2017 Aussie National C’ships Day 2 Finals Live Recap



  • Swimming Australia QT – 1:07.11
  • The Podium:
    • Taylor McKeown – 1:07.23
    • Jessica Hansen – 1:07.33
    • Leiston Pickett – 1:07.52

It was a super close finish among the top 3 finishers who all clocked sub-1:08 times, but 2016 Olympic finalist Taylor McKeown wound up with the magic touch to finish with the gold in 1:07.23. After a comparatively sluggish morning prelims where just one swimmer scored a 1:07 mark, it was uplifting to see the women step up this evening, even if it resulted in no swimmer notching a World Championships qualifying time.

Hansen finished just .10 behind McKeown for silver, slicing about .4 from her morning swim, while Southport’s Leiston Pickett was a close bronze in 1:07.52. Olympian Georgia Bohl found herself just off the podium in a 4th place 1:08.29. No swimmer scored a time within the world’s top 10, which includes Japan’s Reona Aoki at the top in a time almost two seconds faster  (1:05.29) than the quickest Aussie competitor tonight.

Note that the FINA A cut in the event is slotted at 1:07.58, so the top 2 finishers all would’ve qualified had that been the only criteria, with Pickett also sliding under the mark. But with the 1:07.11 Aussie-mandated time, we see once again an event without Aussie qualifiers, though they were FINA A cut achievers, just as in the men’s 100m butterfly yesterday.


  • Swimming Australia QT –58.05
  • The Podium:
    • Emma McKeon – 57.27 *QT
    • Brianna Throssell – 58.83
    • Jemma Schlicht – 59.08

Olympic bronze medalist in the 200m freestyle, Emma McKeon, fired off a wicked-fast 57.27 to score the gold tonight in Brisbane in the 100m butterfly to win her 3rd consecutive national title in this race. Her outing tonight matches the 6th-fastest time of her bright career and is now positioned as the 3rd fastest mark in the world behind Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and Japan’s Rikako Ikee.

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Having proven she was capable of much more, 22-year-old McKeon was shut out of the medals in this event in Rio, settling for a 7th place finish in a time of 57.05. The St. Peters Western athlete notched a mark just over .2 away from that result tonight, earning a World Championships qualification time of 57.27. This is now her 2nd qualifying individual event already these championships, having secured silver in the 100m freestyle last night.

McKeon would be the only woman to add the 100m butterfly to her Budapest line-up, as silver place finisher Brianna Throssell touched in 58.83 as runner-up, well off the Aussie-mandated time of 58.05. Look for this Western Australian athlete to take things up a notch in her better-suited 200m butterfly event, the race in which she finaled at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Bronze tonight went to Jemma Schlicht, who just earned a personal best by .16 of a second.


  • Swimming Australia QT – 1:46.45
  • The Podium:
    • Mack Horton – 1:46.83
    • Kyle Chalmers – 1:46.87
    • Alexander Graham – 1:47.39

In an unexpected turn of events, it was 400m freestyle Olympic gold medalist Mack Horton who slayed the super stacked men’s 200m freestyle field, surpassing young gun Kyle Chalmers and reigning national title holder Cameron McEvoy. Horton was 8th after the opening 100m, notching a split of 53.38, but released his fury on the back-half, closing in 53.45 to secure the gold in a winning mark of 1:46.83. That’s a personal best and the first time Horton has dipped under the 1:47 threshold.

This is Horton’s 2nd individual title after his 400m freestyle, however, as his time is above the Aussie-mandated QT of 1:46.45, only his earlier victory stands as a Word Championship individual event.

Finishing only .04 behind for silver is Marion Swimming Club superstar Kyle Chalmers, the surprise gold medalist in the 100m freestyle in Rio. At just 18 and having entered this 200m free ‘for fun’, Chalmers ripped over a second off of his 6th seeded morning swim of 1:48.03 to register the only other 1:46 time of the field in 1:46.87. That, too, represents the first time Chalmers goes sub-1:47, with his personal best entering this meet positioned at 1:47.23 he notched at last year’s age group championships.

Horton and Chalmers now check-in as the 3rd and 5th fastest swimmers in the world in this event his season.

