2017 Aussie National C’ships Day 3 Prelims Live Recap



  • Swimming Australia QT –53.39
  • Top 8:
    1. Mitch Larkin – 53.69
    2. Zac Incerti – 54.35
    3. Benjamen Treffers – 54.58
    4. Joshua Beaver – 55.03
    5. Peter Mills – 56.00
    6. Bradley Woodward – 56.06
    7. Andrew Rice – 56.13 (tied)
    8. Tristan Ludlow – 56.13 (tied)

As expected, double world champion Mitch Larkin set the pace in the men’s 100m backstroke heats, notching the only sub-54 second mark of the field. Splitting 26.10/27.59, Larkin sped to the wall in a prelims time of 53.69, a mark just .3 off of the Aussie-mandated 53.69 qualification standard for Budapest. After establishing himself as the main rival to America’s Ryan Murphy headed into Rio, Larkin fell just shy of the Olympic podium, settling for 4th in 52.43, so he’s looking to rebound that effort under his new Commercial coach Simon Cusack. Having already secured his roster spot with the 200m back, he doesn’t have to necessarily hit the QT to race the 100m in Budapest.

West Coast’s Zac Incerti was the 2nd fastest man of the morning, clocking a time of 54.35. That’s already faster than the now-20-year-old scored in last year’s final to earn 5th place overall at this same meet. His personal best rests at 54.19, so Incerti will need to have the swim of his life to come close to the stiff QT.

Veterans Benjamin Treffers and Joshua Beaver are both right behind and in the hunt, having secured the 3rd and 4th seeds in times of 54.58 and 55.03, respectively. Beaver already scored a silver behind Larkin in the men’s 200m backstroke in this meet, snagging a spot on the Budapest roster.


  • Swimming Australia QT –1:58.54
  • Top 8:
    1. Travis Mahoney – 2:02.04
    2. Clyde Lewis – 2:02.31
    3. Jared Gilliland – 2:02.70
    4. James Traiforos – 2:03.17
    5. Kazimir Boskovic – 2:03.46
    6. Callum Sherington – 2:04.58
    7. Jake Smith – 2:04.80
    8. Liam Hunter – 2:04.89

New Marion Swimming Club member Travis Mahoney is following up teammate Kyle Chalmers’ silver in the 200m freestyle with the top seed in this men’s 200m IM, stopping the clock at 2:02.04. Mahoney has dipped beneath the 2-minute barrier just one time in his career, represented by the 1:59.41 from the 2015 U.S. Open. As such, the 26-year-old will need to step up big to make it under the stiff 1:58.54 qualifying time. Of note, that QT of 1:58.54 would rank as the 5th fastest Australian performance in history, for perspective.

Young Clyde Lewis of St. Peters Western, however, may have something to say about who wins tonight’s final, earning the 2nd seed just .27 off of Mahoney.  Lewis already earned bronze in the men’s 200m backstroke in a new personal best, which set the tone for the 19-year-old. As with Mahoney, Lewis will need to shave a notable amount of time off his career fastest of 2:00.09 to slide under the QT.

With Japanese, American, Chinese and other swimmers well under the 2-minute barrier and into the 1:56 and 1:57 range, the green and gold have quite a lot of work to do in this event to have any kind of an impact on an international leve.


  • Swimming Australia QT –1:56.95
  • Top 8:
    1. Emma McKeon – 1:57.99
    2. Mikkayla Sheridan – 1:59.01
    3. Kotuku Ngawati – 1:59.06
    4. Madi Wilson – 1:59.09
    5. Leah Neale – 1:59.24.
    6. Brianna Throssell – 1:59.33
    7. Ariarne Titmus – 1:59.40
    8. Cate Campbell – 2:00.01

Olympic bronze medalist in this event, Emma McKeon, has already qualified for the World Championships team in two events, owning the women’s 100m butterfly race and finishing in silver in the 100m freestyle sprint. Tonight, the 22-year-old set herself apart again, stopping the clock with a speedy 1:57.99. McKeon won her Olympic bronze in 1:54.92 and owns the Australian national record in 1:54.83, so look for the star to drop more time come tonight’s final.

