2017 Aussie SC C’ships Day 1 Finals: Campbell & Chalmers Set Fire


Day 1 of the 2017 Australian Short Course Championships brought the heat, even with the 3-day competition not serving as a selection meet for the green and gold. As reported, Cate Campbell set the stage early on with a new World Record in the women’s 100m freestyle, cracking off an other-worldly time of 50.25 to eclipse Sarah Sjostrom’s (SWE) effort of 50.58 from just this past August.

C1, as Cate is known, is coming off a hiatus of sorts in that, although she competed at the Aussie Nationals in April, the 25-year-old opted out of making herself available for the World Championships. The mental and physical rest appeared to do the Commercial swimmer good, as she made her way back to racing across a few stops of this year’s World Cup series, followed up by the fastest 100 short course free ever clocked by a female here in Adelaide.

Runner-up in tonight’s 100m free was sister Bronte Campbell, the two-time World Champion at the 2015 edition of the Long Course World Championships. Against C1, C2 produced a silver medal-garnering effort of 52.01, followed by Olympic teammate and Budapest stand-out Emma McKeon‘s mark of 52.25 for bronze.

Also in the race was up-and-coming 18-year-old Shayna Jack, who made her Senior World Championships debut in Budapest.  Jack finished 4th tonight in a new personal best mark of 53.45.

The men’s 100m freestyle wasn’t quite as speedy record-breaking-wise, but was still a significant race nonetheless. A bearded 2016 Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers was back at it after having taken time out to tend to his SVT heart issue, which meant missing the World Championships.

After quietly returning to competition locally this past July, Chalmers claimed the 100m free national title tonight in a solid time of 47.72, although well-off his personal best of 46.12.

Splitting 22.80/24.92, Chalmers led a trio of Marion Swimming Club podium-makers, as teammates Andrew Abood and Travis Mahoney finished right behind in respective marks of 48.06 and 48.17. Of note, textile world record holder in the event, Cameron McEvoy, and two-time World Champion and Olympic silver medalist in the event, James Magnussen, are not racing in the meet.

The Marion gang also raced on the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay where they, along with Grant Muller, collectively clocked a winning time of 3:16.85. Splits included 50.32 for Muller, 48.04 for Mahoney, 48.47 for Abood and 49.52 for Chalmers, who most likely shut it down as the squad won the race by over 2 seconds.

26-year-old Blair Evans of West Australia came within a second of the Australian national record in the women’s 400m IM event, taking the title in a mark of 4:29.20. The Aussie NR sits at 4:28.72 held by Ellen Fullerton. Emily Seebohm was 2nd in tonight’s grueling race, finishing in 4:33.65.

Seebohm’s 400m IM came after clinching the 200m backstroke title again, tonight in a mark of 2:02.72. The 25-year-old Brisbane Grammar athlete holds the Australian and Commonwealth Records at 1:59.49 from 2015 when she became double World Champion in Kazan. Her significant other and national record holding counterpart for the men, Mitch Larkin, is not racing at this meet.

Foreign athletes were sprinkled throughout the competition, spearheaded by Japanese Olympian Daiya Seto and his monster swim in the 200m butterfly. Splitting 24.71/28.48/28.75/29.66, Seto checked in tonight with a mark of 1:51.60 to come within half a second of the long-standing All Comers Record of 1:51.11 on the books since 2009. Seto holds his nation’s short course record with the 1:48.92 he produced back at the 2014 World Championships in Doha.

Seto, also 21-year-old bronze medalist in the 400m IM event from Rio, was the only swimmer under the 1:53 threshold in the 2fly tonight, as the top Australian finisher was David Morgan as the runner-up in a time of 1:53.37, the 2nd best time of his career.

Lithuanian breaststroking ace Ruta Meilutyte, who is training with USC Spartans, was nipped right at the end of the women’s 100m breaststroke race by 22-year-old Nunawading swimmer Jessica Hansen. Meilutyte led the field through the first 75m, but was caught by Hanson, who ultimately finished on top in a time of 1:05.61 to the Lithuanian’s 1:05.69. Both women represented the only racers under the 1:06 boundary.

Additional Winners on Day 1:

  • Jess Ashwood was tonight’s 800m freestyle gold medalist, taking the race in a time of 8:20.41.
  • UWA West Coast’s women’s 4x100m freestyle relay took the title in a time of 3:43.03, with the squad’s fastest 2 splits coming from Olympians Brianna Throssell (55.35) and Tamsin Cook (55.31).
  • Griffith University mainstay David McKeon was tonight’s 400m freestyle victor for the men, easily defeating the field in a winning mark of 3:42.79.
  • In Multi-Class action, Matthew Levy earned the men’s 200m IM win (SM7) in 2:32.34, while Katherine Downie (SM1) was the highest-ranked woman in the same event in 2:31.49. 16-year-old Jenna Jones was the S13 50m freestyle winner (28.28) and Daniel Fox was on top of the 50m men’s race (S14) in 24.24.

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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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