Northland swimmer Ciara Smith has spent the past week in Fiji competing against some of the world's top young swimmers at the Junior Pan Pacific Swimming Championships.

More than 200 swimmers from 11 countries including the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands raced from August 23-26. New Zealand sent a team of 18 to the meet, which is for swimmers aged under 18.

Ciara, who trains at the Whangārei pool with Northwave swimming club under coach Monica Cooper, swam slightly over her personal best times in both 100m and 200m breaststroke in the heats, but was fast enough to make the B finals in both races.

She posted a time of 1.10.80 in the 100m breast B final to be 12th overall. In the 200m breast she improved on her heats time, swimming 2.36.72 for 15th place.


Ciara was also a member of the New Zealand 4x100m medley relay team, along with swimmers Gina Galloway, Hannah Bates and Chelsey Edwards, which placed fifth on the last day of competition.

Ciara was Northland's Swimmer of the Year for the 2017-2018 season. Last year she competed at the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas, winning two silver medals and one bronze.

She was Northland Secondary Schools ASB sportswoman of the year and during the season broke national and open age group records in 200m breast and the 100m breast national age group.

Ciara qualified for the Junior Pan Pacs at NZ Opens in July, where she won gold in both 100m and 200m breast.

She has also been named in Swimming New Zealand's silver national training squad.

Northwave teammate Annabell Simpson was named in the bronze squad.