17-Year Old McEvoy Silences Magnussen's Boasts in 200 Free; Trickett Continues to Struggle

The highlight of the meet at the Queensland State Championships was the men’s 200 free, featuring a battle between two of the country’s great young swimmers.

Australian star James Magnussen has boasted in the past that as good as his 100 freestyle has been in the last 6 months (he swam the fastest time ever in textile), that he might be as good or better in the 200, though there’s been little evidence of that in the past. He has also remarked that he would consider a spot on the Australian 800 free relay, though individually his focus would be strictly on the 100.

At the Queensland State Championships yesterday, however, Magnussen was taken aback by a fantastic swim from the fast-rising 17-year old Cameron McEvoy, who won the State title in 1:48.05,  which is a lifetime best for him by two seconds (clearing his mark from Junior Worlds just 4 months ago).

That left Magnussen in 2nd place in 1:49.09, which also happens to be his lifetime best (by 4-tenths).

Though he has work to do in the 200 to be among the best in the world like he is in the 100, the potential is there for Magnussen to really excel. Unlike we see from him in the 100, he takes out his 200 freestyle fairly hard (53.02 – 56.07) but still finishes relatively well. Still, McEvoy’s splits (52.88 – 55.17) are even more impressive. Suffice it to say that he’s established himself as a leading contender for the Australian Olympic Team, which will be a boost they badly need for some good, albeit thin, relays.


In the women’s 200 free, 20-year old Jade Neilsen made a huge step towards firming up her place in the grander scheme of Australian swimming with a win in 1:58.30. In that swim, she knocked off some huge names, including Bronte Barratt (1:58.43 – 2nd), Blair Evans (2:00.50 – 5th), and Kylie Palmer (2:00.67). The Australian women are looking to slow-play this in-season meets this year, though, to avoid the collapse they saw last season.

The champion in the women’s 100 fly was British national, but Australian resident, Ellen Gandy in 58.60. She’s going to have a dogfight on her hands just to make the British Olympic squad, though I like her chances. Alice Mills was 2nd in 59.23, followed by Jessicah Schipper in 59.29.

In 6th-place in this race was former sprint wunderkind Yolane Kukla in 59.60. She may have hit a bit of a plateau (perhaps stunted by her lack of growth) since bursting onto the scene as a 14-year old. Emily Seebohm  was 7th in 1:00.21, which makes one wonder if she’s yet completely healthy after a freak year of injuries and illnesses.

Libby Trickett, the other Australian comeback swimmer, was 9th in 1:01.13, which is not a good time for her even if we assume that she was unrested. With every passing swim (remember that she’s been back in training for over a year now), her hopes at a final Olympic hoo-rah seem to dwindle. Her post-race comment in a Swimming Australia seemed to have a subtle air of this sentiment: “I was happy with how I executed that swim, I just wish I had went a little bit faster.”

Those words say to me that she’s doing exactly what she wants to do in the race, and the times still aren’t coming for her. That’s not a good sign.

20-year old Samantha Hamill took a good win in the women’s 400 IM in 4:40.28.

In the 16-year old boys’ 100 free, there was a great battle between three future key pieces of the Australian sprint group (maybe your 2020 400 free relay?). Regan Leong is sort of the “Magnussen” of the group, in that he was well behind at the turn but fought back to win in 51.71, just ahead of Luke Percy (51.72) and Corey Main (51.77). Add that to McEvoy’s 49.7 as a 16-year old in April (clearing Ian Thorpe’s National Age Record), and you’ve already got a 4-some that’s been well under 52-seconds in 2011. The top three in this race each were faster than the United States’ best 16-year old was during this winter season (Jason Coombs in 52.14 at the Minnesota Grand Prix). (Shortly after posting, Carson Brindle swam a 51.67 at the long course time trials at USA Swimming Winter Junior Nationals. Advantage, at least for the current chunk of swimming, still goes to the Aussies.

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9 years ago

It is true that the australian women 800 FR collectively swam a little bit slower in Shanghai, but they did not exactly collapsed.

Had it not been a certain young swimmer from the USA whose initials is M.F., the aussies would have won it quite comfortably.

I’m interested to know more about this mcEvoy kid. How tall is he? I thought he is quite short?

And yes, it is clear that Kukla has stopped growing. She was a former gymnast, and I don’t think she can go taller, and hence her plateaued times.

9 years ago

And yes, Rice looks she is the most fit I’ve seen ever, even compared to her Beijing looks.
It’s a pity about her shoulder problem again.
I hope it heals quickly.

9 years ago

I never thought Magnussen was boasting. He’s confident, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The title of this post is unnecessary and perhaps exposes a little bias….

9 years ago


9 years ago

mcevoy 2012. he has finished school. will swim flat-out till our trials. Hasn’t done as much speed training as he usually does wait till that comes in along with his improved fitness he will go 47 low for the 200

9 years ago

pretty disappointing by magnussen, i agree. mcevoy silenced him. magnussen talking the talk (he claimed he would swim a 1.46) but obviously cant walk the walk or in this case the swim.
when the going gets tough the sprinters get out.

9 years ago

This post had been amended to justify/explain the anti-Magnussen sentiment. Wow. Thanks for letting us know that you’re right. Saying you think you can go 1:46 and then going 1:49 unshaved and unrested is nothing to feel bad about. I bet he’s quite capable of a 1:46 when he’s prepared. Look how poorly Ryan Lochte has been swimming lately. Why aren’t you trashing him in any of your post titles?

You lose credibility as a source of information when you take an article verbatim from other sources as you did, and then change the title to take aim at an athlete you apparently feel is arrogant. It makes you look petty and it makes me think twice about checking out… Read more »

9 years ago

dear djkxi11 he claimed he would be swimming that time at qld state, and he didnt come close plain and simple. There is a difference between confidence and arrogance. and im sure he could swim that time if he trained for it. may not of been tapered but when your sessions are rarely over 3.5km your going to be rested. what should be of more interest is that tae wan park only swam a 1.52, and failed to make the finals. if the olympic 400m champ cant make the final at a measly aus state champs then that is a reflection of a heavy work load.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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