Swim Rotorua has enjoyed a successful campaign at the National Short Course Championships in Auckland.

The event, held at the Sir Owen Glenn National Aquatic Centre on the North Shore last week, attracted a record breaking 780 swimmers from New Zealand and Australia.

The standard of swimming was particularly high with more than a dozen national records broken along with world para records from household names Sophie Pascoe and Mary Fisher.

As in previous years the format is designed to produce fast times with age group medals declared from the morning heats, and then the fastest 40 swimmers of all ages progressing to the A,B, C and D finals.


Bianca Donelley showed her racing prowess in her favoured freestyle and backstroke events. Bianca held her nerve to take the silver medal in the girls 15 years 100m backstroke with a best time of 1:04.29 in the 100m freestyle.

Her third medal came in the 100m medley where another best time secured bronze.

Additional finals came in the 50m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 200m backstroke.

Paddy Baylis, just back from international duty in Australia, enjoyed a great week of racing producing a string of best times and big improvement across all his events.

His best placing came in his signature 1500m freestyle where he posted a best time of 15:51.02 to take the 17-18 years age group silver medal and fifth overall.

Paddy made four finals which came in the 200m medley, 400m medley, 200m freestyle and 200m backstroke.

Damon Cowie, 15, achieved 100 per cent best times in all his eight events coming within 0.01 seconds of taking the bronze medal in the boys 50m breaststroke with a swift time of 31.68s. That was fast enough to take him through to the D final. Damon also made two further appearances in the D finals competing in the 100m and 200m breaststroke.

David Boles produced a great effort in the 200m backstroke D final where his time of 2:06.73 was just a whisker away from breaking the Bay of Plenty record.

David also won the D final in the 400m medley and secured a 10th place in the 1500m freestyle.

James Baldwin showed his sprinting pedigree with two best times in the freestyle sprints. His time of 24.98s gained him sixth place in his 15 years age group. James backed that up with an excellent 54.98s in the 100m freestyle which took him up to eighth place.

Joe Nagera grabbed his opportunity in his favourite 50m backstroke where he placed fourth in the D final with a best time of 27.86s.

Annelyse Cowie competed in the youngest age group in the girls 13 years events and was very consistent to take home three top 10 spots in the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke.

Completing the Swim Rotorua top 10 spots was 14-year-old Kapua Warbrick who took 10th place in the girls 200m breaststroke. Other team members who competed and who all achieved best times were Emily Spear, 14, Skye Cox, 15, and Ryan Wilkinson, 18.

Head coach Alastair Johnson said overall they had enjoyed a solid team performance.

"The standard of swimming was pretty high. It was great to have five of our team members make it through to the evening finals, and eight of the team achieve a top 10 age group placing.

"I have no doubt that the whole team will take home some inspiration as they seek to do even better next year."