Nineteen-year-old Evolution Aquatics Tauranga swimmer Ruby Matthews has made two significant career breakthroughs.
She's won her first NZ Open title at this month's 2018 NZ Short Course Championships in Auckland and was then named in the New Zealand team for the World Championships in China in December.
Matthews took out the 400m medley gold medal in a new Bay of Plenty record time of 4 minutes, 44.8 seconds. She also was second in the 200m breaststroke and third in the 200m medley to be the best performed of the 18 swimmers at the championships from the new club which was formed on October 1 when Greerton, Otumoetai and Tauranga clubs combined.
Lochlain O'Connor was the standout among the Evolution Men's team with his first open title in the 200m butterfly, slashing six seconds off the Bay of Plenty record previously held by 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Moss Burmester.
Swimmers from the Mount Maunganui club also went well in age group races.
Thirteen-year-old Lucy Bartlett won a staggering five gold medals in the 200, 400 and 800m freestyle as well as in the 200m backstroke and 50m butterfly, setting Bay of Plenty records in each race. She also won silver in the 100m backstroke.
"I was nervous going in. I had trained hard as that is what I like to do," Bartlett said afterwards.
"I was particularly focused on the 800m freestyle so was really pleased with how that race went. The 200m backstroke for me was also a highlight. It's a really hard event and was great to finish with a gold."
Zyleika Pratt-Smith, 14, won gold and set Bay of Plenty records in the 200m individual medley, the 100m backstroke and 50m butterfly.
Further to Pratt-Smith and Bartlett's outstanding results in their age groups, both qualified for Open A finals (against all age groups). Pratt-Smith finished an impressive fourth in the 200 IM and 10th in the 100m backstroke, and Bartlett ninth in the 400m freestyle.
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