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SA youngsters shine at Age Group Championships

South Africa’s youth showed tremendous skill and talent as the first day of the SA Level 1 Regional Age Group Swimming Championships in Newcastle, Pretoria and Oudtshoorn kicked off on Friday night.

There were plenty of fast times at the Hillcrest Swimming Pool in Pretoria with 10-year-old Carissa van Rooyen walking away with a treble win in the 100m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 200m individual medley.

Claiming two gold medals on the opening evening were Ethan Spieker (10), Dylan Steyl (15) and Cherne Midgley (14). Spieker and Steyl grabbed the 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke, while Midgley took the 50m backstroke and 200m individual medley races.

Liam O’Hara (12) claimed the gold in the 200m breaststroke event with Paul Raistrick (13), Irshaad Kara (14) and Devon Goncalves-Jardim (15) victorious in their respective age group categories.

In the girls race, Mieke van Niekerk (12) came home with the gold alongside Helena da Costa (13), Daneal Geldenhuys (14) and Sinead Thorpe (15).

The boys 100m freestyle was won by Zinhle Bekker (11), Benjamin Hack (12), Sthembiso Mamba (13) and Daniel Huang (14) while the ladies’ first positions went to Hannah Riddle (11), Rebecca Behne (12), Kylie Fleischer (13) and Bianca Strydom (16).

Devon Rouessart (11), Jano Cilliers (12), Francois Potgieter (13), Jan du Plessis (14), Jenna-Laine Fuller (11), Cherise Mans (12), Erin Heart (13), Kerryn Swart (14) and Neena Patel (15) all walked away with the top spot in their respective 50m backstroke age group categories, while Ruan Breytenbach (12), Alexander Carstens (13), Liam Burnett (14), Kent Field (16), Jayde Gunther (13) and Jordan Ayres (16) dominated the 200m individual medley events.

In Oudtshoorn’s NA Smit Swimming Pool, Calvin Nigrini (12) started the competition with a fantastic three gold medals in the 200m breaststroke, 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley.

It was two gold medals a piece for Jordan Humphreys (14) and Trisha Pollicutte (10) in the 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley while Amre McCallum (14), Carlof Schwab (11), Louche Wiehahn (11) and Lene Hugo (13) won the 50m backstroke and 100m freestyle events.

Another double win came from Jess Wright (15) and Mattieu Bettings (13), claiming the 100m freestyle as well as the 200m individual medley.
In the remaining age group events, Estiaan Terblanche (13), Camerine van Niekerk (15), Shannon Green (13), Jade Clarke (14) and Charnelle Drake (16) won the 200m breaststroke with the 100m freestyle events going to Eugene van der Merwe (10), Aiden Kleinsmith (16), Olivia Nel (10), Kayla Holtshausen (12) and Kalinka Venter (14).

In the 50m backstroke, Adrian Viljoen (10), George Marais (12), Ronald Jeoffreys (13), Matthew Hibberd (15), Kirsten Barbour (10), Teegan de Kock (12), Annie Marais (14) and Renette Coetzee (15) topped the podium, while Charl Otto (15), Caitlin Engelbrecht (13) and Marinel Wegman (14) raced to the 200m individual medley titles.

It was medals galore at the Newcastle Swimming Pool in Newcastle, where Tyla Loubser (14) and Naested Smit (12) clocked the fastest times in all their races, winning three gold medals a piece.

Both Loubser and Smit won the 50m backstroke and 200m individual medley while Loubser also claimed the 200m breaststroke and Smit the 100m freestyle.

Sharing in their joy were Sachin Chetty (13), Sume Heunis (16), Bernard du Raan (11), Joane Meintjies (9), Ruan Labuschagne (16) and Thalita Conradie (13), all making it two for two.

Chetty and Heunis winning the 200m breaststroke and 200m individual medley, Du Raan and Labuschagne the 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke while Meintjies and Conradie secured the 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley.

The remaining top spots in the 200m breaststroke went to Joshua Woods (12), Lubbe van Zyl (15), Deony Barrington (12) and Ellen Shute (13), while the 100m freestyle gold medals were won by, Connor Buck (10), Jordan Stevens (13), Sias Weyers (14), Rachel Brown (11), Amy-Lee Fourie (12), Shaunagh Le Sur (14) and Jayme Vermaas (15).

In the 50m backstroke, Chris van Heerden (10), Willean Janse van Rensburg (13), Mfanelo Cele (14), Tailyn Seyffert (10), Marie Venter (11), Hannah Varyarwa (12), Elzanie Rademeyer (13) and Rylee Bronkhorst (15) completed the first places in their respective categories with SJ Myburgh (14) and Bongani Sillo (16) closing the night in the 200m individual medley.

The SA Level 1 Regional Age Group Championships in Newcastle, Pretoria and Oudtshoorn continue on Saturday.


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