Zac Dell Qualifies for World Junior Championships After New Zealand Victory

The first day of the 2019 Aon National Age Group Championships kicked off with Zac Dell (Pukekohe) posting qualifying times for the 2019 FINA World Junior Championships and the 2019 World University Games in winning the boys 17-18 years 100m backstroke in 55.63s.

Zac Dell 17-18 Years 100m Backstroke


Thomas Watkins (Capital) finished 0.01s behind Dell in 55.64s, also under the 2019 World University Games qualification time. Luan Grobbelaar took third place in 58.40s.

“I was really happy with that, I knew it was going to be a tough race and it takes the pressure off for the rest of the week,” Dell said in his post-race interview.

Erika Fairweather was also in record breaking form setting a new girl’s 15 years 100m freestyle National Age Group record with a time of 55.60s in the evening finals.

The 2018 Youth Olympics representative also achieved the qualifying time for the 2019 FINA Junior World Championships and broke the previous NZ record of 55.98s held by Laticia-Leigh Transom.

Erika Fairweather

Bree Middleton (Ashburton) finished second in 58.65s with Aimee Crosbie (United) taking third in 58.99s.

Brearna Crawford (MAGS) added the girls 16 years 50m breaststroke National Age Group record to the huge array of records she already holds.

Crawford won the final in 32.23s and took the title from Ciara Smith and Annabelle Carey who broke the record in 2017.

Brearna Crawford

Bree Anderson (Nelson South) took second with a time of 34.36s and MacKenzie Brears (United) followed third with a time of 35.19s.

Cameron Gray (North Shore) broke the boys 15 years 100m backstroke National Age Group record in the final with a time of 57.71s, eclipsing the previous record (58.05s) held by Corey Main from 2010.

Cameron Gray

Taiko Torepe-Ormsby (Wharenui) also went under the previous record, finishing second with a time of  57.81s with Tarquin Magner (Evolution) third in 58.98s.

In the morning heats Lea Muellner (Raumati Raptors), also set a National Age Group record in the girls 15 years 50m breaststroke with a time of 32.51. Muellner, coached by John Gatfield at St Peters Western (Australia) was unable to go faster in the evening finals, however gained the Girls 15 years 50m Breaststroke title.

St Peter’s Swimming Club members Rylee Britton placed second with a time of 34.70s and Hannah Morgan took third in 34.88.

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