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Splashes of Success: Highlights from the 2024 Apollo Projects NZ Swimming Championships

The 2024 Apollo Projects NZ Swimming Championships, doubling as Olympic trials, recently took place at the Hawkes Bay Regional Aquatic Centre from April 9th to 13th. Amidst the excitement and anticipation, our team of 13 talented athletes, supported by coaches Graham and Dave, dived into the competition with determination and focus.

While the numbers at the competition may have been lower this year, the spirit of camaraderie among the swimmers remained palpable, especially during the high-stakes races with qualifying potential. Over the course of five intense days of racing, the NSS team showcased their prowess, clinching an impressive tally of 18 medals, comprising 13 individual and 5 relay medals.

Among the individual medal winners were Blair Helms (3 Silver & 1 Bronze), Monique Wieruszowski (2 Gold), Asher Smith-Franklin (1 Gold & 2 Silver), Melissa Cowen (2 Silver), and Chelsey Edwards (1 Silver), whose outstanding performances exemplified skill and dedication. A special congratulations is in order for Asher Smith-Franklin, who not only secured medals but also set three new NZ Records in the SB14 Para Class for the 100m Breaststroke, 400m Freestyle, and 100m Freestyle events.

The achievements of our athletes were further celebrated during the competition awards ceremony, where we had the honour of acknowledging Swimming NZ's 2023 Award winners. Asher was recognised as the 2023 Domestic Para Swimmer of the Year, while Dave received the title of 2023 Domestic Para Coach of the Year. Additionally, Summer Osborne was celebrated as the 2023 Emerging Swimmer of the Year, and the Harlequins Zone and Monique jointly claimed the prestigious title of 2023 Overall Emerging Swimmer of the Year, receiving the Norma Williams Cup.

As we reflect on the successes of the 2024 Apollo Projects NZ Swimming Championships, we are filled with pride for our team's achievements and grateful for the unwavering support from coaches, teammates, and supporters. With determination and passion, we look forward to continuing our journey in the world of competitive swimming.


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