At 15, Carter Edgecombe's first taste of international swimming has left him eager for more.
The Hamilton teenager returned from the Trans Tasman Series in Australia last week with a second in the 800m freestyle and a fourth placing in the 400m freestyle.
Edgecombe treasured the opportunity to race against competitors from another country. "It was a good experience. I got to meet a whole lot of new people and it was fun competing against other people from overseas."
The nine-day series kicked off in Canberra before swimmers travelled to Wagga Wagga then finished in Melbourne. Teams contested for points based on placings in their races and the New Zealanders finished second overall – the best result since 2007.
Edgecombe found the competition different to previous meets. Normally he would compete as an individual but instead he found himself trying to race to earn points for his team.
"It was cool competing under pressure. The meets were based on points so you're trying to gain maximum points for your team," said the year 11 student from Hamilton Boys' High School.
"So it was cool just trying to get the best placing possible just to get the most points you can."
Edgecombe managed to clock personal best times in the 200m, 400m, and 800m freestyle.
In addition, he was named the New Zealand male swimmer of the meet for his efforts over the series.
"It was awesome just getting that award after a lot of hard work. It just shows the effort that you put in can pay off."
While the Trans Tasman Series may be over, there is no break for Edgecombe as his attention now turns toward the National Short Course Championships in late September.
"I've got to keep training hard for the short-course nationals ... Hopefully I do well there."
Edgecombe's latest experience will no doubt drive him to push for higher New Zealand honours.
"I definitely want to keep racing overseas, it's a real cool experience, and just keep training hard to try to make other New Zealand teams."
Another Waikato swimmer, Sam Perry, also competed in Australia. He was a part of a relay team which broke the meet record in the 200m freestyle relay.
- © Fairfax NZ News