Whanganui teenager Ethan Bryers has been named in the Swimming New Zealand Bronze Male squad off the back of some outstanding performances over the past year or more.
The Year 10 Whanganui High School student has caught the eye of national selectors with his impressive progress over several years as a member of the Toyota Whanganui Swim Team at national and regional level and through his achievements at secondary school competition despite his tender years.
Tall and lanky, Bryers standing at 190.6cm has the classic swimmer's physique and specialises over the longer distances.
"It's (the selection) very exciting,' Bryers said.
"I found out after they emailed my mother and then posted the squad on the Swimming New Zealand website. My understanding is that the Bronze squad is like a feeder to the Silver and Gold squads that represent New Zealand at international level, so we aspire to the Silver and Gold squads.
"My ultimate aim is to win a scholarship to the United States and take my swimming as far as it came go. I am to attend a training camp in Wellington in January (24-26) around Anniversary Weekend when a regional championship is scheduled.
"In the meantime, I will continue training here in Whanganui and there is also a couple of meets in Manawatu coming up," Bryers said.
Bryers' swimming CV is impressive.
The 14-year-old gained silvers in the gruelling 400m and 800m freestyle as well as contesting the 200m butterfly, 400m Individual Medley (IM) and 1500m freestyle at this season's Whanganui Secondary School championships.
He ended the summer season in April this year with the club's first boys' title at the Aon NZ Age Group Championships, winning gold in the 400m freestyle.
In October 2018 at the New Zealand Short Course Championships in Auckland representing the male swimmers from the Whanganui club Bryers was contesting the tough 14-year-old races after moving up from his successful National Age Group campaign in April.
Bryers was the most successful of the Whanganui swimmers with an outstanding bronze in the 400m freestyle, covering the 16 lengths of the 25m pool in a slick 4m 12.28s, just over a second behind the silver medallist. He also excelled in this event with an open (all ages) placing of 30th overall, an outstanding result by someone so young.
In September 2018 at the Wellington Regional Short Course Championships at the Wellington Regional Aquatic Centre in Kilbirnie, Bryers picked up a silver in the 400m freestyle, and bronze in the 200m backstroke, the 400m IM the 200m freestyle and the gruelling 1500m freestyle in a Whanganui open record time.
In April that same year when just 13, Bryers won silver in the boys' 400m freestyle at the National Age Group Championships in Auckland. He was the first New Zealander home in the event. The winner was an overseas competitor.