Diving in with a goal in mind
As 13-year-old Pierce Collins stepped up to the starting blocks for his swimming races he had one goal in mind.
To break his own national record for the 200 metre butterfly in his age group.
At the Aon New Zealand National Age Group Championships held in April, Pierce managed to not only smash that record, he also broke the record for the 100m butterfly too.
‘‘The 200 fly was on the first day so I was a bit nervous about that but my coach said it would be all good to just get it out of the way,’’ the Hutt Valley High School student said.
His new record for the 200m butterfly stands at 2:13:92, down from his previous time of 2:17:73.
His record for the 100m was 1:00:63.He said the trick for him was having a race plan.
‘‘You don’t want to just go out and go your hardest. It’s a big race, so you would just die.’’
He paced himself each 50 metres, slowly increasing speed so he didn’t run out of steam too early.
Pierce competed at the Auckland meet last year, where he first set the 200m record.
Going back in, he felt more prepared.
‘‘It was different from last year in Auckland because I was more confident in myself.’’
His performance has netted him a spot in the New Zealand team competing in the Australian State Teams Championships in October.
The young swimmer has been training hard at SwimZone in Lower Hutt and works with coach Frank Torellue.
Pierce has five or six swimming sessions a week and sometimes starts as early as 5.30am, although he’s had a bit of a break lately as his normal pool in Naenae has been closed for the last couple of weeks.
‘‘When I was really young, my parents got me into swimming,’’ he said.
Mum Fiona said, with three kids, taking them to swimming was the perfect way to tire them out.
‘‘They all had lots of energy. We would come back from swimming and they would’ve burned off that energy.’’
She said they also knew it was important to learn how to swim as a New Zealander since there were so many places - pools, rivers and beaches - to swim at.
Thirteen-year-old Pierce Collins at the 2018 Aon New Zealand National Age Group Championships held in Auckland.