2019 Aussie World Trials Day 5 Prelims Recap: Hello Campbell Sisters



The world is watching this women’s 100m freestyle race to not only know whom they’ll face in the individual 100m free race in Gwangju, but also what combination of weapons will represent teh green and gold on the 4x100m free relay.

Wasting no time getting under the Aussie-mandated QT for Worlds was 27-year-old national record holder Cate Campbell. The Simon Cusack-trained Olympian clocked an easy morning effort of 52.87 to notch the only sub-53 second time of the field and land lane 4 for tonight’s final.

C1 already owns the fastest mark in the world this year with her 52.35 statement-maker at the Australian Nationals in April. Tonight her splits of 25.77/27.10 produced another outing worthy of putting the world on notice for next month.

Carrying the momentum of her 100m fly and 200m free victories already here in Brisbane is 25-year-old Griffith University star Emma McKeon. McKeon snared the 2nd fastest time of the morning, hitting the wall in 53.06, not too far off her season-best of 52.84 that garnered silver behind C1 in Adelaide.

20-year-old Shayna Jack produced a lifetime best already here in the women’s 200m free to punch her ticket to Gwangju as a member of that 4x200m relay, but the St. Peters Western standout has the 100m free on her mind as well. She threw down a solid 53.21 for the 3rd seed, only .01 off of the time she clocked at Aussie Nationals.

Marion’s Madi Wilson is looking sharp as the 4th seed in 53.88, a new personal best for the Olympian. C2, Bronte Campbell, made the final comfortably as the 5th seed in 53.93.


On-fire Mitch Larkin followed up his Aussie National Record-breaking 200m IM stunner from last night with a smooth 1:58.11 200m back this morning. He was just 1 of 3 swimmers who dipped under the 2:00 threshold in this 2back series of heats, followed by Jorden Merrilees‘ 1:59.47 and Bradley Woodward‘s 1:59.97.

Merrilees’ personal best in this event rests at the 1:58.58 logged at last year’s Pan Pac Trials, while Woodward’s speediest is represented by 1:56.42 he logged at the same meet.

Both men will need to be at their absolute best to come near the stiff 1:56.11 QT, especially Merrilees who’d need to drop over 2 seconds to make the cut.

Of note, two 16-year-olds are headed into tonight’s final in the form of 5th seeded All Saints swimmer Thomas Hauck and 7th seeded UWSC athlete Joshua Edwards-Smith.

Hauck has been wreaking havoc on the Aussie age group record boards for some time and he is on the prowl to dip under the 2:00 threshold for the first time ever in tonight’s final.

Edwards-Smith, on the other hand, has made sub-2:00 happen already, nailing a personal best of 1:57.82 to snag the Age Group National Title this past April.


Olympic finalist in this event, Taylor McKeown of Griffith University, claimed the top seed in the women’s 200m breast with a time of 2:26.84. That’s her quickest of the season, beating out her 2:27.65 from the Sydney Open Meet just last month.

Since finishing 5th in Rio with a time of 2:22.43, 24-year-old McKeown has been absent from major podiums. She finished 7th at the 2017 World Championships (2:23.06) and 5th at the Commonwealth Games on her home turf (2:25.51).

As such, the woman is on a mission to get a chance to race in Gwangju, but she has a fired up rival behind her in Jenna Strauch of Bond. The 22-year-old produced a new lifetime best in this event en route to winning her first senior national title in a time of 2:24.88, a time just over a second from the 2:23.74 QT they’ll all be seeking tonight.


  • Australian National Record – 2:07.16, Matthew Wilson 2019
  • Worlds QT – 2:08.80
  • Top 8:
    1. Matthew Wilson, 2:10.06
    2. Zac Stubblety-Cook, 2:10.68
    3. Daniel Cave, 2:13.15
    4. Jake Packard, 2:15.08
    5. Liam Hunger, 2:15.32
    6. James McKechnie, 2:16.35
    7. Sam Williamson, 2:17.24
    8. Finn O’Connor, 2:20.01

All eyes are on 20-year-old SOSC swimmer Matthew Wilsonas he swims his first race since absolutely throwing down the hammer at the Aussie Nationals with a new Australian and Commonwealth Record. Competing in Adelaide last April, Wilson raced the swim of his life, firing off a new Aussie standard of 2:07.16.

That time took over the previous Aussie standard held by Christian Sprenger from 2009 and checked Wilson in as the 4th fastest performer ever across the world in this 200m breast event.

This morning he started off a little more subdued, cruising his way to a time of 2:10.06, just enough to land lane 4 without wasting too much energy.

Perhaps the next likely man to nail the 2:08.80 Worlds QT is Zac Stubblety-Cook of WBAC. Stubblety-Cook owns a personal best time of 2:07.89 that he earned last year in Tokyo at the Pan Pacific Championships. That time gave the WBAC swimmer the silver ahead of Wilson, perhaps providing foreshadowing of one possible outcome from tonight’s final.

The men’s 1500m free will be recapped with tonight’s finals.


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1 year ago

Let’s hope for a massive PB again for Larkin!! 1:52.7 is my prediction.

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  GoGophers
1 year ago

judging by his 100 back i reckon he’ll be around 1:53.5. It’s hard to factor in his 200im as he didn’t swim it in 2015. he might do a pb in the 200 back at worlds though

1 year ago

That is world class heat swims by C1, McKeon & Jack.

Reply to  Robbos
1 year ago

Maybe even sub 53s for the top 4 in the finals

Reply to  Chlorine
1 year ago

Yes is Bronte back to full fitness?

Reply to  Robbos
1 year ago

53.93..maybe not, but she is formidable at half fitness!

Reply to  Torchbearer
1 year ago

yes she is, but is she is she in sub 53 shape? Not that it matters this year as I don’t think she will beat her sister or McKeon for top 2 & the 4X100 looks pretty good again.

Reply to  Torchbearer
1 year ago

Bronte doesn’t usually drop big heat swims like her sis. At Comm Games trials last year she did a similar time in the heats before dipping under 53 in the final and she was a beast not long after at the Comm Games.

I guess we’ll know for sure tonight. I’d love to see Bronte or Jack take that second spot at worlds because McKeon already has a big program.

Reply to  Troy
1 year ago

Thanks Troy on Bronte, at her best she is awesome. I agree on Mckeon workload, but I think she will pull out a sub 52.5 the way she is swimming, so Bronte has her work cut out.
Can’t wait for the race. We could have 4 swimmers capable of swimming a time capable of making a world championship final such is our depth.

Reply to  Robbos
1 year ago

I know! Wouldn’t be exciting if all 4 girls got under 53 tonight??

Reply to  Chlorine
1 year ago

Top 3 went sub 53 with 4th in 53.18

Reply to  Robbos
1 year ago

The 4×100 is looking extremely good…yet again.

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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