Swimming: Capp crushes rivals to lead club's surge

Greerton Swim Club's Nathan Capp was the standout performer with three medals at the New Zealand Short Course Swimming Championships in Wellington.

Capp's performance in the 1500m freestyle was as dominant as you will see at the national level, as he set a new personal best time of 15:08.08 to finish almost 18 seconds in front of Rotorua's Kane Radford.

Earlier this year Radford eclipsed Danyon Loader's longstanding New Zealand 1500m long course record and no doubt this will be a record Capp will look to claim as his own over the coming season.

Capp also won the open 400m individual medley event on the opening day of the meeting, again in a personal best time of 4:16.13, with a more slender winning margin over Wellington's Nick Gillum. His third medal was a bronze in the 200m individual medley.

Capp's teammates also did the club proud.

Greerton coach Tai Daniela was not expecting too much from his team after he worked them hard to meet the tough qualifying standards for the Nationals and he was not sure if they could lift again in such a short time span.

They certainly could and set an astonishing number of personal best times over the week.

After Capp's opening day gold medal, the next highlight for Greerton was the girls' relay team who made two finals and broke a Bay of Plenty record.

In the freestyle relay the team of Libby Bradley (13), Claudia Capp (14), Danielle Waiari (14) and Stacey Muir (14) competed fearlessly against powerhouse clubs from Auckland and Christchurch, and outgunned most of the rest to finish in sixth place.

With this young team still eligible for the same age group next year, a medal in 2013 is a realistic goal.

Bradley showed her sprinting prowess for a second time in the individual 50m freestyle, gunning home in 28.49 seconds, followed shortly afterwards by Waiari with a sharp 27.97. Both finished seventh fastest in their respective age groups before they improved to place sixth in the 50m backstroke, again setting personal best times.

The competition at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre also produced personal bests for a number of the other Greerton swimmers.

Blake Horne (13), in his first taste of this level, continued his good lead-up form, swimming the 100m backstroke in a superb 1:07.85 to finish fifth quickest.

Horne also reduced his 400m freestyle time to 4:35.90, as well as his 50m backstroke (31.92) and 200m backstroke (2:24.07) times.

Danielle O'Conner (18) blazed her way to a 58.62 second 100m freestyle to win the B final as well as a personal best in the 400m freestyle.

Claudia Capp (14) demolished a series of personal bests in the freestyle events over the 100m (1:00.45), 200m (2:11.31), 400m (4:37.66) and the 800m (9:41.18) distances, as well as the 100m and 200m butterfly.

Waiari and Muir also competed well in other events.

Waiari had impressive swims over the 100m freestyle (1:01.23) and backstroke (1:09.61) events, setting new personal best times in both, while Muir set a personal best of 2:17.64 in the 200m freestyle.

Backstroke specialist Sarah Greaves (18) broke a Bay of Plenty record and qualified for the national championship in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke distances.

Calum Gilmour (15) had a gruelling schedule on the final day, swimming a heat and final in the 200m butterfly as well as the 1500m freestyle. He came through with flying colours and set three personal best times along the way. He finished strongly for seventh in the butterfly final in 2:17.45, after already swimming a personal best to qualify for the final. To round off a successful meeting, he set another best time of 17:17.52 for the 1500m freestyle.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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