Tauranga swimmers making a big splash

Caitlin Farrell was a star in Adelaide

The merging of three Tauranga swimming clubs to form Evolution Aquatics Tauranga last October is proving to be a master stroke.

With high intensity training between the city’s top athletes pushing each swimmer to higher levels of performance the results at big swim meets have been outstanding.

In late July swimmers from Evolution Aquatics Tauranga had a successful debut in international waters at the South Australian State Championships in Adelaide.

The four-day meet was held in the stunning SA Aquatic Centre featuring two 50m swimming pools and seating for 4500 spectators. The 27-strong team finished 5th on points behind Adelaide powerhouses Norwood and Marion swim clubs.

Club chairperson Michael Pugh says the key goal was getting the swimmers into a low pressure international environment to learn to deal with all the new experiences.

Nearly every swimmer swam a personal best time but two 13-year-olds stood out for the Tauranga contingent.

“Caitlin Farrell won either age group or finals gold medals in all the backstroke events and the entire freestyle spectrum from the 50m sprint to the 800m distance event. The majority of her swims were personal best times, the picks being a 2:09.35 200m and a 4:30.81 400m freestyle,” says Michael.

“In a stunning swim Isaac Williams broke the South Australian all-comers and BOP records in the 200m butterfly touching the wall in 2:14.99. He also broke BOP records in the 400m freestyle (4:15.75) and the 400m medley (4:46.50).

“In some exciting battles with local swimmer Clancy Luscombe, Isaac won a stack of medals across the other freestyle and butterfly disciplines mostly gold but succumbing to his Australian rival on occasion.”

Other Tauranga swimmers to medal were Zoe Wilkinson, brother Thomas Wilkinson, Louis Fitzjohn, Daniel Shanahan, Connor Farrell, Matthew Wagstaff and Zach Reeder.

Michael is more than satisfied with how Evolution Aquatics Tauranga is working out.

“I am really pleased first of all by the way we have all gelled together. Across the three clubs the committees were all on the same page fairly quickly. One of the goals was we did not want fast kids like Lochlainn O’Connor swimming by himself. They need stimulation and our senior squad now has big numbers.

“At the National Age Group champs in April we won 35 medals and set 18 Bay of Plenty records. That is unheard of. We scored a gold medal in one of the relays against the top clubs in New Zealand which is one of the things that made me really proud.”

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