Twenty-one Swim Rotorua juniors hauled in a whopping 80 medals during the Bay of Plenty Junior Swimming Championships at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre.
St Mary's student Ariel Muchirahondo, 9, dominated his age group with 11 wins. His wins came in all four strokes and the medley events. Ariel achieved a lot of best times and broke Bay of Plenty records (subject to ratification), in the 100m butterfly, 200m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 200m medley.
Ngamihi Simpson won nine events in the girls' 11 years age group. Pick of the bunch was the 100m freestyle with an impressive time of 1m 6.32s, and in the 50m freestyle where her time of 30.29s was just outside the Bay of Plenty record.
Kaia Joyce raced in 12 events and won medals in all of them. Her brace of golds came in the 50m and 200m breaststroke with best times of 40.90s and 3m 13.86s respectively.
Older brother Miki maintained the Joyce family domination in the breaststroke events with a clean sweep in the boys' 12 years age group. Miki's winning time of 2m 58.79s in the 200m was his first time under the three-minute barrier.
Aaron Muchirahondo won gold in the boys' 12 years 400m medley with a best time of 5m 54.59s. Aaron also claimed a silver and four bronze medals.
Rising star Ava Tremain was in great form to win another gold for the team, in the 100m butterfly with a winning time of 1m 32.98s. A further eight medals came Ava's way in a number of different strokes.
Taonga Wharekura won the boys' 12 years 50m backstroke in a new best time of 32.02s, as well as a further five medals. Dion Wright came close to winning on several occasions, but had to settle for two silvers and two bronze medals. His best performance was in the 100m freestyle with a superb time of 1m 3.69s.
Hone Curtis won two silver and two bronze medals. His top race was the 100m backstroke with a time of 1m 31.59s. Fellow 9-year-old Tamzin Joy took home four medals. Her best was the 200m breaststroke, where her time of 4m 18.78s was enough to win the gold medal.
Lizzie Avis claimed a bronze medal in the girls' 12 years 100m breaststroke. Hannah Buchanan pushed herself in every race and was rewarded with a silver medal in the girls' 10 years 200m breaststroke.
Kai Jung Ishida achieved 100 per cent best times in his seven events. His best came in the boys' 9 years 100m breaststroke where his time of 1m 50.51s earned him a bronze medal.
The relays produced exciting racing between all Bay of Plenty clubs. The Swim Rotorua boys won both of their 4x50m relays races thanks to Taonga Wharekura, Aaron Muchirahondo, Miki Joyce and Dion Wright. The girls team of Kaia Joyce, Emma Kiss, Lizzie Avis and Ngamihi Simpson took silver in the freestyle relay and the bronze in the medley relay.
Head coach Alastair Johnson was very happy with his young team.
"Everyone has given their absolute best. I am really pleased and proud of what they have achieved here. Despite our excellent success, we have already identified several areas that we can improve on. We will be working on these so we can give ourselves the best possible chance of defending our title at the AquaKnights Junior Festival to be held in Rotorua in February next year."
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