2016 SNM Age Group Champs

It was always going to be a David and Goliath battle at the SNM Age Group Champs for the Nelson South team of 29 swimmers who were up against a big Tasman team of 69.  Our swimmers dug deep to bring home (some of) the trophies - and did the club proud.

The SNM Age Group Champs is the biggest regional meet in the swimming calendar and trophies are awarded to the team scoring the most points overall; the team scoring most points per entry as well as individual age group trophies for male and female swimmers in each age group.  This year, a record number of swimmers entered the event, with teams from across the region as well as Christchurch, Wellington, Greymouth and Cambridge.

To win an age group trophy, an individual swimmer has to enter a lot of events to maximise points, and in doing so, usually has to sacrifice swimming pb's, but every now and then, a swimmer manages to do both.  Reuben Lile would have to be our swimmer of the meet.  Reuben entered 12 events, picked up 8 gold medals, 1 silver and 1 bronze to take out the 12 year old boys trophy - but managed to swim 11 pb's from 20 swims to do so!  Way to go Reuben!

In a fitting end to her swimming career, Ellie Rukuwai took out the trophy for 15 & over girls - winning the appropriately named Rukuwai Cup!  Ellie swam in 10 events, collecting 8 golds and 2 silvers over the weekend.

Skye Humphries won 8 gold medals from 8 events and picked up the trophy for 10 year old girls, and in what was an exciting finish to the weekend's swimming, Lola Gibbs-Beal and Lilly Hall finished equal first in the 9 year old girls age group.  Both girls swam their hearts out over the weekend so the results were a great reflection of their efforts.

There were also a lot of pb's to celebrate.  Aidan Patchett recorded 7 pb's from 8 swims and collected 4 medals in a strong display of swimming.  Maccrae Baxter found his form on the weekend with 7 pb's from 9 swims including an impressive 35.54 seconds off his 400m free and picked up 3 medals.  Charlie Hobbs swam 5 pb's from 6 swims and won 3 silver medals and lastly, Oliver Stark swam 3 pb's from 5 swims including a whopping 111.19 seconds (that's nearly 2 minutes) off his 1500m free time, so he wins "pb of the meet".

Before the official prizegiving, Nelson South had its own unofficial prizegiving to recognise some of its swimmers who performed exceptionally over the weekend:

The award for giving every swim 110% went to Ruby-Lou Stuart.  Ruby-Lou entered 15 events and swam 24 races, and despite things not always going her way, she gave every swim her best, never gave up and picked up 13 medals over the weekend.  Well done Ruby-Lou!

The award for sheer determination went to Oliver Morton.  Oliver entered 9 events, and 3 of them were events he hadn't swum before - 200IM, 100 back and 100 fly.  Oliver made the final in each of these events so had to swim them twice.  His 100 fly was an amazing effort.  Oliver won 2 golds, 2 silver and 1 bronze over the weekend.  Fantastic!

And the award for best team supporter went to Nic Hall.  Nelson South prides itself on its culture of team spirit and supporting each other at meets and Nic was exemplorary.  He was often seen walking up and down the pool, cheering on his team-mates (and sister!), as well as his mates from other clubs.  Good on you Nic!

By the end of the meet, Nelson South had won the YMCA Trophy for most points per entry, the Laurie Crabbe Trophy and the Ton Boulton Trophy (for the womens relay team).  It was definitely a team effort to win the YMCA Trophy and all our swimmers did the club proud.

Full results can be found here.