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The start of something extraordinary

National Record For Young Prospect, While Oldies Prove Golden

A national record, a proven performer in form and some oldies proving they are still goodies on the opening night of the New Zealand Short Course Championships in Auckland.

The championships are the first event at the new Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre at AUT Millennium.

US-based North Canterbury swimmer Natasha Lloyd earned her place in the record books with a New Zealand mark in winning the women’s 100m breaststroke.

Fellow World University Games swimmer, Ewan Jackson (Howick Pakuranga) showed his class with an emphatic win in the 200m freestyle.

Meanwhile 26 year old English swimmer Matt Shead and 27 year old Beijing Olympian William Benson struck a mark for the 20-somethings with victories in the 100m breaststroke and 50m butterfly respectively tonight.

North Canterbury’s Lloyd, based on scholarship at the Auburn University, took out the women’s 100m breaststroke in 1:08.11, well clear of Caitlin Delany (Tasman) and Kendall Reidy (Central Hawkes Bay).

Lloyd nearly half a second off the previous mark set by another Cantabrian, Annabelle Carey nearly eight years ago.

"I actually came into this meet with very small expectations after South Korea (World University Games), which was about three weeks ago,” said Lloyd. "I hadn't been training as much as I should have been probably, so I'm absolutely over the moon, I had no idea this would happen, a great confidence boost."

The 22 year old Jackson, who competed in the Commonwealth Games last year and recently at the World University Games, qualified second fastest to Waterhole’s Michael Mincham in the 200m freestyle.

However the Howick Pakuranga swimmer, based at Swimming New Zealand’s High Performance Centre, was the class of the field in the final, winning in 1:47.17 which was more than a second clear of clubmate Daniel Hunter with Mincham third.

"I haven't been feeling too great lately but I just kind of wanted to attack it and then just win it, I wasn't really too caught up in the time I just wanted to get that first place,” Jackson said.

There was considerable interest in Shead who took out the 100m breaststroke final over last year’s 50m breaststroke winner Jeffrey Arona-Tuifana’e (Howick Pakuranga) and the 200m breaststroke titleholder Jacob Garrod (North Shore).

Shead is a former England Schools champion who enjoyed a strong career on scholarship at Florida State University before making his way to this country where he is the financial director of exciting start-up nutrition company, Radix Nutrition.

The 26 year old was the only swimmer under the one minute mark, winning in 59.52.

It was a night for the oldies when former international Benson, a coach at the Heretaunga Sundevils, returned to the pool to win the 50m butterfly in 23.83, pipping World University Games finalist Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga) and Shead.

Australian Ami Matsuo, a recent gold medallist at the World University Games, showed her class in winning the women’s 200m freestyle final.

World University Games finalist Laura Quilter (North Shore), a noted sprinter, claimed the national title in finishing runner-up in an impressive personal best 1:58.59, just edging out Wellington’s Samantha Lee (Capital)by 7/100th of a second.

Last year’s leading individual, Helena Gasson began her championship with the successful defence of her title in the 50m butterfly, winning in 26.94 just ahead of Samantha Lee.

Visiting Australian Donald Cameron was first in the men’s 400m individual medley in 4:14.80, ahead of talented Auckland teenager Max Polianski (United), who claimed the national title, with Otago’s Andrew Trembath (Neptune) third.

In the Para-Swimming Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) enjoyed double victory on the opening night claiming titles in the 100m breaststroke and 50m butterfly.

The sensational Mary Fisher (Tawa), an eight-time world champion, took the honours in the women's 50m butterfly.

Fairfield's Jesse Reynolds and Greendale's Kate McKelvie were the gold medal winners in the men's and women's 200m freestyle respectively.

The championships continue until Saturday with heats from 9am and finals from 6pm.

Results day 1

Men 200m freestyle: Ewan Jackson (Howick Pakuranga) 1:47.17, 1; Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga) 1:48.29, 2; Michael Mincham Waterhole) 1:48.46, 3.

Women 200m freestyle: Ami Matsuo (AUS) 1:57.56, 1; Laura Quilter (North Shore) 1:58.59, 2; Samantha Lee (Capital) 1:58.66, 3.

Men 100m breaststroke: Matt Shead (United) 59.52, 1; Jeffrey Arona-Tuifana’e (Howick Pakuranga) 1:00.14, 2; Jacob Garrod (North Shore) 1:01.37, 3.

Women 100m breaststroke: Natasha Lloyd (North Canterbury) 1:08.11, 1; Caitlin Delany (Tasman) 1:09.96, 2; Kendall Reidy (Central Hawkes Bay) 1:10.24, 3.

Men 50m butterfly: William Benson (Heretaunga Sundevils) 23.83, 1; Daniel Hunter (Howick Pakuranga) 24.11, 2; Matt Shead (United) 24.26, 3.

Women 50m butterfly: Helena Gasson (North Shore) 26.94, 1; Samantha Lee (Capital) 27.06, 2; Emily Washer (AUS) 27.15, 3.

Men 400m individual medley: Donald Cameron (AUS) 4:14:80, 1; Max Polianski (United) 4:18.89, 2; Andrew Trembath (Neptune) 4:22.33, 3.

Para-Swimming Results:

Men 200m freestyle: Jesse Reynolds (Fairfield) 2:11.39, 1; Tama Solouta (Papatoetoe) 2:23.49, 2; George Adam (North Canterbury) 2:43.75.

Women 200m freestyle: Kate McKelvie (Greendale) 3:04.79, 1; Jacquie Ruth (QEII) 4:06.04, 2; Sarah Fuhrer (St Peter's) 4:21.47, 3.

Men 100m breaststroke: Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 1:15.71, 1; Tama Solouota (Papatoetoe) 1:30.39, 2; Ceyln Edwards (Selwyn) 1:38.06, 3.

Men 50m butterfly: Christopher Arbuthnott (Ice Breaker) 29.34, 1; Jesse Reynolds (Fairfield) 30.83, 2; Celyn Edwards (Selwyn) 37.65, 3.

Women 50m butterfly: Mary Fisher (Tawa) 34.15, 1; Tupou Neiufi (Howick Pakuranga) 37.46, 2; Sarah Fuhrer (St Peter's) 1:22.55, 3.

CAPTION: Natasha Lloyd on her way to a national record. The image is free for editorial use only. Credit: BW Media.

NZ Short Course Championships