Middleton mixes with the best

When some of New Zealand’s fastest swimmers headed across the Tasman to compete recently, Methven’s Bree Middleton was among them.

The 16-year-old member of the Ashburton Swim Team was part of a team of 35 young swimmers from around New Zealand who headed to Australia for the Australian State Championships, where the New Zealand team came up against the best swimmers from Australia’s six states.

The annual competition was held at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra and it was a team-based event where each member was trying to score points for their team.

Middleton swam the 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle and was slightly off her times, but was able to drop from 15th place to 11th place in the 800 free, and dropped one place in the 200m freestyle.

She was also selected to swim in the girls’ 16 years and under 4x100m freestyle relay which came in fifth place against some very tough competition.

As a team, New Zealand came fourth out of the seven teams competing, with Queensland State taking out top honours.

Before the competition got under way, a staging camp was held on the Gold Coast where the team trained together and had a morning talking with with Olympian Cameron McEvoy.

Middleton said overall it was a fantastic experience and it was definitely an honour to swim and wear the Silver Fern of New Zealand.