Mount Maunganui's gun lifeguards returned from the New Zealand surf lifesaving pool championships in Wellington packing plenty of medals and a valiant third-placing overall after a weekend of action.
Consistency throughout the agegroups, plus some outstanding individual performances from Isabella Akroyd, Libby Bradley, Matthew Hyde and Perry Farrell helped Mount accumulate 460 points over the three-day event, designed to test the swim fitness of surf lifesavers before the season starts at Labour Weekend.
"I was really impressed how the whole team pulled together and really took it to their opposition," Mount coach John Bryant said. "We showed plenty of fight and grit and they can all be really proud of their effort - third placing is a top result against that standard of competition."
Lyall Bay won their seventh national title in 11 years, finishing with 797.5 points, while New Plymouth Old Boys were second on 512 points. Mount Maunganui were the top Bay of Plenty club, ahead of defending champions Papamoa, who were fifth on 400 points.
Papamoa had plenty of individual stars, including Mason Pickering, Mitch Cowdrey and New Zealand under-20 team member Natalie Peat, but disqualifications cost them a higher finish.
Omanu, led by Dannielle O'Connor, were 18th after collecting 55 points, with Waihi Beach 23rd on 31 points.
Several local athletes will be involved in the Rescue 2012 world championships in Adelaide next month, while the next major beach carnival will be the Bay of Plenty Championships, which by popular demand has become a standalone event this year.
It will be the only senior club competition held at Mount Maunganui's Main Beach before the New Zealand surf lifesaving championships in March.
Pool champs points: Lyall Bay 797.5 points 1, NPOB 512 2, Mt Maunganui 460 3, Waikanae 422 4, Papamoa 400 5, Paekakariki 366.5 6, Midway 287 7, Sumner 239.5 8, Piha 228 9, Mairangi Bay 208.5 10. Also: Omanu 55 18, Waihi Beach 31 23.