Photo: Hannah Huria
Don't judge a swim club by its size! Local swim club Raumati Raptors took out clubs more than three times its size to come 2nd in the Swim Wellington 13 and Over Long Course regional Championships at the end of January.
With swimmers competing from all over the country, including Auckland, Hawke’s Bay and Canterbury, there was plenty of competition to push past. "Not bad for a little club from up the coast" says Raptors’ delighted head coach Jon Winter.
Of the 20 gold medals won by Raptors swimmers over the three day event at Kilbirnie pool, one of Jon's highlights was a quadruple whammy. Hannah Huria (13), Tori Grout (14), Lea Muellner (15) and Chelsea Parker (16) all won age group golds in the 50m breaststroke, one after the other.
Winter named Hannah Huria as Swimmer of the Meet. She brought home a "very impressive" 10 medals, 5 of which were gold, and was some thirty points clear of other competitors in her age group. Annie Jencova (15) won 3 gold medals and also topped her age group.
Newcomer to the squad, Lea Muellner got a gold medal for every event she entered. Along with backstroke national champion Stevie Shipman (16) they were two of only three competitors to break Wellington records during the event. Muellner swam 33.55s in 50m breaststroke, Shipman swam 30.56s to break a 25-year old 50m backstroke record. Swimming Wellington described Shipman's 50m backstroke as "stand out".
For Jon Winter another stand out swimmer was Tawhiti Te Momo (20), who won his first ever Wellington Champs medal, a gold, for 50m fly, after many years competing with the club. "It's been a long time coming" says Winter. “He’s almost 21 years old, he’s stuck at it and persevered. One year down the track he’s 20 plus kgs lighter, is super motivated and is in really awesome shape”.
(Clockwise from top left) Hannah Huria, Tori Grout, Lea Muellner, Chelsea Parker
- Raumati Raptors