As the competitive swimming season gets into top gear, one Tauranga household is living life in the fast lane.
In a rare family treble, Nathan Capp and younger sisters Stephanie and Claudia are all competing at national level, with 16-year-old Nathan also set to take on Aus tralia's best age-group swimmers in April.
Next week is a crucial one for Nathan and Stephanie, 13, with the national age-group championships hitting the water in Wellington from Tuesday to Saturday.
Assured of a trip to the Australian age-group nationals, Nathan is out to nail down a spot in the New Zealand 16-and-under team for a transtasman series in June, in his specialist 1500m freestyle.
While the 1500m and 400m free will be his prime focus next week, the 1.85m Otumoetai College student is also keen to post personal bests in shorter-distance and individual medley events.
Getting his first taste of the international arena at the Youth Olympics in Sydney last November-December, Nathan is buoyed by a sixth-place finish in the 1500m free final, with another sixth placing as part of the Kiwi 4x200m relay team.
"The standard was really challenging, a big step up from New Zealand. It was a great experience though, just to know how I'm going compared with the overseas swimmers," he says.
With all three siblings under the tutelage of Bay Swim coach Tai Daniela at Greerton Swim ming Club, Daniela notes huge advances in his distance specialist protege.
"Two years ago Nathan was ranked about 12th in his national age group for 1500m, now he's fourth at open level," Daniela says. "At the Spring Meet (Bay wave, September 28-November 1) he swam a 15:40.2 a day after his 16th birthday.
Two days earlier and it would've been a 15 years age group record."
Set for her national age-group debut, Stephanie will be out next week to build on her form from last month's 3 Region meet in New Plymouth, where she swam to third in her favoured 100m breaststroke. An Otumoetai College pupil like her brother, she's look ing forward to the five-day event as a learning opportunity.
"I want to set a PB in the 100m breast and do well in the 50m."
With this year's experience under her cap, she's aiming for a finals berth next year.
Meanwhile, youngest sibling Claudia was in action at last weekend's national juniors meet in Auckland. Focused on butterfly and freestyle, the Omokoroa No1 School pupil achieved PBs in all her distances and finished 14th
in the 100m 'fly.
Blake Williamson rounds out the trio of Greerton club swim mers heading to Wellington. Prin cipally a freestyle exponent, the 16-year-old Tauranga Boys' Col lege student last year placed second in the 200m and fourth in the 100m and is showing ``tons of potential', Daniela says.