2023 Sydney Open Day 3 Prelims Recap: McEvoy Blazes Best 50 Fly Time Since 2016

2023 SYDNEY OPEN & UNISPORT NATIONALS

Cameron McEvoy is on a roll.

After clocking the two fastest 50-meter freestyle times by an Australian since 2017 on Friday, the 28-year-old sprint specialist blazed his quickest 50 butterfly time in seven years at the 2023 Sydney Open on Sunday morning.

McEvoy registered a 23.67 to qualify second in the 50 fly prelims, reaching the wall a blink faster than his time from last month’s Australian Championships (23.68) and just a tenth off his personal-best 23.57 from the 2016 Australian Championships. Ben Armbruster, 21, went 23.45 to lead the 50 fly heats, four-tenths off his lifetime best from last month’s Australian Championships (23.05).

The men’s 200 free final could feature a fun battle between Flynn Southam (1:49.81), Matthew Temple (1:51.05), and Kyle Chalmers (1:51.51), though the 17-year-old Southam was more than a second faster than the 23-year-old Temple and 24-year-old Chalmers during prelims. Southam was just a few seconds off his personal-best 1:46.67 from last month’s Australian Championships.

28-year-old Madison Wilson posted a new season-best time of 53.63 in the 100 free, the only woman under 54 seconds during prelims. Meg Harris, 21, qualified second with a 54.08. Wilson and Harris’s lifetime bests are 52.76 and 52.92, respectively, both from the 2021 Australian Trials.

A pair of world record holders were also in action on Sunday morning.

Kaylee McKeown led the 200 back heats with a 2:14.50, just over a tenth ahead of Ingelborg Vassbakk Loeyning’s 2:14.62. When the 21-year-old McKeown broke the world record in this event two months ago at the New South Wales State Open Championships (2:03.14), she went 2:10.89 in prelims.

24-year-old Zac Stubblety-Cook took the top qualifying spot in the 200 breast with a 2:10.28, just about a second off his season-best time from last month’s Australian Championships. His lifetime best is the world-record 2:05.95 from last May.

Other top qualifiers from the final morning of the 2023 Sydney Open included 22-year-old Brendon Smith in the 400 IM (4:26.75), 22-year-old Brittany Castelluzzo in the 100 fly (59.76), 26-year-old Talara-Jade Dixon in the 50 breast (31.75), and 24-year-old Bradley Woodward in the 100 back (55.10).

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Michael
10 months ago

Mediocre times other than kaylee and zac

Sub13
10 months ago

Shame so many big name scratches but Kaylee and Zac both produced great times

Troyy
10 months ago

Pallister has been a bit faster in season this year than last year:

2022 2023
200FR 1:58.88 1:57.35
400FR 4:06.20 4:04.88
800FR 8:25.01 8:22.93

Last edited 10 months ago by Troyy
Jimmyswim
Reply to  Troyy
10 months ago

Very promising. Very interested to see how the 200 relay will shake out.

Obviously MOC and Titmus are the front runners. After them Wilson, Jack, McKeon, Pallister, Neale and Melverton could all factor in. Possibly Throssell or Harris or a few more too.

Troyy
Reply to  Jimmyswim
10 months ago

I would say Jack is almost a lock at this point as well leaving only one spot left in the final. If McKeon is in fact back in shape and swimming the 200 she’s the favourite to take the last spot.

Jimmyswim
Reply to  Troyy
10 months ago

Oh a Titmus-MOC-Jack-McKeon 200 free relay with the first ever full sub 1:55 group would be delicious.

Theoretical best performances:

MOC (1:54.01) + Jack (1:54.87 (best flat minus 0.5)) + McKeon (1:54.55 (just used her best flat without adjusting for relay split because her peak is probably behind her) + Titmus (1:52.82) = 7:36.25 WR by 3 seconds oof

Troyy
Reply to  Jimmyswim
10 months ago

Surely there’ll be a bum leg in there somewhere.

Nono
10 months ago

The countdown to trials now begins!
Is Amazon Prime covering the meet again?

commonwombat
Reply to  Nono
10 months ago

No, that contract ended last year. It will be streamed on 9Now.

Springfield's #1 Athlete
Reply to  commonwombat
10 months ago

No confirmation on whether it will be on FTA yet, but I’m confident it will be.

Hooked on Chlorine
Reply to  commonwombat
10 months ago

Damn. Amazon Prime did a topnotch job. I doubt that 9Now’s will be anywhere near as good, but I shall be very pleased if I’m wrong.

Troyy
Reply to  Hooked on Chlorine
10 months ago

Amazon was great but at least it won’t be paywalled now.

DK99
Reply to  Troyy
10 months ago

But the rest of the world can’t watch

oxyswim
Reply to  Troyy
10 months ago

Any chance 9Now isn’t geoblocked for Americans?

Troyy
Reply to  oxyswim
10 months ago

Would he surprised if it’s not blocked but Australian geoblocks are usually easy to bypass.

Troyy
Reply to  Troyy
10 months ago

*be

Troyy
10 months ago

I wonder if Chalmers has narrowed his focus back to free again?

commonwombat
Reply to  Troyy
10 months ago

One would hope so. His trajectory at best would be semi-finals. Am curious as the level of his commitment to 4X200 may be.

Faster than expected from ZSC. One would hope we see 2.06 at Trials as the competition is looking somewhat stiffer this year.

Just a 2.04.19 from McKeown LOL…. she clearly seems to like the SOPAC pool; probably wishes they were holding Trials there.

Jimmyswim
Reply to  Troyy
10 months ago

He never had a realistic chance of doing anything major in fly, but I think training for it and entering fly events helps him keep some passions and focus. I assume he’ll keep doing it just for joy but don’t see him making the team in any fly events in Paris.

Troyy
10 months ago

First PB for Petric in the 200 breast since he was 16 albeit only 0.01s. Maybe he can do a bigger one at trials when tapered.

Stephen
10 months ago

Ill take that any day Mr Cook…see yah in Melb

Stephen
10 months ago

I’d love to see ZSC give this a crack. But i know it’s unlike Mr Professional

Joel
Reply to  Stephen
10 months ago

2.07.62. Nice swim.

snailSpace
Reply to  Joel
10 months ago

That is fast. Didn’t think he would bother.

Nono
Reply to  Joel
10 months ago

3rd this season. I’m excited what he will produce at trials

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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