State New Zealand Swim Championships: Glenn Snyders Sweeps Breaststroke Events

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, March 28. THE country's top ranked swimmer Glenn Snyders is looking ahead to the London Olympics with lofty goals after completing the trifecta on the fourth night of finals at the State New Zealand Swimming Championships in Auckland tonight

The 24 year old from the High Performance Centre added the 200m breaststroke to 100m and 50m victories earlier in the week at the event that doubles as the Olympic Trials at the West Wave Aquatic Centre in Waitakere.

There was no heroic finish to his week after Snyders was just 6/100ths of a second outside the London Olympic qualifying mark, and less than a second off his New Zealand record. Snyders, coached by Mark Regan, had already bettered the qualifying time in the 200m breaststroke at the World University Games last year.

He set qualifying times in both the heats and final of the 100m breaststroke and last night set the fastest time in the world this year and the sixth fastest time in history in the 50m breaststroke.

“Overall I am happy. I didn't quite go under the time tonight but with all the work we have done the main focus was the 100m. The 200m comes as a bonus although I had already qualified in that,” Snyders said. Last night's time in the 50m gave me a lot of encouragement about the way my training has been going. A time of 27.0 is fast and I felt it last night. Throughout the swim I kept saying I was swimming fast and it was reflected when I looked at the scoreboard, I was only a second off my best. The 200 for me always comes in taper and I struggle to swim it in work. I am happy with 2:11.80. It's my third of fourth fastest time ever so I can't complain too much. To be able to swim well this morning and back it up tonight was encouraging. I will look forward to a small break now and then really programme myself ahead to London. I will definitely be targeting finals there.”

Snyders finished two seconds clear of Ashton Baumann from North Shore with Otago's Matthew Glassford third.

North Shore sprinter Carl O'Donnell, coached by Scott Talbot, celebrated a hat-trick of titles in the blue riband event, the 100m freestyle.

O'Donnell, part of the High Performance Centre, clocked a personal best 50.11 after turning in 24.1`7 at the 50m mark. He cleared out to win by half a second from 200m and 400m freestyle champion Matthew Stanley with Australian-based Paul Benson (Roskill Magic) third.

Taranaki's Charlotte Webby, who will contest the final Olympic qualifying event for the 10km open water swim in Europe in June, showed her versatility and strength in winning the 200m butterfly title.

Last year's runner-up from the (AquaBladz Taranaki) clocked 2:14.65 to beat off the challenges from the Capital pair of Lauren Coetzee and Samantha Lee.

Wellington's Gareth Kean, already under the qualifying time in the 100m backstroke, showed his speed to win the 50m backstroke, a non-Olympic event.

Kean, coached by Gary Hurring, was once regarded as a slow starter but he streaked out to win in 25.54 from Kurt Crosland (Neptune) and Kurt Bassett (Laser Mt Eden HPC).

The number of individuals under the qualifying time remains at seven in 11 performances along with the women's 4x200m freestyle relay while the men's 4×1200 freestyle relay will await a FINA invitation in June.

Tomorrow's penultimate night of finals features the women's 100m and 800m freestyle and men's 200m backstroke.

Results:
Men 100m freestyle: Carl O'Donnell (HPC-North Shore) 50.11, 1; Matthew Stanley (HPC-Matamata) 50.64, 2; Paul Benson (Roskill) 50.98, 3.
Women 200m butterfly: Charlotte Webby (AquaBladz) 2:14.65, 1; Lauren Coetzee (Capital) 2:16.90, 2; Samantha Lee (Capital) 2:18.35, 3.
Men 200m breaststroke: Glenn Snyders (HPC-North Shore) 2:11.80, 1; Ashton Baumann (North Shore) 2:13.70, 2; Matthew Glassford (Neptune) 2:19.12, 3.
Men 50m backstroke: Gareth Kean (WRHPC-Capital) 25.54, 1; Kurt Bassett (HPC-Laser Mt Eden) 25.96, 2; Kurt Crosland (Neptune) 26.13, 3.
Men 4x100m freestyle relay: Capital Swim Club 3:28.79, 1; North Shore Swimming Club 3:31.39, 2; Neptune Swimming Club 3:34.50, 3.
Women 4x200m freestyle relay: Capital Swim Club 8:12.44, 1; Howick Pakuranga 8:26.60, 2; North Shore Swimming 8:33.74

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