Rotorua swimmers have collected an impressive haul of medals at the annual Taranaki Short Course Championships.

Swim Rotorua took 36 athletes and between them they won 81 medals.

Hone Curtis was kept busy with 15 races, yielding seven gold medals and one silver. His best race was the boys' 10 years and younger 200m medley with a time of 3m 10.23s.

Taonga Wharekura, 13, was in superb form to lift six golds and two bronzes. Taonga was fastest in the 100m medley, 50m butterfly, 50m freestyle, 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke, demonstrating his versatility and speed.


New Zealand national squad member David Boles won four gold medals in freestyle and backstroke events.

Annelyse Cowie dominated the breaststroke events in the 15 years and older age group. Her heat time of 1m 17.14s was a best time and a new club record. Older sibling Damon Cowie collected a brace of bronzes in the 50m and 100m breaststroke.

In the girls' 11-12 years age group, Kaia Joyce bagged herself six medals, her golds coming in the 100m medley and 50m butterfly. Older brother Miki Joyce was in fine form to win nine medals. This included victories in the 200m breaststroke, 50m and 100m butterfly.

Jasmine Hagan competed strongly in the competitive 13-14 age group, claiming seven medals, including gold in the 50m backstroke with a time of 31.73s.

Competing in the 13-14 boys', Theo Harvey consistently produced great performances. His top placing came in the 50m butterfly, 100m and 200m backstroke where he won three silver medals.

Skye Cox won a trifecta of bronze medals in the 50m butterfly, 50m freestyle and 200m backstroke. James Baldwin won the sprint bragging rights with a swift 50m freestyle time of 25.44s. James and Skye then combined to take home the bronze in the special 2x50m mixed freestyle relay with a time of 54.37s.

Rocco Marsh produced a strong 100m freestyle to take the gold 56.03s. He also won silvers in the 50m backstroke and 50m freestyle. Younger brother Sonny Marsh showed his sprint credentials as well, taking the bronze medal in the boys' 13-14 years 50m breaststroke.

Nikita Pola produced an excellent time of 4m 48.03s in the girls' 13 years and younger 400m freestyle. Ngamihi Simpson took silver in the girls' 11-12 years 100m medley in 1m 15.49s.


Molly Sinclair won a pair of golds in the girls' 15 years 100m butterfly and 400m medley with respective times of 1m 11.85s and 5m 33.32s to underline her growing improvements. In the same age group, distance and open water specialist Emily Spear took silver in the 100m butterfly, 50m and 100m breaststroke.

Also nabbing three medals was Lina Stahlhut whose successes came in the 50m backstroke, 100m and 200m medley.

Milla Theobald continued her impressive return to form with medals in the 50m breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.

Sam Trass claimed four silver medals in the boys' 13-14 years age group. These came in the 50m backstroke, 100m medley, 100m and 200m butterfly.

Stella Weston is another rising star in the Swim Rotorua camp with a string of best times and a silver medal in the girls' 13-14 years 200m breaststroke. Alex Cameron took her chance well in the girls' 13-14 years age group with a silver medal in the 100m freestyle in a best time of 1m 3.03s.

Head coach Alastair Johnson was thrilled with the team's efforts.

"As always, it is a tough away meet for us with the travelling, long days and lots of racing.

"The athletes have pushed through all that to put in some great early season performances.

"They certainly did our long-time coach Bronwen Radford proud as this was her last swim meet. Next up, we have the Bay of Plenty Short Course Championships where I expect the team to step up and race quite a bit faster," he said.

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