College pupil breaks Olympian’s school swimming record

Local swimming rising stars at Maritzburg College Grade 11 learner Luke Verwey and Grade 9 Chris van Heerden

Maritzburg College pupil Luke Verwey is a rising local swimming star after he broke College Old Boy and Olympic gold medalist Darien Townsend’s record at the school.

The school’s annual gala was held on Friday and saw Verwey and another pupil Chris Van Heerden each break two records.

Verwey grabbed everyone’s attention when he broke  Townsend’s 2001 record by a second in the 50 yards butterfly. He also broke legendary Keith Armstrong’s 1979 100 yards freestyle record when he completed the race in 47,9 seconds. In addition to his record breaking swimming races, he also received an award for Best Performance at the swimming gala and the U17 Champion award. The 17 year old has been swimming competitively since Grade 8 and is a junior national level swimmer. Participating at the aQuelle Midmar Mile has been one of his highlights this year. He hopes to secure a scholarship from the Florida State University in USA once he has finished matric and hopes to complete a Bcom Accounting degree in addition to professional swimming.

Chris van Heerden who participated in all the strokes for his age group during the gala broke the U15 50 yard butterfly record which was set in 2002 and broke the U15 50 yard breaststroke record which was set in 1994.  The 15 year old from Montrose who has been swimming since he was 8 years old, competes at level 3 swimming and would like to go on to compete at the Olympics.

Thembalethu Zakwe

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