It’s been a happy homecoming for US-based Lauren Boyle at the State Insurance New Zealand Championships in Auckland tonight.
The 23-year-old returned from her current base in California not expecting much after a heavy academic schedule as she works to complete her business degree at the University of Cal Berkeley.
The High Performance Centre swimmer grabbed her second qualifying time for July’s FINA World Championships after winning the 200m freestyle at the West Wave Aquatics Centre, after the 400m freestyle earlier in the meet.
Boyle clocked a strong 1:58.74 in tonight’s 200m freestyle, 4/10ths outside the national record but more than half a second inside the qualifying mark. More importantly she dragged her Delhi Commonwealth Games medal-winning teammates of Tash Hind, Amaka Gessler and Penny Marshall through to a combined time under the mark for world championships 4x200m relay combination.
There have now been six qualifying times from five swimmers along with the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay at the midway point of the championships.
“It’s fantastic. I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Boyle said. “So it makes me feel so much better about where I am and I feel like I have something more to build on looking ahead for the next year than I might have otherwise.
“I wanted to take it out really strong tonight because that is one of my weaknesses as a distance swimmer. I really pushed the first 100 and tried to build in to the next one. The last 25 was a struggle but I got there.
“Our relay is really important to our development and I am excited that the team from Delhi have all got through as well. I am sure we can continue to push each other to go faster.
“Hopefully I can get my 200m faster. I don’t have the speed I used to have so I am looking at the longer events but it’s always good to have some sort of speed in the 200m.”
The other highlight was a superb solo performance from Queensland-based Dylan Dunlop-Barrett (Aquabladz Taranaki) who beat the 20 year old national record of the great Danyon Loader in winning the 800m freestyle.
Dunlop-Barrett, now based under the leading Australian coach Denis Cotterell, clocked 8:03.09, a personal best by 17 seconds, to beat Loader’s long-standing mark by more than two seconds.
Earlier Glenn Snyders easily accounted for challengers to win the 50m breaststroke in a handy 28.11s, half a second off his national record.
US-based Nick Ferrif (North Shore) was second in 28.72 with super talented 16 year old Jeffrey Arona-Tuifana’e (Howick Pakuranga) third in 29.98.
Snyders, coached by Mark Regan, will chase his third title in the 200m breaststroke on Thursday, where he hopes to go under the world championship qualifying time having already qualified in the 100m on the opening night.
Serbian visitor Velimir Stjepanovic, 17, a double medallist in the Youth Olympics last year, took out the 200m butterfly final in 1:59.55 from Andrew McMillan (HPC North Shore) in 2:00.46 and a tiring Shaun Burnett (HPC North Shore) in 2:02.44.
The meet continues until Friday.
Day 3 Finals Results:
Men’s 50m breaststroke: Glenn Snyders (HPC-North Shore) 28.11, 1; Nicholas Ferrif (North Shore) 28.72, 2; Jeffrey Arona-Tuifana’e (Roskill) 28.98, 3.
Men’s 200m butterfly: Velimir Stjepanovic (Laser Mt Eden) 1:59.55, 1; Andrew McMillan (North Shore) 2:00.46, 2; Shaun Burnett (HPC North Shore) 2:02.44, 3. Alex Hancock (Howick Pakuranga) 2:03.35 (Youth CWG qualifying time 2:03.58).
Women’s 200m freestyle: Lauren Boyle (HPC-North Shore) 1:58.74, 1; Tash Hind (HPC-Capital) 2:00.04, 2; Amaka Gessler (HPC – Motueka) 2:00.75, 3.
Men’s 800m freestyle: Dylan Dunlop-Barrett (Aquablades-Taranaki) 8:03.09, 1 (NZ Record); Kane Radford (HPC Rotorua) 8:21.52, 2; Michael Mincham (Waterhole) 8:23.63, 3.
Women’s 400m Medley Club Relay: North Shore Swimming 4:16.75, 1; Capital Swim Club 4:21.61, 2; Laser Mt Eden 4:24.79, 3.
Men’s 400m Medley Club Relay: North Shore Swimming 3:44.02, 1; Capital Swim Club 3:52.11, 2; Laser Mt Eden 3:55.56, 3.