Swim Rotorua enjoyed a successful short course season finale at the Central North Island (CNI) Championships at the Rotorua Aquatic Centre. The event attracted top swimmers from throughout the North Island.

Leading the charge for Swim Rotorua, who had 38 swimmers competing, was 11-year-old Kaia Joyce, who took home 10 golds and finished undefeated. Her winning spread came from all the 50m races through to the 200m medley. In the 100m freestyle she produced a stunning time of 1m 3.94s which was a new Bay of Plenty record.

In the 12-13 years age group Taonga Wharakura achieved a clean sweep in the backstroke events. In the 100m freestyle, he smashed the minute mark to finish in 58.98s which took second place. Taonga's other successes came in the 50m butterfly (first), 50m freestyle (second) and 100m butterfly (second).

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Breaststroke ace Annelyse Cowie won the complete set in the girls' 14-15 years age group. Her times of 35.87s, 1m 16.73s and 2m 45.47s were too quick for her rivals.

Skye Cox battled strongly to pick up second place in the girls' 16 years and older 200m backstroke and third in the 50m butterfly.

Ten-year-old Ariel Muchirahondo claimed top three placings in his 11 individual events. His solo win came in the boys' 11 years and younger 100m freestyle with a best time of 1m 7.36s. In his other events, Ariel broke three Bay of Plenty records. These came in the 100m breaststroke (1m 31.15s), 100m backstroke (1m 17.85s) and 200m freestyle (2m 24.72s).

James Baldwin took second in the boys' 16 years and older 50m freestyle (24.91s). Also placing second was 15-year-old Josh Balmer in the 100m freestyle with a new best time of 55.26s.

David Boles won the open 1500m freestyle with a time of 16m 46.45s. His other top three successes came in the 200m backstroke (second) and in the 400m medley (third).

Milla Theobald took four top three places, in the girls' 16 years and older 50m freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and 100m butterfly.

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Molly Sinclair almost broke the 60-second barrier in the girls' 16 years and older 100m freestyle but her time of 1m 0.52s was a new best time and good enough for third spot. Her other success was a third in the 100m medley.

Sam Trass took second place in the 200m breaststroke and produced a solid 50m backstroke effort of 32.58s.


Ava Tremain took third in the girls' 11 years and younger 100m butterfly. She beat her best time by five seconds. She also took second in the 200m backstroke.

Dion Wright was third in the boys' 12-13 years 200m (2m 12.29s). Hone Curtis claimed third in the boys' 200m breaststroke with a best time of 3m 32.81s.

Joe De Coster achieved a best time in the 50m butterfly (29.598s). Jasmine Hagan produced a brace of top two placings. These came in the girls' 14-15 years 50m backstroke (second) and 50m freestyle (third).

Miki Joyce qualified for next year's nationals in the boys' 12-13 years 200m breaststroke. His time of 2m 51.40s was a seven-second improvement on his best and good enough for third place. He went one better in the 50m and 100m breaststroke with second place efforts.

Kai Jung Ishida produced a lot of best times. His breakthrough race was the boys' 11 years and under 200m breaststroke with a time of 3m 26.58s. Sonny Marsh edged closer to qualifying for next years Division 2 competition with a time of 1m 20.93s in the boys 14-15 years 100m breaststroke to take third place.

Rocco Marsh impressed in his signature sprint events. His time of 1m 0.93s in the 100m medley was his standout race. He also took a brace of silvers (50m and 100m backstroke) and third in the 50m breaststroke.


In the 4x50m relays there were some close finishes. Pick of the bunch was the 13 years and younger boys' team of Taonga Wharakura, Miki Joyce, Aaron Muchirahondo and Dion Wright who won in emphatic style. In the freestyle relay, the same foursome produced the fastest time as an exhibition swim.