Lewis Clareburt, Erika Fairweather Near Record Speed in 200 Free National Championship Wins

Lewis Clareburt of New Zealand competes in the 200m Individual Medley Men Heats during the 20th World Aquatics Championships at the Marine Messe Hall A in Fukuoka (Japan), July 26th, 2023.
Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Lewis Clareburt, Erika Fairweather Near Record Speed in 200 Free National Championship Wins

Lewis Clareburt and Erika Fairweather were each close to knocking off records in the 200 freestyle on Day 2 of the New Zealand Swimming Championships Wednesday.

Clareburt went 1:47.18 to win the men’s event to win by nearly two seconds. He nearly took down Matthew Stanley’s national record of 1:47.09 from 2014. The time is short, however, of the Olympic A cut of 1:46.26.

“I’m really happy to do a personal best,” Clareburt told Swimming NZ of the first event in his program. “If I can do these ones right then my main events are going to be nice.”

Zac Reid was second in 1:48.90, with Matthew Hutchins third.

World Champion Fairweather went 1:55.49 to dominate the women’s 200 free. That’s just .05 off her national record. Fairweather, 20, won silver in this event at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships and gold in the 400 free.

Second was Laticia-Leigh Transom in 1:58.42, followed by Caitlin Deans in 2:00.72 and Chelsey Edwards in 2:01.00. New Zealand’s only qualified relay for the Paris Olympics is the women’s 800 free.

The most notable swim of the morning preliminary session at Hawke’s Bay Regional Aquatic Centre was supplied by Hazel Ouwehand, who undercut her national record in the women’s 50 butterfly. Ouwehand went 25.88 in prelims, quicker than the 26.01 she posted a month ago. She won the event at night in 26.11.

“It’s great to get that one in the books,” Ouwehand said. “I knew I was going to do it this morning, I was thinking 25.9 but I’ll take 25.88! I posted some great times at Auckland Champs a month ago and I took a lot of confidence from them, it was a good mental gain and now I’ve got to back it up tomorrow.”

Zoe Pedersen set a 16-year-old national record in third in that event in 26.61.

Fairweather’s was the only Olympic A cut of the night session. Andrew Jeffcoat won the men’s 100 backstroke in 54.28, one of four swimmers under 55 seconds. Kane Follows was second in 54.46, with Zac Dell third in 54.65. The A cut is 53.74.

Helena Gasson buzzed within two tenths of Emily Thomas’ super-suited record in the women’s 100 back from 2009. The 29-year-old was 1:00.36 in prelims, then won finals in 1:00.51. It’s shy of the A cut of 59.99. (The B cut is 1:00.29.)

Monique Wieruszowski flirted with her national record in both prelims and finals. The 16-ear-old went 1:07.82 in the morning, then 1:07.88 to win by 2.5 seconds at night. Her national record, lowered last month, stands at 1:07.67. The Olympic A cut is 1:06.79.

Cameron Gray won the men’s 50 fly in 23.79 seconds, a tenth slower than he’d been in prelims. Josh Gilbert was two seconds clear of the field in the men’s 100 breast by winning in 1:01.26.

Chloe Gladwin added two national titles, setting a New Zealand S19 record to capture the women’s multi-class 100 fly and outtouching fellow S19 swimmer Quinn Pike to win the 200 free. Finn Russ broke the S19 national mark in the men’s 200 free to win.

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1 month ago

Erik’s Fairweather was 0.01 off her New Zealand record in her 200m freestyle heat swim. That may have been worth a mention

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