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Hometown school Waikato Diocesan School for Girls and Tauranga Boys’ College won the respective girls and boys NZSS Swimming Championship titles in Hamilton over the weekend.
Waikato Dio emerged as the overall winner from the three-day meet featuring almost 150 schools and some 580 competitors.
They beat defending champions Auckland Diocesan in a two-horse race, with over 500 points separating the two Dio schools from third placed Pukekohe High School. 2015 champions Napier Girls’ High School finished fifth.
Tauranga Boys’ College won the boys division with 860 points, almost 200 clear of St Andrew's College on 666, the top finishing South Island school in girls and boys. Two-time defending champions Westlake Boys’ High School finished third.
The NZSS Swimming Championships is very much a team event, over chasing individual wins and times as is the case in traditional swim meets.
Points were awarded in every race, with the school with the most points at the end declared the winner. Twenty six points were awarded for a first place in a race, 21 for a second, 17 for a third and so on a sliding scale.
Waikato Dio’s win over Auckland Dio came down to the relays on the last day. Waikato had their noses in front for much of the meet, but Auckland took the lead on the last day. It came down to the final relay (16 and over Freestyle) and Waikato came out on top.
Waikato Dio completed an outstanding year in the pool, having already won the Waikato and North Island Swimming Championships.
For Waikato Dio, Year 10 Gina McCarthy was the standout swimmer from the weekend, winning nine gold medals, including wins in Freestyle (50m, 100m, 200m and 400m) Breaststroke (50m and 200m) Backstroke (100m and 200m) and IM (200m) races. Holly Isaac won a 10th gold for her school in the 100m Backstroke, while their also won six silvers and five individual bronzes and three relay golds.
Tarquin Magner was the individual star for Tauranga Boys’ with their junior swimmers contributing to much of their points tally. Magner won six gold, one silver and two bronze meals in the 13-year-old age group. Tristan Eiselen won five gold and two bronze medals in the 14-year-old age group. Others who medalled in this age group were Daniel Shanahan (one gold, three silver and one bronze), Travis Hudson (one gold and two silver) and Matthew Wagstaff (silver). The four swimmers combined to win two gold medals in the 200m Freestyle relay and 200m medley relay, where they set an unofficial meet record 1:56.61.
Another Bay of Plenty school was also celebrating, with the Mount Maunganui Intermediate swimming team at the top at the AIMS games for intermediate aged athletes.
The winning Waikato Diocesan School for Girls team was:
Jess Chapman, Sophie Lewis, Grace Soo Choon, Maddi Chapman, Sarah Jeffcoat, Sarah Miller
Freya Sirl, Gina McCarthy, Holly Isaac, Lucy Farrell, Charlize Tordoff, Hannah Morgan, Kelly Lewis
Kiera Wallis, Sarah Wilson, Xanthe Wainui-Mackle
The winning Tauranga Boys’ College team was:
Liam Brown (captain), Declan Dempster, Daniel Shanahan, Matthew Wagstaff, Aidan Heath, Travis Hudson, Joseph Cook, Ben Paterson, Tarquin Magner, Tristan Eiselen, Louis Fitzjohn, Sam Jones, Jacob Browne.
1. Tauranga Boys' College 860
2. St Andrew's College 666
3. Westlake Boys’ High School 573
4. Hamilton Boys’ High School 494
5. Auckland Grammar School 460
1.Waikato Diocesan School 955 points
2. Diocesan School For Girls 903
3. Pukekohe High School 374
4. Baradene College 354
5. Napier Girls High School 307