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Despite St. Peters Western having 4 swimmers in this final, none wound up on the podium, as Bond’s Alexander Graham stole 3rd place in 1:47.39.  He was 2nd after his morning swim of 1:47.70, so he was able to shave off about .30 to bring it down to a time that was able to shut out Jack Cartwright’s 1:47.57 4th place finish.

With reigning co-national title holder Thomas Fraser-Holmes having opted out of this meet (and thus the World Championships), this race seemed ripe for Cameron McEvoy‘s picking. But the fastest 100m freestyler ever in a textile suit faltered, despite scoring the quickest reaction time off the blocks. McEvoy led at the half in 52.12, but couldn’t engage his necessary cylinders to carry through on the back half. The man who just won the 50m freestyle in a world-leading 21.55 earlier this meet settled for 5th here in 1:47.60, possibly indicating his accelerated speed in one event has implications for the other.

Again, this is the 3rd event in which the top 3 swimmers scored a FINA A cut, but failed to meet the stiffer Aussie QT. Even without individual qualification, the fact that the top 6 all scored marks equal to or faster than the A cut of 1:47.73 means that the green and gold will have a men’s 4x200m freestyle relay in Budapest.


  • Swimming Australia QT – 2:09.64
  • The Podium:
    • Matthew Wilson – 2:09.29 *QT
    • Zac Stubblety-Cook – 2:10.53
    • George Harley – 2:10.67

After several heartbreaking close calls that saw Wilson within hundredths of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games and World Short Course Championships, the 18-year-old earned his first elite international roster for the green and gold. Powering through clear water to his fastest time ever, the Sydney Olympic Park swimmer scored the win handily, taking his personal best from 2:09.65 to 2:09.29. He also scorched his morning swim of 2:10.51 en route to qualifying for the World Championships squad. Wilson maintains his 5th position in the world rankings with tonight’s outing.

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Hugely promising for Australian men’s breaststroke is the fact that the silver and bronze place finishers tonight also nabbed FINA A cuts. Although Zac Stubblety-Cook and George Harley missed the Aussie-mandated QT, the fact that they finished in respective times of 2:10.53 and 2:10.67 is enormously positive for the discipline drought the green and gold has suffered as of late in this event.

2:13.46 was Stubblety-Cook’s personal best headed into this meet, so the Brisbane atmosphere helped fueled the 18-year-old to a new low by an enormous margin. The same holds true for 18-year-old Breakers breaststroker George Harley, who already lowered his previous fastest time of 2:13.27 to 2:11.94 in prelims, only to drop it down again to 2:10.67 tonight.

With an average age of 19 for tonight’s finalists, the silver lining in non-qualifiers is the prospect of up-and-coming athletes hopefully moving Aussie breaststroke in the right direction.


  • Swimming Australia QT – 4:38.20
  • The Podium:
    • Blair Evans – 4:41.46
    • Meg Baily – 4:43.67
    • Kiah Melverton – 4:44.06

Claiming her 2nd consecutive national title in the event, Blair Evans is your 400m IM Australian champion. Knocking about 2 seconds off of her morning swim, the West Coast athlete registered a time of 4:41.46 to hold off the field, one that included 3-time 400m IM title winner Keryn McMaster. Off her game slightly, McMaster wound up 4th overall in 4:48.44.

Nailing a personal best en route to silver, however, is Meg Bailey, the 20-year-old swimmer who competes for Ohio State stateside. 4:43.67 is what the Hunter racer collected in the final tonight to hack over 4 seconds off of her previous fastest outing. TSS Aquatics’ Kiah Melverton, the Aussie 5k open water national champion frog-hopped McMaster to move up from 4th to 3rd and snatch the bronze.

With the Aussie QT resting at 4:38.20, no female 400m IM finalist made the cut for Budapest.


  • Swimming Australia QT – N/A
  • The Podium:
    • Brayden McCarthy – 23.70
    • David Morgan – 23.82
    • Christopher Raven – 24.08

19-year-old Brayden McCarthy, who already earned bronze in the 100m version of this race, nailed a gold in the 50m sprint fly tonight in Brisbane. Establishing himself as the 2nd seed this morning in 24.07, McCarthy lowered his time to 23-point for the first time in his young career, checking in with a 23.70 to top the podium.

