Mon, Dec 18, 2023 9:14 PM

Nicola's medal haul in capital


Peter Jones

Nicola Lovell turned in a standout performance to spearhead a strong showing from the Blenheim Swimming Club contingent at the recent Swimming Wellington Long Course Champs.

The 14-year-old picked up five gold medals, plus three silver, earning her the overall title for 14 year old girls. After starting the meet with an exciting win in the 200 individual medley [IM] by the smallest of margins, she went on to claim victories in the 50, 100 and 200 breaststroke events and finished the meet with a dominant 11 second win in the 400 IM.

Nicola also broke a long-standing Swim Nelson Marlborough record for the 14-year girls 200IM with her time of 2:30.66, a record set by Emma Thomson in 2003 with a time of 2:31.51.

Nicola is now training for the National Age Group Championships in April and the New Zealand Short Course Championships in August next year, where she will focus on the IM and breaststroke.

The Blenheim Swim Club contingent in Wellington.

A newcomer to competitive swimming, 13-year-old Will Atkinson, at his first regional competition, exceeded expectations with a silver medal in the 50 fly and a bronze in the 50 back. Coach Shane Skehan says Will has huge potential and will be one to watch as he continues to gain experience.

Talented Paralympic swimmer Jack Bugler won five gold medals and one silver with outstanding personal best swims in the 50m back, 800m free, 100m free, 100m back and 50m free. Jack has been selected to compete for New Zealand at the World Para series in Melbourne in February and after that will be training for the New Zealand Open Championships in April and the New Zealand Short Course Championships in August.

Other notable performances were Max Skehan’s three silver medals in the 50m back, 100m and 200m free, Jack Love’s silver medal in the 400m free with an eight-second PB, Finn McNabb’s silvers in the 1500m free and 200m back and Jessica Lovell’s silver in the 100m fly.

Blenheim Swimming Club’s next meet is at the Swimming Nelson Marlborough Championships in Nelson.

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