SHE’S OFF: Tessa Dodson in the silver cap dives in the 400m individual medley. Photos supplied

A TEAM of eight Whakatane swimmers brought home two silver and one bronze medal, as well as several top-10 national rankings from the New Zealand Short Course Championships in Auckland last week.

Held across five days of competition at the Auckland National Sir Owen G Glenn National Aquatic Centre, the championships drew the fastest swimmers in their age groups from across the country.

Marley Orr, 14, came home with two medals in his favourite events – including silver in the 50 metre breaststroke, which he took out with a time a time of 32.26, and bronze in the 100m breaststroke, which he finished in a time of 1.10.78, a new personal best.

Marley earned 43 points for his club and gained a national ranking of fifth the 200m breaststroke, 10th in the 50m butterfly and 17th in the 100m individual medley for his age group.

Ashleigh Lawlor was the top points earner for the club with 47 points after powering her way to silver in the girls 13-year old 400m individual medley with a time of 5.15.95. She knocked 9.35 seconds off her previous personal best. She then went on to compete in the Open C final, earning a 26th national ranking across all age groups.

Ashleigh also finished fourth in the 200m backstroke and is ranked 25th overall in New Zealand after competing in the Open C Final.

MEDAL MAN: Marley Orr, second from left, collects a silver medal for the 50m breaststroke.

Ashleigh also finished eighth in the 100m backstroke and the 400m freestyle. She is also ranked 11th in the 200m freestyle and 15th in the 100m individual medley for her age group.

Jean-Daniel Rosset, 17, who earned eight points for his club, once again made a splash in the butterfly events, earning fifth in the 100m butterfly when competing in the 17-18-year-old age group.

He made it into the Men’s Open B finals, where he finished third, earning him a ranking of 11th across all age groups in New Zealand.

He also finished ninth the 50m butterfly, and after competing in the Men’s B Open final is ranked 15th overall in the country across all ages. Jean-Daniel earned national rankings of 14th in the 50m freestyle, 15th in the 100m individual medley and 16th in the 50m breaststroke in his age group.

Thirteen-year-olds Jamie Forsyth and Joshua Hansen made their debut at the national event, with Jamie, who finished with four points for his club, earning a national ranking of eighth in the 50m butterfly. He is also now ranked 13th in the 50m backstroke and 14th in the 100m backstroke for his age group. Hot on Jamie’s heels, Joshua earned a 15th national ranking in the 50m backstroke and 17th ranking in the 100m backstroke for his age group.

After only recently turning 14, Deshan Seneviratna found himself up against some tough competition in that age group. However, he managed to hold his own in the backstroke events, earning national rankings of 12th in the 50m and 100m backstroke, for his age group. He also placed 16th in the 200m backstroke, after taking almost 5 seconds off his personal best.

Tessa Dodson earned a 15th national ranking for 16-year-old girls in the 400m individual medley, while Caroline Paulsen, 18, is now ranked 17th in the 200m backstroke for her age group.

Whakatane Swimming Club coach Mason Pickering said the club’s athletes had some fantastic swims on the national stage last week.

“The young team brought home three national placings and a good collection of personal best times against the country’s best,” Pickering said.

“Our youngest two swimmers were making their senior national level debut and it was great to see them rise to the occasion, whilst our ‘veterans’ helped us to finish with nine top-10 national rankings.

“It’s been a massive season for these top swimmers and the club and myself could not be prouder of their efforts. This meet signals the end of the short course season, with these swimmers now having a short break to rest and refocus before getting stuck into the summer/long course season.”