Mount Maunganui's champion surf lifesavers have created more history, taking their club to the national pool rescue title held in Auckland.
Mount won the Paul Kent Memorial Trophy, testing the swimming and pool-rescue skills of nearly 600 athletes from 33 New Zealand clubs for the first time, dominating the three-day carnival and finishing with 127 points. That put them 40 points clear of second-placed Mairangi Bay, with defending champions Papamoa third on 81.
It comes just seven months after Mount's incredible win at the beach nationals in Gisborne, where they stormed to their third consecutive overall points win and held aloft the Alan Gardner Trophy for the sixth time in the past nine years.
They are the first club in history to hold the beach and pool-based national titles.
Young and old contributed to the win, with 14-year-old Lochlainn O'Connor picking up 10 medals, five gold and five silver and national records in the 100m rescue medley, 50m swim with fins and 4x25m manikin relay.
His 16-year-old teammate, Libby Bradley, nabbed a New Zealand record in the 100m rescue medley, with her 1m 19.69s time taking nearly 2secs off the old mark, and adding gold in the 200 obstacles swim and bronze in the 50 manikin carry and 100 manikin carry with fins.
A big contingent of Mount masters athletes also won plaudits for their poolside efforts, keeping the competition on schedule by helping with safety and logistics.
Bradley, a star age group swimmer for the Greerton Swim Club, said the Mount team spirit provided an amazing lift throughout the weekend.
"It was great to come out of the pool and be greeted by excited and supporting teammates," she said. "It really added to the buzz."
O'Connor is excited to get the chance to take his pool form on to the sand for the upcoming season.
"One of my favourite sayings is 'hard work always pays off' and there was certainly a lot of hard work going into the weekend from the whole squad," O'Connor said. "It's great to see it paying off and now we're keen to work equally hard on the beach this summer."
His performances over the weekend have also seen O'Connor added to the New Zealand Youth Squad, alongside Oscar Williams (Whangamata), Jenna Barrett (New Plymouth Old Boys), Alaynah Bettany (Lyall Bay) and Jessica Blakeman (Midway).
Papamoa's Jacob Hales was added to the New Zealand open squad after a strong performance in the under-19s.
-Papamoa's Natalie Peat is one of eight athletes selected to represent New Zealand at European pool competitions next month. The team was announced at the NZ Pool Championships.