Sophie Shallard and Xander Marsh both represented Southland at the National Age Group Swimming Competition held in Auckland during the school holidays.
National Age Group Champs is the pinnacle age group competition held by Swimming New Zealand, where the top age group swimmers from throughout NZ come together to battle it out at the Sir Owen Glenn National Aquatic Centre on Auckland’s North Shore.
Sophie and Xander had to meet qualifying times during the season to be eligible for selection to compete at the National Age Group Champs. Xander qualified to swim 3 events after his recent success at Division II Champs. Sophie had qualified for 13 events throughout the year, and narrowed down her selection of events to swim 10 events (plus a relay event).
This was Sophie’s second year at the National Age Group Champs, and she backed up her achievements from 2017 with a podium finish for the 400 IM (3rd) and 4th in the 200m Fly. Sophie also placed top 10 in the 100m Fly, 200 IM, and the 800m Free. Sophie was also selected to swim for Mako’s (South Island) representative relay team, gaining 2nd place in the 800m Freestyle Zonal Relay.
Xander achieved personal best times in the 100m Free and 200m Free, coming in a credible 16th place in the 200m Free.
Well done to you both!