Swim Rotorua's sparkling start to 2019 continued at the Hamilton Hit Out Swim Meet.

Nine swimmers battled their Waikato neighbours at the weekend and with no prizes or medals at stake, it was an opportunity to test their endurance and race skills.

Emily Spear maintained her stellar start to the new year with a solid series of racing. Her time of 18m 28.67s in the 1500m freestyle was a huge improvement of nearly half a minute which saw her place seventh overall. Emily backed that up with another national qualifying time in the 800m freestyle with a time of 9m 55.80s.

Lina Stahlhut took her chances well and secured another two national qualifying times. These came in the 1500m freestyle with a superb time of 18m 48.98s and in the 200m medley.


Nikita Pola continues to make a strong impression with her freestyle exploits. She managed to smash the five-minute mark in the 400m freestyle with a time of 4m 52.91s.

Annelyse Cowie produced five best times from five events. Her 1500m freestyle was more than 42 seconds faster than her best time. In her favourite breaststroke events, Annelyse finished in 1m 19.19s and 2m 50.33s in the 100m and 200m races respectively.

Jasmine Hagan demonstrated her all round skills with some excellent performances. Her 200m backstroke (2m 31.94s), 400m freestyle (4m 52.22s) and 200m medley (2m 40.19s) were all best times.

Stella Weston raced her heart out in her four events, including a sterling effort in the 1500m freestyle. Her time of 21m 51.75s was inside the Division 2 qualifying time. In her signature breaststroke event, she posted a best time of 3m 19.79s in the four-lap 200m event.

Alex Cameron emphasised the endurance strength at the club with fine efforts in the 400m and 800m freestyle events. Her times of 5m 0.92s and 10m 23.45s were both personal bests.

Damon Cowie pushed himself to the limit in his five events. His top placings came in the 1500m freestyle (fifth), with a best time of 18m 5.62s, and in the 800m freestyle (sixth), with another best time of 9m 24.83s.

Sam Trass was in cracking form. His 200m backstroke time of 2m 44.66s was another national qualifying time. His best placing came in the 200m butterfly with a 2m 46.35s effort to take 22nd spot.

Head coach Alastair Johnson was pleased with the team's showing.


"We have just completed our three-week training camp which was primarily focused on developing strength and endurance. Despite the tough racing conditions, everyone showed great resilience to put up some great performances.

"In the meantime, we will continue to work hard and lock in some more gains as we approach the national events in March and April."

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