The Rotorua Aquatic Centre was abuzz with swimmers from all over New Zealand during the annual National Division 2 Championships.
The age group event, held last week, attracted 577 swimmers from 96 clubs, including several from Swim Rotorua and Te Arawa Swimming.
Swim Rotorua had five swimmers entered. Head coach Alastair Johnson said Alex Cameron enjoyed an impressive Division 2 debut with 100 per cent best times in her seven events.
"Showing steely determination and a great last 50m, Alex smashed the five-minute barrier to produce a stunning time of 4m 49.91s to win the girls 12-13 years 400m freestyle.
"Alex then attacked the 200m freestyle and was rewarded with the bronze medal with a time of 2m 18.23s. In the 100m freestyle, Alex showed her sprint skills to take seventh place with another great time of 1m 4.16s," Johnson said.
In the 400m freestyle, Lina Stahlhut joined teammate Alex on the podium in second place.
"Lina stormed through on the last 100m to bypass her rivals and grab the silver medal in a great time of 4m 50.92s. She almost went one better in the 400m medley where her time of 5m 40.29s was only one second away from victory. Other top 10 placings for Lina came in the 100m freestyle and the 100m medley."
Nikita Pola produced some great racing in her three individual events. Her best result came in the girls 12-13 years 200m backstroke where she improved her best time by more than four seconds to take 33rd place in a time of 2m 44.30s. Stella Weston "showed lots of courage" to improve her 100m medley with a time of 1m 22.72s.
"Sam Trass gave it everything in his three events. His top placing came in his favourite 100m butterfly where he claimed 23rd place with a time of 1m19.23s."
In the girls 12-18 years relay, the Swim Rotorua quartet of Alex Cameron, Lina Stahlhut, Nikita Pola and Stella Weston swam hard against some much older girls. Their top relay finish came in the 4x50m freestyle with a time of 2m 6.80s.
Johnson said it was "a really good effort" from the five swimmers.
"Despite their young age and lack of national experience, they have all achieved some cracking performances. If they continue to work hard and develop their skills, then they will all be a force to be reckoned with," he said.
Meanwhile, Te Arawa Swimming had two swimmers entered in the championships, Rocco Marsh and Adrian Greupink.
Te Arawa Swimming head coach Henk Greupink said both were keen swimmers who had been training hard for a successful outcome, potentially using the event to "step up into the nationals swimming ranks and national swimming events".
"For Te Arawa Swimming this event was important from an athletes and coach perspective but also the fact that it was held in Rotorua. It was important for the locals to know that these athletes represented their club as well as the Rotorua district and community.
"The outcome speaks for itself. Both swimmers achieved 100 per cent short course personal bests and both made finals. Rocco in the 100m back stroke and 100m freestyle and Adrian in the 50m and 100m backstroke.
"Rocco impressed with fourth rankings in his age group in his finals swims and Adrian ranked fifth in the 100m backstroke and an impressive third in the 50m backstroke," he said.