Otumoetai Swimming Club sent a team of seven to compete at 2017 NZ Short Course swimming champs, attended by close to 800 age-group and open swimmers from national and international swimming clubs including Australia.
The five-day Swimming NZ event, which ran from last Tuesday to Saturday, was held at The Sir Owen Glenn National Aquatic Centre, Auckland.
Medals were awarded to the winners, in age groups from 13 to 18, with the fastest 40 swimmers advanced through to A, B, C and D finals based on their times from the morning heats.
The Otumoetai team of Tristan Eiselen (NZ rep), Daniel Shanahan (NZ High Performance), Tarquin Magner (NZ record holder), Ruby Mathews (NZ High Performance), Matthew Wagstaff, Zach Reeder and Mia Gardiner had intensively trained for this target meet for the past six months under head coach Mike Lee.
Otumoetai claimed a total of 26 medals - 13 gold, nine silver and four bronze. They won national age group titles, 18 (unofficial) Bay of Plenty age-group records and one national age-group record.
Otumoetai struck early by claiming double gold in the 200m freestyle, Magner in the 13 boys and Shanahan in 14 boys. Mathews, competing in the 17 to 18 age group, won bronze in the 200m individual medley and silver in the 400m individual medley. She competed in nine events, making nine open finals.
Eiselen, 15, started with bronze in the 50m butterfly, going on to add silver in 100m individual medley, bronze in the 50m freestyle and silver in the 100m butterfly. Shanahan went on to add gold in the 100m freestyle to his 200m freestyle gold, silver in 400m individual medley, 200m individual medley and prestigious 1500m and bronze in 100m backstroke.
Wagstaff waited five days for a stellar swim for silver in the 200m butterfly. Reeder, 13, won gold in the 100m breaststroke, backing up with an impressive gold medal swim in the 200m breaststroke. Otumoetai Swimming Club had first and second in the 50m breaststroke covered with Magner claiming gold and Reeder silver.
Magner had a meeting to remember with nine gold and one silver medals. He added six more gold medals in the 50m and 100m freestyle, 100m individual medley, 50m butterfly, 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke and silver in the 400m freestyle.
The undoubted highlight was Magner breaking Rio Olympian Corey Main's long-standing 100m backstroke record in going sub-minute at 59.37.
Gardiner, 13, swam in five events and gained valuable age-group experience, adding to her Anchor AIMS Games success last month.