A trio of Swim Rotorua athletes were able to test themselves against the best in the country at the 2019 Aon New Zealand Open Championship last week.

The event, held in Auckland, attracted swimmers from all over New Zealand as well as some strong teams from Australia. The championships doubled as sudden death trials for the World Swimming Championships to be held in South Korea next month.

Racing on day one and making her Open debut was 16-year-old Emily Spear who competed in the women's 1500m freestyle. After an excellent first 500m, Emily settled in to a smooth rhythm holding 1m 16.5s per 100m. Her final time of 19m 3.24s, although outside her best time, was enough for 10th place overall.

On day five Rocco Marsh competed in the men's 100m freestyle. Rocco stormed through the first lap in a very quick 26.19s to complete the race in 56.57s. It was also a first taste of racing at the New Zealand Open Champs for Rocco which will put him in good stead for the winter season.

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Also racing on day five was Paddy Baylis in the men's 1500m freestyle. Baylis, who enjoyed a successful first year at Pomona College in California, was back in New Zealand during the traditional college off-season. He worked his race hard to come home in a time of 16m 51.37s and take ninth spot.

Swim Rotorua head coach Alastair Johnson said: "Although Emily, Rocco and Paddy were not in contention to make finals, the experience of competing at New Zealand's premier domestic meet will pay dividends down the track. All three now have a busy winter programme of intensive training and racing to look forward to."

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