Two Northland swimmers will represent New Zealand at the 2018 FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships in China.
Ciara Smith, 17, and Hayley McIntosh, 19, both qualified for the world championships at last week's New Zealand Short Course Championships in Auckland.
McIntosh, who has swum with the NZ High Performance squad in Auckland for the past two years, made the A qualifying time in 800m free and the B qualifying times in both 200m and 400m free.
Smith, who trains in Whangarei under Northwave coach Monica Cooper, made the B qualifying times in both 100m and 200m breaststroke. They will join 16 other swimmers from around New Zealand selected to compete in Hangzhou, China from December 11 to 16.
Smith experienced some drama at the short course championships – she was deemed to be disqualified for a false start in her 200m breaststroke open final swim in which she broke her own national open record with a time of 2.25.17.
The disqualification was appealed and consequently overturned, and she was able to claim both her gold medal and record. Smith was first in both 100m breaststroke age group race and open final, smashing her own national age group record.
She was edged into second place in the 50m breaststroke age group race but came back in the evening open final to win gold. She won silver in the 400m individual medley age group race, setting a new Northland age group and open time, and won bronze in the open event that evening.
McIntosh, up against the country's top freestyle swimmers in all events won silver in 400m and 800m free age group events, and bronze in the open races. She was third in open 200m free and second in 1500m free, traditionally a men's event.
Annabell Simpson, 18, of Northwave, shone in her specialist backstroke events. She won silver in her 100m back age group event, setting a new Northland age group and open time. She was first in her 200m age group race and second in the evening's open final event. She won silver also in 50m back, again with a new Northland age group and open record time and was fourth in the open final.
At his first national short course championships Tyler Jepsen, 13, of Northwave was a standout, winning gold in his 200m backstroke age group race with a new Northland age group record and making it into the top 30 open swimmers for the evening finals session. He won silver in three other age group races – 100m backstroke, 400m freestyle and 50m backstroke and was fourth in 200m freestyle.
Hard on Jepsen's heels was teammate Quin Walden, also 13. Quin was third in all three of his age group backstroke races, 6th in both 200m free and 100m IM and 10th in 50m fly.
Nellie Clark, 14, Northwave, won gold in 14-year women's 50m breaststroke, setting a new Northland age group record, also winning silver in 100m breaststroke. She placed fifth in 200m breaststroke for her age group and swam in the open final.
Emilia Finer, 13, Bay of Islands, swimming at NZ Short Course champs for the first time, won silver in 13-year women's 800m free and placed third in her age group for both 400m free and 200m fly, qualifying for the open final session. She was fourth in 13-year women's 400m free and 10th in 100m fly.
Madeline Whittam, 15, Northwave, won silver in her age group for 200m breaststroke and came 17th in the open final. She was fifth in 15-year women's 100m breast and 10th in 50m breast.
Paul Linton, 18, Bream Bay, placed sixth in his age group in 50m back, setting a new Northland age group and open record, and was 17th in the open event. He placed ninth in both 100m and 200m backstroke.
Nathalie Hull, 14, Northwave, placed seventh in her age group in 200m breaststroke, 8th in 100m breast and 11th in 50m breast. Archie White, 17, Bay of Islands, was 19th in 17- and 18-year men's 100m breaststroke, and 21st in both 50m and 200m breast. Rebecca Reade, 16, Bream Bay, placed 13th in 16-year women's 200m backstroke.