Jack be quick

Seven-medal reward for hard work

Seven-medal reward for hard work

Jack Keepa in breaststroke action.
HEAVY MEDAL: Jack Keepa with his haul of seven medals, including two gold, at the New Zealand short course swimming championships in Auckland. Right, Keepa in breaststroke action.Pictures by FPS Photos
Tyler Finau. Picture by BW Media

JACK Keepa’s first New Zealand short course championships in 2017 resulted in no medals, a few top 10 placings and some personal best times.

The Enterprise Cars Swim Team member returned from the champs in Auckland “determined to train harder and do better this year”.

Seven medals — two golds, one silver and four bronze — from 11 events in the 14 years boys’ age group was his reward.

“My coaches (Matt Martin and father Gary Martin) adjusted my technique and stepped up my training, so I have a lot to thank them for,” said the Gisborne Boys’ High student, who is also a talented surf lifesaver and footballer.

Keepa started the championships in style, winning gold in the 100 metres breaststroke and bronze in the 400m individual medley.

“The gold settled me into the meet well. Breaststroke has traditionally not been one of my strengths.

“Over the past few months Matt adjusted my technique and I posted some good breaststroke times, and went into the champs ranked first (in his age group) on times.

“But swimming, like any sport, is all about what happens on the day and I was really pleased to win gold and confirm my ranking.”

Keepa backed it up with bronze in the 400 IM.

The morning sessions feature all swimmers vying for age group titles.

“The top 30 swimmers over all the age groups (13, 14, 15, 16, 17-18 and 19 and over) then compete in the open finals, which include NZ’s elite and Commonwealth Games representatives, in the night sessions.

“At the end of the five-day champs I was shattered. It was a hectic schedule.

“I have to thank Mum (Sonia), Dad (Cody) and my grandparents (Koro and Jill) for their support, not just at these champs but for all their support, and also my coaches and teammates.”

As well as his seven-medal haul, Keepa recorded personal bests (PBs) in the 50 and 100 breaststroke, 100, 200 and 400m individual medley and 100 butterfly.

He now has his sights set on getting his name in the Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay record books, and making the New Zealand age group national squad.

“Once you get your name in the record books, it’s there until someone posts a faster time,” said Keepa, who is looking long term to the national age group (long course) champs in Wellington in April.

“If I swim well in Wellington and post good times, I have the chance to be picked for age group teams. But it’s one step at a time. I’m not getting carried away. I have a lot of work to do.”

Enterprise coach Matt Martin said Keepa had made huge progress in the past year.

“He has a great work ethic,” said Martin, a former New Zealand representative, who still holds numerous HBPB 800 and 1500m freestyle records.

“He is a switched-on kid who has his swimming career planned but knows there is a lot of work and a long way to go.

“One thing we don’t have to do with Jack is motivate him. He comes to training ready to learn and work hard.”

Keepa was one of five Enterprise team swimmers at the national short course champs.

Ava Smith (15), in her first nationals, won silver in the 50 and 100 breaststroke races while Nathan Proctor (15) had five top-10 placings.

Jaimee Fisher (21) contested two open women’s B finals.

Cody Anderson (13), in his first national short course champs, produced a 15-second PB in the 1500 freestyle.

JACK Keepa’s first New Zealand short course championships in 2017 resulted in no medals, a few top 10 placings and some personal best times.

The Enterprise Cars Swim Team member returned from the champs in Auckland “determined to train harder and do better this year”.

Seven medals — two golds, one silver and four bronze — from 11 events in the 14 years boys’ age group was his reward.

“My coaches (Matt Martin and father Gary Martin) adjusted my technique and stepped up my training, so I have a lot to thank them for,” said the Gisborne Boys’ High student, who is also a talented surf lifesaver and footballer.

Keepa started the championships in style, winning gold in the 100 metres breaststroke and bronze in the 400m individual medley.

“The gold settled me into the meet well. Breaststroke has traditionally not been one of my strengths.

“Over the past few months Matt adjusted my technique and I posted some good breaststroke times, and went into the champs ranked first (in his age group) on times.

“But swimming, like any sport, is all about what happens on the day and I was really pleased to win gold and confirm my ranking.”

Keepa backed it up with bronze in the 400 IM.

The morning sessions feature all swimmers vying for age group titles.

“The top 30 swimmers over all the age groups (13, 14, 15, 16, 17-18 and 19 and over) then compete in the open finals, which include NZ’s elite and Commonwealth Games representatives, in the night sessions.

“At the end of the five-day champs I was shattered. It was a hectic schedule.

“I have to thank Mum (Sonia), Dad (Cody) and my grandparents (Koro and Jill) for their support, not just at these champs but for all their support, and also my coaches and teammates.”

As well as his seven-medal haul, Keepa recorded personal bests (PBs) in the 50 and 100 breaststroke, 100, 200 and 400m individual medley and 100 butterfly.

He now has his sights set on getting his name in the Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay record books, and making the New Zealand age group national squad.

“Once you get your name in the record books, it’s there until someone posts a faster time,” said Keepa, who is looking long term to the national age group (long course) champs in Wellington in April.

“If I swim well in Wellington and post good times, I have the chance to be picked for age group teams. But it’s one step at a time. I’m not getting carried away. I have a lot of work to do.”

Enterprise coach Matt Martin said Keepa had made huge progress in the past year.

“He has a great work ethic,” said Martin, a former New Zealand representative, who still holds numerous HBPB 800 and 1500m freestyle records.

“He is a switched-on kid who has his swimming career planned but knows there is a lot of work and a long way to go.

“One thing we don’t have to do with Jack is motivate him. He comes to training ready to learn and work hard.”

Keepa was one of five Enterprise team swimmers at the national short course champs.

Ava Smith (15), in her first nationals, won silver in the 50 and 100 breaststroke races while Nathan Proctor (15) had five top-10 placings.

Jaimee Fisher (21) contested two open women’s B finals.

Cody Anderson (13), in his first national short course champs, produced a 15-second PB in the 1500 freestyle.

Tyler Finau winning for NZ

While her clubmates were competing in Auckland, another Enterprise swimmer, Tyler Finau, was representing New Zealand at the Swimming Australia State Team Championships in Canberra.

Her best placings were second in the 4x100 metres medley relay and 200m freestyle in which she broke the Hawke’s Bay-Poverty Bay 14 years girls’ short-course record by two seconds — clocking 2 minutes 3.27 seconds.

Finau was third in the 200 butterfly, sixth in the 200 backstroke, sixth in the 400 individual medley (also a HBPB age group record of 4:58:93) and eighth in the 400 free.

“It was Tyler’s first appearance at this level and at 14 she can be pleased,” said Enterprise Cars Swim Team coach Matt Martin.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    What do you think of the new murals around the city?