Trio make finals splash

By Gary Caffell


Three Wairarapa swimmers featured prominently on the opening day of the national age-group swimming championships in Wellington.

Ben Ruback (Masterton) made it through to the final of the boys 17-18yrs 200m butterfly where he finished 10th in 2m 22.89s. His heat time of 2:19.41 was a personal best.

Jor Hammond (Carterton) reached two finals, also in the boys 17-18yrs division.

He was seventh in the 200m individual medley in 2:12.15 and fifth in the 50m backstroke where he registered a personal best time of 28.52s.

In her first national age-group meet, Amy TeMaro (Carterton) qualified for the final of the girls 12-13yrs 50m breaststroke, placing 10th in 39.11s. Her heat time of 39.05s was a personal best.

Highlight of opening day action was the performance of Hawke's Bay teenager Bobbi Gichard.

The 13-year-old broke the national record twice in the 200m backstroke and also went under the qualifying time for the world junior championships.

The Greendale club swimmer broke the old national record held by the super-talented Sophia Bachelor by nearly 2s in the morning heats, clocking 2:17.32, and then posted 2:15.61 in the evening final.

It proved a night for the 13-year-olds with Auckland's Gabrielle Fa'amasuili breaking the national 50m freestyle record as the lead-off swimmer in the 4x50m relay and Satory Dobbie from Christchurch won the 50m backstroke in 30.86s and the 200m butterfly in 4:22.17.


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