100m butterfly national champion David Morgan touched just behind in the only other sub-24 second outing of 23.82, while the top seed headed into tonight, Christopher Raven, managed bronze in 24.08.

David Morgan fell short of the stiff QT in the men’s 100m fly, which would have meant he’d most likely wrangle up the roster spot in this race for Budapest as well. We’ll keep our eye on who would potentially race this event at the World Championships.


  • Swimming Australia QT – 59.71
  • The Podium:
    • Emily Seebohm – 58.62 *QT, All Comers Record
    • Holly Barratt – 59.66, *QT
    • Hayley Baker – 1:00.25

We commented in our prelims preview how Emily Seebohm is unequivocally the best-performing Aussie female ever in the 100m backstroke and she honored that statement by making her 6th World Championships squad in the event. The Brisbane Grammar star holds all of her nation’s top 10 performances of all-time and, even though she’s still only 24 years of age, Seebohm has won this event at 9 of the last 10 national championships. Tonight’s outing represents the 7th fastest time of her career.

The Brisbane Grammar athlete just made it 12 national titles in this event, clocking a monster 58.62 to register the world’s 2nd fastest (and 2nd 58-point) time this season.

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Also making the World Championships qualifying time is 29-year-old Holly Barratt. Rockingham, which was just named a Podium Training Centre by Swimming Australia, saw its star clock a time of 59.66 to slide under the 59.71 QT by just .05, but enough to join Seebohm in Hungary. Barratt’s time tonight is a personal best by .3 of a second.

Hayley Baker of Melbourne Vicentre earned bronze in 1:00.25. 15-year-old Kaylee McKeown edged even closer to breaking the minute mark for the first time, notching 1:00.28, while 16-year-old Minna Atherton was off her A-game, winding up in 6th in 1:00.53. Olympic finalist in this event, Madison Wilson, finished 7th overall in a sluggish 1:00.76.

Along with the men’s 200m backstroke and 50m freestyle, this is another event in which we’ve seen 2 qualifiers.


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4 years ago

Who on earth is giving Basil Zempilas the information that Brianna Throssal placed 2nd in 100m butterfly at the 2016 Australian Championships and went onto place 8th in the Olympic final?

Reply to  petriasfan
4 years ago

Don’t know, but I really wish they would replace him with someone else. His calls in Rio were so boring, and he often gets his info wrong.

Reply to  petriasfan
4 years ago

He got some stuff wrong last night during the Women’s 100m Free Final but my brain’s fried at the moment so I can’t remember exactly what he said wrong (without checking the DVR).

The men’s 200m Free was an absolutely insane race overall. Graham and Alexander both did PBs in the race.

Also after the disappointment at last year’s trials (at missing the QT) stoked for Wilson in the 200m Breaststroke!

Reply to  nlm
4 years ago

Oops that meant to be Alexander Graham and Jack Cartwright.

4 years ago

My lord, did McEvoy ever die in that 200.

Reply to  Bigly
4 years ago


Reply to  Bigly
4 years ago

How is it possible to swim 6.2 seconds slower in the last 50 than your best 50 time? Now we know why he had so much speed in the 50. It’s one or the other.

Reply to  Bigly
4 years ago

I think him telling his coach what he wants to do at training would have a lot to do with it. (And I do know that happens) He doesn’t like 200 work some can get away with that work ethic for a while, but it showed last night.

E Gamble
Reply to  Chester
4 years ago

And this is why Kyle will beat him again when it counts. A good 200 free is great for your 100.

4 years ago

Have to mute the broadcast guys.

Happy for Graham and Cartwright up there in the 200free. Also great to see Stubblety-Cook coming down with the 2.10, any word on what program he’s off to?

Reply to  StraightArm
4 years ago

He has been at Chandler with Vince Raleigh for most of the season now. Massive time drops since the move. I think it’s close to 5seconds in one season.

Reply to  OntheTop
4 years ago

Great stuff.

About Retta Race

Retta 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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