16-Year-Old Erika Fairweather Throws Down 4:07 400 Free At Vic Open Day 2

by Ben Dornan 7

February 15th, 2020 Australia, International, News


  • Friday, February 14th – Sunday, February 16th
  • Incorporating the 2020 World Para Swimming World Series
  • Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre (MSAC)
  • 50m (LCM)
  • SwimSwam Preview
  • Psych Sheet
  • Live Results

With big names such as Mack Horton, Jess Hansen and Jack McLoughlin in the water, it was 16-year-old Erika Fairweather who made the biggest waves on night two of the 2020 Victorian Swimming Championships.

Fairweather destroyed the field in tonight’s 400 free, hitting a 4:07.23 to take nearly 10 seconds off her 4:16.01 prelim swim. Fairweather handily took down Molly Batchelor’s previous meet record of 4:09.23 from the 2017 version of the meet. She also dipped under the New Zealand Age record for the 400 free, previously hers at a 4:07.58 from West Coast Championships in January. Coming in at second in the 400 was Moesha Johnson with a 4:15.63 and third was Carina Doyle at 4:17.93.

National teamer Jess Hansen picked up a gold in the 200 breast with a 2:27.87, bettering her prelim swim by over 3 seconds. Zoe Deacon came in second at a 2:28.88 and Tara Kinder took third with a 2:30.56.

Last night’s 200 backstroke victor, Hayley Baker repeated the feat tonight by winning the 100 back in a 1:01.40. Olivia Lefoe, who finished 5th yesterday in the 200, took silver tonight with a 1:01.83 and Layla Day came in third with a 1:02.21.

On the men’s side, Se-Bom Lee, member of the 2019 Australian World Juniors squad took gold in the 200 IM and 200 Back. Lee’s  winning time of 2:03.23 in the 200 IM was a couple seconds slower than what he was last summer when he raced to a 2:00.02 for 5th in Budapest. Lee was followed by Brendon Smith for silver (2:03.53) and David Schlicht for bronze (2:03.87).

In the 200 backstroke, Lee was second at the 100, flipping at a 59.83, nearly a second slower than Pukekohe Swimming’s Andre Jeffcoat who hit a 58.87 100 split. Lee finished strong though with a 1:00.49 back half, for a gold medal time of 2:00.32. Jeffcoat came in at a 2:01.96 for silver and Tristan Hollard took bronze with a 2:03.06.

The men’s 200 free was a neck-and-neck race, with only 0.54 seconds separating first from fourth. Commonwealth Games gold medalist Jack McLoughlin topped the podium tonight with a 1:50.39 and was joined by Cam McEvoy (1:50.55) for silver and Welson Sim (1:50.73) for bronze. Just missing the podium was 400 free Olympic Champion Mack Horton  who finished foruth with a 1:50.93.

Adrian Rogers took gold in the 800 free with a 8:46.09, bettering his seed time of 8:49.30. Rogers was joined on the podium by Aaron Wartman and James Donovan, hitting times of 8:48.68 and 8:49.57, respectively. Noticeably absent from the race was distance ace Mack Horton who holds the meet record of 7:45.67 from 2013.

Horton sat out of the 800 tonight and will not swim the 1500 tomorrow, likely saving his distance skills for Olympic Trials, come June.

Additional Day 2 Winners

  • Men’s 50 Fly: William Yang (23.91)
  • Women’s 100 Fly: Kayla Costa (59.96)
  • Men’s 100 Breast: Zac Stubblety-Cook (1:00.52)
  • Women’s 50 Free: Julia Hawkins (25.97)

The third and final night of racing will get underway Sunday at 6 PM local (2 AM Eastern).

In This Story

Leave a Reply

3 Comment threads
4 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

That’s fasttt. What was Ledecky throwing down at age 16?


3:59. But that’s Ledecky.


before even scrolling down here i thought the exact same thing, but stopped myself saying ‘no that’s not fair!’….but glad i’m not the only one


At 15 being one year younger Ledecky swam first 400m of her golden 800 race in London by 4:04.34. She would be surely on the podium in 400 race should Yuri understood what he had on hand and trained her properly for that distance at Trials where Katie was third with the time 4:05.00.


My guess is she wasn’t fast enough in the 400 to qualify for trials. And then all of a sudden she became one of the fastest in the world. At that age, it happens.


What a phenomenal swim.


that time from Fairweather is faster than the Olympic qualifying time
it is also
1. Faster than third place at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

2. Faster than the eight placed woman at last year’s world champs and faster than 2nd at last years World Juniors (Fairweather came 4th) .

3. Faster than the world record in 1978.

Not bad for a swimmer who was 15 six weeks ago.

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!