Medal haul for Canterbury swimmers

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: Hannah Bates will join fellow Canterbury swimmer Quinton Hurley at the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Fiji next month. Photo: Camilla Connell Photography.

Canterbury swimmers Hannah Bates and Quinton Hurley have made the New Zealand team for the junior Pan Pacific championships in Fiji next month.

Their selection comes after both had successful national championship campaigns last week in Auckland.

Canterbury swimmers Celyn Edwards, Cassie Wright, Kaylee Jackson and Ella Benn all won national titles.

Hurley, 17, won two silver medals and Bates earned a silver and a bronze. Bates, 18, was also named Makos zone emerging swimmer of the year at the New Zealand Swimming Awards which followed the event.

Pascoe, Edwards and Hamish McLean will be part of the nine-strong Kiwi team to race at the Pan Pacific para-swimming championships in Cairns next month.

Hurley is on his way to China with fellow swimmer Ruby Wagenvoord to swim in the Yangtze River Crossing Festival next week.

Bates said she was thrilled to win medals in her first open nationals event.

“It was a big step up from what I’m used to, racing against swimmers who have gone to international events and, while I didn’t post any personal bests, I’m happy with what I achieved,” she said.

“Winning the (emerging swimmer) award just topped the week off for me,” she said. “I was not expecting to win it so I was blown away when I did.”

Hurley, who is from the Jasi club, swam a superb 400m freestyle, negative splitting the back half of the race, coming to the wall under the selection time for the junior Pan Pacific championships and the Youth Olympics.

He followed that up with strong 800m and 1500m freestyle swims, taking silver in both events and breaking Arjun Haszard’s 15-year-old Swimming Canterbury West Coast age-group record for the 800m.

Youth Commonwealth Games and Australian age group multi-medallist Bates, representing Aquagym, also conquered her nerves in the 100m butterfly heats, finishing in 1min 10.61sec to meet the selection criteria for both the junior Pan Pacific championships and Youth Olympic Games by just one one-hundredth of a second. Bates backed this swim up in the final to take home bronze in the event. She went on to also win silver in the 200m individual medley.

Edwards won two golds on the opening night of the national championship. The Selwyn club member won the 50m backstroke and 400m freestyle para mixed multi-class events.

Edwards added to his medal tally as the meet progressed, taking out his third national title in the 100m butterfly and adding a silver and a bronze as well.

Wright, representing QE II but currently on a scholarship at the University of Sioux Falls, United States, broke the Swimming Canterbury West Coast open women’s record in the 50m backstroke to win in a personal best time of 28.41sec.

She also won a bronze medal in the 100m backstroke, smashing her previous personal best by more than 2sec.

Jackson won the 50m breaststroke national title, breaking Olympian Annabelle Carey’s 12-year-old age-group record in the process.

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