and followed up with the 400 IM title on day 2 (4:55.57), showing some impressive versatility. She also took 2nd in the 50 back, tying with Samoa’s Lushavel Strickland (30.37) behind Flynn (29.62). All three swims for Monahan were personal bests. Flynn also won the 100 back in 1:03.32.

The 16-year-old Jacobson won the women’s 200 free (2:01.74) on day 1, and followed up with another in the 100 free (56.64). Flynn was 2nd in the 100 in 57.06.


  • Australian Lauren Gastevich edged out Hawaiian Maile Lawson to win the women’s 200 breast, touching in 2:34.56 with Lawson (2:34.91) just a few tenths back. Lawson was also 2nd in the 100 breast, where New Zealand’s Bronagh Ryan won in 1:10.97.
  • 15-year-old Aussie Joshua Edwards-Smith won an incredibly tight final in the men’s 100 back, touching in 56.78 over New Zealanders Andrew Jeffcoat (56.95) and Jack Anderson (56.96). The three of them went to battle the next day in the 50, with Anderson (26.25) coming out on top.
  • New Zealand has gone undefeated so far in the mixed relays, having won the 200 free, 400 medley and 200 medley, all with Australia 2nd. However, the Aussie men and women won their respective 800 free relays on day 2.
  • Australian teammates Ethan Owens and Lachlan Colquhoun amazingly tied to the one-hundredth of a second in the men’s open water 5k, posting identical times of 1:00:04.82. Owens also won the men’s 1500 in 15:49.46. Phoebe Hines (1:03:17.20), also of Australia, won the women’s 5k.

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2 years ago

Ruttsack in the cut

Reply to  Gaiss
2 years ago

decent swim…

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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