Eaton adds Aussie sprint title to Kiwi and World titles

Posted by SLSNZ Media on Monday, April 3, 2017

Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service's Olivia Eaton has added the Australian Open Women's Beach Sprint title to her long list of achievements.

Not only is it significant in its own right, but it adds to her New Zealand and World sprint titles all gained in a little over six months.

Representing her Australian club, the Currumbin Beach Vikings, Olivia also won gold in the Under 19 and Open Beach Relays and bronze in the Under 19 Women's Beach Flags.

Fellow Mount clubbie Hamish Miller also won gold in the Under 19 Men's 2km Beach Run.

Close to 80 Kiwi athletes were due to represent 12 of New Zealand's Surf Life Saving Clubs at this year's Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on the Gold Coast from March 25 to April 2.

It's a huge event, drawing in 7000 athletes from 313 Australian Surf Clubs to compete in over 400 beach and ocean events.

But unfortunately, tropical Cyclone Debbie put a stop to a large number of the water events.

Taking what is believed to be East End Surf Life Saving Club's first gold medal at an Australian Championships was Claudia Kelly who won the Under 17 Women's 2km Beach Run.

This follows an extremely successful TSB Bank New Zealand Surf Life Saving Championships in Christchurch last month that saw her come away with nine medals; two golds, six silver and one bronze.

Papamoa's Aidan Smith took gold for his Australian club (Currumbin Beach Vikings) in the Under 19 Men's Beach Relay, silver in the Under 17 Men's Beach Relay and fourth in the Under 17 Men's Beach Sprint.

Also on the medal table was Omanu's Max Beattie, competing for Surfers Paradise, who took silver in the Open Men's Board Relay and Mairangi Bay's Danielle McKenzie (Northcliffe) who took gold in the Open Women's Board Relay. Mount Maunganui's Jessica Miller, (Northcliffe) and Papamoa's Natalie Peat (Currumbin) took silver and bronze respectively in the Open Female Surf Team event.

Making finals events throughout the championships was South Brighton's Morgan Foster who came eighth in the Open Men's Beach Flags, Waikanae's Casie Fyall (Kurrawa) who came sixth in the Open Women's Beach Sprint, Orewa's Grace Kaihau, (Noosa Heads) who came fourth in the Under 17 Women's 2km Beach Run and Papamoa's Mitch Cowdry who came seventh in the Under 17 Men's Beach Flags.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Sport Manager Mike Lord says it's a fantastic effort from the Kiwi athletes at this year's championships.

"Considering not all the events could go ahead, they achieved some outstanding results and it's always great to see Kiwis on the Aussies' podium," he says.

For more information and results visit https://sls.com.au/aussies/

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager, SLSNZ
Phone 0276 488 823
Email lisa.smith@surflifesaving.org.nz

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