With three of last year’s top 8 finishers in this event electively absent from this meet in the form of Maddie Groves and Tamsin Cook, and Bronte Barratt having retired, the field opens up slightly this time around for the young talents to step up. Notably, 16-year-old Ariarne Titmus, the teen who wowed the crowd with a surprise 800m freestyle victory and World Championships qualification-caliber performance on night 1, raced her way to a 7th place time in 1:59.40.  That represents a best time for the St. Peters Western athlete, having dropped under the 2-minute barrier for just the 3rd occasion in her young career.

Madi Wilson has been quiet thus far this meet, having finished 5th in the 100m freestyle, but a more surprising 7th in her specialty, the 100m backstroke. The Olympic finalist said prior to this meet that she was ‘craving to race’, so maybe this 200 free is where she’ll step up into spotlight individually.

We can’t sleep on lane 8, however, as the 100m freestyle world record holder Cate Campbell lurks with her opening swim of 2:00.01. The Commercial Club 100m freestyle bronze medalist at this meet already notched a new personal best in this 200m distance in 1:58.21 earlier this year. With the pressure of opting not to qualify for Worlds, C1 may unleash a 200m freestyle just waiting inside her smooth-as-silk stroke.


  • Swimming Australia QT – N/A
  • Top 8:
    • Emily Seebohm – 28.07
    • Holly Barratt – 28.22 (tied)
    • Kaylee McKeown – 28.22 (tied)
    • Minna Atherton – 28.40
    • Sian Whittaker – 28.78
    • Hayley Baker – 29.17
    • Zoe Williams – 29.19
    • Lucy McJannet – 29.33

Last year’s title winner in this event, Holly Barratt, already notched her name onto the 2017 World Championships roster by way of her 100m backstroke silver medal, so she’s fighting for a chance to represent the green and gold in this event as well. With no individual qualification for non-Olympic events such as this, the racers will be selected from the existing roster established by the end of the meet.

Newly-minted All Comers Record holder Emily Seebohm, who lowered her own mark in the 100m back when winning gold, is also looking to add this event to her Budapest line-up. She secured the top seed in 28.07.

The two youngsters, 15-year-old Kaylee McKeown and 16-year-old Minna Atherton will be in action in the 200m backstroke later in the meet, and sit as the 2nd (tied with Barratt) and 4th seeds in times of 28.22 and 28.40, respectively.


  • Swimming Australia QT –N/A
  • Top 8:
    1. Holly Barratt – 26.90
    2. Brittany Elmslie – 26.92
    3. Sara Saal – 27.01
    4. Emily Washer – 27.05
    5. Christina Licciardi – 27.32
    6. Lucia Lassman – 27.39
    7. Ashleigh Holmes – 27.53
    8. Ellysia Oldsen – 27.72

With another non-Olympic event on the agenda, swimmers hoping to swim this event in Budapest must already be on the Aussie roster in an Olympic event. Such would be the case for Holly Barratt, who fired off back-to-back swims after having just secured the 2nd seed in the 50m backstroke event.

30-year-old Sara Saal could nab her first national title, positioned 3rd behind Barratt and Olympic relay gold medalist Brittany Elmslie who nabbed a morning time of 26.92.


  • Swimming Australia QT –59.75
  • Top 8:
    • Matthew Wilson – 1:00.88
    • Grayson Bell – 1:01.64
    • Tommy Sucipto – 1:01.72
    • Nicholas Schafer – 1:01.80
    • Daniel Cave – 1:01.81
    • George Harley – 1:01.92
    • James McKechnie – 1:02.04
    • Zac Stubblety-Cook – 1:02.14

Considering there have only been 3 Australian men ever to dip beneath the minute barrier in the 100m breaststroke event, the green and gold will struggle to even get one man to qualify for Budapest with a QT of 59.75. But, 18-year-old Matthew Wilson is up for the challenge, having already achieved his elusive first international elite senior roster by topping the field in the 200m breaststroke. Wilson’s best time in this sprint event is 1:00.23, having never notched a sub-minute mark, so qualification will certainly not come easy for the 18-year-old in this event.

