Lewis Clareburt Narrowly Misses New Zealand Record in 400 IM at Short Course Championships

Lewis Clareburt. AON Swimming New Zealand National Open Swimming Championships, National Aquatic Centre, Auckland, New Zealand, Monday 2nd July 2018. Photo: Simon Watts/www.bwmedia.co.nz
Photo Courtesy: Simon Watts/www.bwmedia.co.nz

Lewis Clareburt, one of three New Zealand swimmers set to swim in the ISL next week, narrowly missed the national record in the 400 IM at the New Zealand Short Course Championships. Clareburt swam a 4:07.47 to win the final by seven seconds, just missing Dean Kent’s record of 4:06.66 from 2003.

Clareburt will be racing with the New York Breakers next week at the International Swimming League in Budapest. The 2019 Worlds bronze medalist in the 400 IM will be joined by fellow Kiwis Ali Galyer (DC Trident) and Helena Gasson (LA Current) in the league, but neither women were present at the short course championships.

Clareburt’s time would have put him just behind the Breakers’ best in Brendon Smith (4:07.09) last season as Clareburt would have been tied for 23rd in the world in 2019 with this swim. Clareburt also raced in the 200 butterfly final, winning at 1:56.60, and finished second in the 400 freestyle at 3:45.09 to Zac Reid (3:40.95).

Clareburt also took a win over Reid in the 200 freestyle at 1:44.26 to Reid’s 1:45.28, and won the 200 IM final with a 1:55.70.

Reid, who swims at Aquabladz New Plymouth Swim, took wins in the 800 freestyle (7:38.85) and 400 freestyle (3:40.95), with the latter coming within a half second of the legendary Danyon Loader’s national record of 3:40.46. Loader was the last Kiwi to win an Olympic medal in swimming, when he swept the 200 & 400 freestyles at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

On the women’s side, 16-year-old Erika Fairweather nearly broke the national record in the 200 freestyle with a 1:55.23, just missing Lauren Boyle’s record of 1:54.97 from 2013. Fairweather’s time would have put her in a tie for 24th in the world rankings for 2019 in that event as she is emerging as a future star in the Oceania ranks.

Fairweather also took a win in the 400 freestyle with a 4:06.00 that would have put her 41st in the world rankings last year. She also won the 100 freestyle with a 54.28.

Results for the New Zealand Short Course Championships can be found here.

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