2015 Australian SC C’ships Preview: Aussie All Stars In Full Force

The Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Center will be rocking beginning on Wednesday, November 25th, as the on-fire Aussies take to the pool to compete at the 2015 Short Course Championships. Action continues non-stop for three days and features some of the swiftest Dolphin team members who have had a string of international success over the course of this year.

2015 Hancock Prospecting Australian Short Course Swimming Championships

As essentially a “who’s who” of modern Australian swimming, one would be hard-pressed to find his favorite Aussie not in attendance.  Alas, there are three notable names missing from the competition, however.  Comeback kid Grant Hackett announced last week he would be bypassing these Championships, instead joining 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps in Tempe, Arizona temporarily. At this point, the plan is for Hackett to train alongside Phelps for at least one-month in an effort to mix up the distance ace’s training headed into Rio. Hackett will compete at the U.S. Winter Nationals scheduled for December 3rd-5th.

The other two names missing from the entry lists include 2012 Olympic silver medalist, James Magnussen and double Junior World Champion, Kyle Chalmers For Magnussen, his absence was to be expected, as “the missile” is still recovering from shoulder surgery.  In an exclusive interview with SwimSwam, Magnussen said he is “back in the pool completing a good volume of work and good intensity levels”, but his actual return to competition is still to be determined.

Chalmers is a tad more unexpected, as the newly-signed adidas Swim athlete has been on an absolute tear this summer.  He was one of a handful of international swimmers who competed at both the Junior and Senior World Championships. While competing in Singapore at the 2015 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, Chalmers earned 3 gold medals, including two individual golds in the 50m and 100m freestyle races, as well as the top prize as part of his squad’s 400m freestyle relay. In Kazan, Chalmers swam in the heats of both Australia’s 400m freestyle and 400m medley relays, earning a silver as part of the medley squad with the 2nd-fastest anchor split of the entire prelims field. We are currently verifying that Chalmers will indeed be absent and this isn’t just a case of entering the meet late, a la Nathan Adrian’s PSS Minneapolis scare.

However, among the key swimmers who will be doing their thing in Sydney in the hopes of earning Short Course titles include Australian speedster Cameron McEvoy. Coming away from the FINA World Championships with a silver medal in the 100m freestyle, McEvoy laid waste to his fellow countrymen at these short course championships last year.  The 21-year old scored a 100m freestyle time of 46.85 and 200m freestyle time of 1:43.09 to take the gold in both events. This year, McEvoy is slated to tackle a full portfolio of freestyle events, as he is entered in the 50m/100m/200m/400m freestyle races.

Backstroking beasts Mitch Larkin and Emily Seebohmstill steaming from each of their double golds at the World Championships, as well as a streak of dominant 100m and 200m backstroke performances across the World Cup circuit, will both be back at it. Larkin is sticking to his bread and butter events of the 50m/100m/200m backstrokes, while Seebohm is branching out to include the 100m freestyle and 100m IM events as well.

The Campbell sisters are locked and loaded, ready to take on their competitors in the sprint freestyle events. Bronte Campbell is still pumped from her 50m and 100m double World Championships gold from this summer, however, sister Cate Campbell threw down some impressive post-Worlds clockings at the Word Cup. While in Beijing, Cate scored a time of 24.30 in the splash n’ dash, while registering a mark of 52.96 in the 100m distance. She’ll tackle both events in Sydney, while Bronte adds on the 200m freestyle and 50m backstroke races as well.

Young stars Jessica Ashwood and Minna Atherton are ones to watch at this competition, as each have had a tremendous breakout year. Ashwood earned the 400m freestyle bronze medal in Kazan and currently holds the Australian National records across the 400m, 800m and 1500m long course events. Atherton earned two World Junior Championships titles, in the 100m backstroke and 200m backstroke, while scoring a new 100m backstroke World Junior Record.

In the comeback category, several notable athletes who have suffered setbacks in one form or another will be competing in their first National Championships since their ordeals. In the health department, Brittany Elmslie is making a return to the pool after her breast surgery, which caused her to withdraw from Worlds.  The Brisbane Grammar swimmer is scheduled to complete in the 50m/100m/200m freestyle and 100m butterfly events.  Belinda Hocking, who has suffered a string of mishaps over the past year, is also listed to compete, tacking on Seebohm in the 50m/100m/200m backstroke races.

Kenneth To and Christian Sprenger, who underwent back and shoulder surgery, respectively, have each competed since their medical hiatuses, but are no doubt working towards accumulating more post-surgery racing under their briefs. The Aussie swimmer caught up in a doping case right before worlds, Kylie Palmerhas also been back, having competed at early rounds of the World Cup circuit, but will be racing once again here in Sydney.

More Swimmers to Watch:

  • Matt Abood – 50m/100m freestyle
  • Jack Packard – 50m/100m/200m breaststroke
  • Brianna Throssell – 200m/400m freestyle, 200m butterfly
  • David McKeon – 100m/200m/400m freestyle
  • Emma McKeon – 50m/100m butterfly, 50m/100m/200m/400m freestyle
  • Alicia Coutts – 50m/100m butterfly, 100m freestyle, 200m IM
  • Kurt Herzog – 50m/100m/200m/400m freestyle, 100m butterfly
  • Bronte Barrett – 100m/200m/400m freestyle, 200m IM
  • Jayden Hadler – 50m/100m/200m butterfly, 200m IM
  • Madi Wilson – 50m/100m/200m freestyle, 50m/100m/200m backstroke
  • Maddie Groves – 50m/100m/200m butterfly, 100m/200m freestyle
  • Tommaso D’Orsogna – 50m/100m butterfly, 50m/100m freestyle
  • Blair Evans – 200m/400m IM, 400m freestyle
  • Sally Hunter – 50m free, 50m/100m/200m breaststroke
  • Leiston Pickett – 50m/100m/200m breaststroke
  • Taylor McKeown – 50m/100m/200m breaststroke, 200m/400m IM

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commonwombat

Magnussen is unlikely to return to competition until we start seeing most of the state championships from late Jan through to March. The Super Series has lost its main sponsor so it’s status remains somewhat clouded. Hackett missing SC Nats is no surprise. I would expect his race outings to be fairly limited going into Trials where, in all honesty, he is looking at 4×200 heats swimmer at best going on his Kazan outing. The spirit may be willing but I doubt the body can get him there any longer. Whilst the obvious eyes will be on the likes of Larkin, Seebohm and C1&2; the author is right to bring notice to the “break-out” performers of 2015 where I would… Read more »

Aussie Coach

Chalmers won’t be racing to focus on his schooling, given he missed so much time this year according to his coach. Fair call as well, he is only recently 17yrs. He is racing QLD State Championships (12-18Dec) so will get his competition there.

I agree with CW, I’m keen to see how Packard & Throssell in particular back up after such a massive rise at World’s.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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