Riley Taylor swimming his way towards to Junior Pan Paciifc qualification
The next nine months in the swimming pool are shaping up as crucial ones for Swim Timaru's Riley Taylor.
Sixteen-year-old Taylor, who is part of the Swimming New Zealand development squad, shone at the national shortcourse championships in Auckland with a gold in the 200m freestyle and a silver in the 400m freestyle.
A 24-hour virus hit himself and a number of other swimmers and meant Taylor wasn't able to compete in the 1500m freestyle, which he has performed well in before.
Taylor's times in the finals were personal bests and have him sitting just outside qualifying times for the Junior Pan Pacific Championships in Fiji next year and the Youth Olympics.
The New Zealand national championships are being held in July and they will be Taylor's chance to cement qualification.
Coach Oscar Van Stekelenborg said he needs to sit down with Taylor and discuss some things.
"We need to have a good talk and decide if he really wants to go for one of these or both. If he does then we need to begin training towards those and trying to get our times to meet those standards.
"They are user funded events but he wants to go then we need to be preparing for them."
Van Stekelenborg said Taylor was the standout Swim Timaru performer at the champs and with medals all won in the mornings and all the placegetters were pitted together in finals later at night to have all-grades face-off, Taylor made two A finals.
"He was a class above, he's a great swimmer. He made the A-finals for a couple at night and certainly didn't disgrace himself."
Taylor is set to in the coming months to take part in the Commonwealth Games trials.
"He will be moving up to compete with the big guns, it'll be good to see how he goes."
Taylor moves into the 17 and 18 age-group as of next year, which will be a good challenge for him, Stekelenborg said.
Aside from Taylor's medals Matthew Moore, Matthew Gray and Eva Cloake ranked in the top 10 in the country in their age-group, while a number of personal best's broken, with 13-year-old William Tudgey bettering his in all of his seven races.
Geraldine Swim Club's Jack Sands narrowly missed out on a medal in the 15-year-olds 1500m, finishing fourth.