Records galore for talented McKenzie
Highlights flowed at the 2013 Southland Swimming Championships at the weekend but it was hard to look past 11-year-old Amelia McKenzie's effort in the 100m freestyle as the standout.
McKenzie broke the Southland girls 10 and 11-year-old 100m long-course record which had stood since 1982. It was one of Southland's longest standing records, being set by Trudi Haugh back in December 1982.
On top of McKenzie's 100m freestyle record, she broke a further four Southland records over various disciplines and distances.
Southland swimming coach Jeremy Duncan said she continued to show good signs at an early age.
"She's young but she's going very very well. If she continues to put in the hard work and handle the odd setback along the way, she can look forward to a bright future, as can all those other kids that are around that age."
McKenzie was among the impressive number of 65 Southland swimmers who qualified for the South Island Town and Country Championships in Invercargill in February.
The high level of success and the record numbers attending the championships, Duncan felt it provided a positive outlook for the sport in the south.
"It's a real tribute to Lisa Pankhurst in her role as Swim Southland regional development officer and putting those pathways in place with the swimming clubs. In the next four to eight years you would expect to see those kids come through and it's going to be exceptionally exciting."
Another swimmer to impress was 16-year-old Harrison Finnerty who lined up in the open grade.
"There were guys down from Dunedin and Canterbury who were two or three years his senior so he went well," Duncan said.
"He's talented and if he can continue to put the work in over the next six to eight months he'll go very well."