20-year-old Grayson Bell of TSS Aquatics finaled in this event at last year’s edition of this meet, but his personal best sits at just 1:01.01, far from the 59.75 standard. The field just gets further away from the QT from that point.

Reminder that last year’s national champion, Jake Packard, pulled out of these championships ahead of time due to illness.


  • Swimming Australia QT – N/A
  • The Podium:
    • Jack McLoughlin – 8:09.56
    • Ethan Owens – 8:10.02
    • Max Osborn – 8:12.96

With just 10 men contesting this event, the men’s 800m freestyle final was held during today’s prelim session. Chandler’s Jack McLoughlin took home the national title, clocking a modest 8:09.56. That added about 8 seconds to his personal best, but got the job done to add this gold to his bronze medal in the 400m freestyle. He also finished 11th in the 200m freestyle.

Marion Swimming Club’s Ethan Owens scored the silver this morning, touching in 8:10.02, while 17-year-old Max Osborn clocked a mark of 8:12.96 for bronze. Notably, David McKeon exhibitioned the race (8:53.06).

The men’s 800m freestyle is a non-Olympic event and is treated as such by the Australian World Championships selection criteria whereby no one can qualify solely for this event.

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Cate’s reaction when she realised she made the final was slightly amusing. It was like oh crap I have to do that all over again tonight.


She’d better scratch it and get prepared for nice 50 free race Thursday.


Why would she do that.
This year is one of her rare or only chance to experiment and swim any events she wants to and not be concerned at all about results or times.


Sure, she can go even further : to retire and to have fun not only for one year but for all years ahead


I don’t expect anything exciting in 200 free final. Without competition the only problem Emma McKeon has is beating qualification time. I hope she will make 1:56 mid. I’m not sure about anybody else.


I don’t expect anything exciting in 200 free final. Without competition the only problem Emma McKeon has is beating qualification time. I hope she will make 1:56 mid. I’m not sure about anybody else.


Without Barratt and Cook, and Elmslie/Ashwood nowhere near their best, Aussie girls will not be competitive for 4×200 medals. Hungary may very well medal in that event, after God knows how many years.

I’m surprised that Shayna Jack was that slow considering she made huge PBs in 100. It seems her new training focuses her on sprints only.


Can’t see how this is any real surprise. Once Barratt announced retirement; there went the other potential sub 1.56 leg and then with Cook taking an “indefinite break”; it was clearly going to be a case of McKeon ….. then a bunch of 1.58s, end of story. Elmslie hasn’t swum the 200fr post her 2015 surgery. Jack is/was the potential up and comer but that seems off the cards at this meet. Look at the rest of the field and what you are seeing are names that have been around the scene for some years. Ashwood has only ever been a 1.58 200. McKeon should have the QT covered but has need to really extend herself. What will be interesting… Read more »


Mckeon doesn’t need to swim under the australian 200 free qualifying time to swim that event in Budapest. She has already qualified in individual 100 free.


Yep Wilson is the one that needs to qualify to get on the team. Heck even when it comes to the 4x100m W Free Relay so far only C2, McKeon, Jack and Seebohm are automatic qualifiers (assuming C1 sticks to her plan of not swimming at all at WCs), so for the fifth spot is technically still up for grabs between Elmslie and Wilson.

About Loretta Race

Loretta Race

Loretta grew up outside Toledo, OH, where she swam age group and high school. Graduating from Xavier University, she stayed in the Cincinnati, OH area and currently resides just outside the city in Northern KY.  Loretta got back into the sport of swimming via Masters and now competes and is …

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