Fifteen-year-old Ellie Rukuwai has won the coveted Marie Saul Cup for best allrounder at the Swimming Nelson Marlborough age group championships.
Rukuwai collected four golds, four silvers and three bronze medals while leading her Nelson South club to a sweep of the club trophies at the weekend's annual swim meet at the ASB Aquatic Centre in Richmond.
While Sam McKenzie of the Nelson Swimming Club won the most gold medals over the weekend, Rukuwai was the most consistent across all four strokes and accumulated the most points.
Thirteen-year-old McKenzie won all seven of the events he entered and broke two Nelson-Marlborough age group records in the process. Kaiori McGuinniety, of Nelson South, continued to re-write the record book for 18-year-old boys as he bettered five Nelson-Marlborough records and teammate Grace Woodall, 17, added four, as each won several gold medals.
Nelson's William Borrell, 16, won six gold medals and set one new regional record to go with the two he set the previous weekend in the 800m and 1500m freestyle events. Motueka's Samantha Trevurza, 14, got a new regional record in the 100m backstroke and won all three backstroke events in her age group.
Georgina Trengrove and Matai McGuinniety, of Nelson South, took home the Pattison Family Cups for best 12-year-old swimmers.
Sarah-Kate Birkett and Bendi Kepess, of Nelson Swimming Club, won the Margaret Young Cups for best 10-year-olds, and Sara Gane and Liam Clark, of Blenheim, collected the Durrant Family Cups for the best 14-year-old swimmers at the annual championships.
The final event was the Adam and Eve relay, which pairs the eight fastest boys with the eight fastest girls. William Borrell, of Nelson, and Bailee Spriggs, of Nelson South, won the event, holding off a late charge by Luke Kelly, of Nelson South, and Sally McMath, of Blenheim.
Nelson South won the JR Buchanan Cup for the club with the most points overall, and just pipped Motueka for the YMCA Cup, which goes to the club with the most points per entry, getting 15.50 points compared to Motueka's 15.48.
Swimmers from Golden Bay and Waimea also competed, gaining a number of personal best times and taking home several medals. Swimmers from Waimea are leading the 32-strong regional team heading to Timaru in two weeks for the South Island Country and Town meet.
The competitive season is now moving into the major national events. Eight young swimmers from the region will be travelling to Wellington this weekend to compete in the New Zealand junior championships. Nelson-Marlborough also have a strong contingent qualified for the national age group championships in Wellington at the end of the month.
- The Nelson Mail