Aussie Age Group Standout Hauck Wins First Senior Title, Horton Places 10th


The 2019 Australian Short Course Swimming Championships kicked off in Melbourne today, with 16-year-old Thomas Hauck nailing his first-ever senior national title.

After claiming the 2nd seed of the morning heats in the men’s 400m free in a time of 3:46.69, Hauck found another gear for tonight’s final, with the All Saints swimmer firing off a new lifetime best of 3:43.38. That was enough to hold off a charging adversary in 19-year-old Brendon Smith of Nunawading, who wound up touching less than a second behind Hayuck in 3:43.85.

The bronze medalist in the race, 22-year-old visiting Malaysian national record holder Welson Sim, nearly beat out Smith, hitting the wall in 3:43.90. Sim’s time checks in as a monster new personal best, obliterating his own previous career-fastest 3:48.93 clocked at a World Cup stop 2 years ago.

Finishing well behind in 10th out of this 10-person final was Olympic champion Mack Horton, with the Melbourne Vicentre swimmer punching the clock in 3:50.76, slower than his morning effort of 3:49.02.

Going back to Hauck, the multiple Aussie age group champion’s time tonight checks-in as the 2nd fastest ever for a 16-year-old Aussie. His 3:43.38 outing resets only behind legendary Ian Thorpe‘s age record of 3:35.64 set way back in 1999.

Women’s 4x200m freestyle gold medalist at this year’s World Championships, Kiah Melverton of TSS Aquatics was in the water twice in this evening’s session. The 22-year-old first took on the 400m IM, where she clocked a time of 4:35.09 to finish with the silver behind Hunter’s Meg Bailey and her winning time of 4:29.17.

Melverton’s outing represents her personal best by about a tenth, while Bailey has never before been under the 4:35 mark. Her previous lifetime best sat at the 4:35.81 produced at the NSW Championships just last August. In fact, Bailey’s outing slides up to #2 in the all-time Aussie SCM rankings, sitting only behind Ellen Fullerton’s 4:28.72 produced in 2015.

The women’s 800m free s where Melverton upgraded to gold, clearing the field easily in a winning time of 8:15.93, another new personal best. Her time overtakes her career-quickest of 8:16.51 produced that garnered her bronze at the 2018 Short Course World Championships.

Olympian David Morgan took the men’s 200m fly title away from last year’s winner Nic BrownMorgan stopped the clock in 1:54.63 to Brown’s 1:54.87, while this year’s World Championships finalist in the 100m fly, Matthew Temple, rounded out the top 3 in 1:55.02. For perspective, Brown earned the 2018 title in a time of 1:52.29.

The women’s 100m breast was a fierce battle among the top 3, as Bond’s Jenna Strauch narrowly came out on top with a gold medal-worthy 1:06.03. 26-year-old Tessa Wallace was right behind in 1:06.36, while Swedish swimmer Jessica Eriksson slid into bronze with 1:06.64.

Although finishing off the podium, 5th place swimmer Tara Kinder, just 16, clocked 1:07.18 in the race to nail the 2nd fastest time ever by an Aussie at that age.

In Para swimming action, Monique Murphy (S10), Matt Levy (SM7), Ashleigh McConnell (S9) and Rachael Watson (S4) all surpassed world records in their respective classifications.

Murphy took the 400m free multi-class gold in a time of 4:35.52, shaving .36 off of her time set in 2015. Levy’s record came in the 200m IM multi-class race, where he claim his 3rd consecutive short course title in the event. He touched in 2:34.02 for 1006 points.

Additional Winners:

  • Visiting Olympic champion Joseph Schooling surged ahead of the Aussies to take gold in the men’s 100m free in a winning effort of 48.05, a new national record. You can read more about this event here.
  • Canberra’s Hayley Baker topped the women’s 200m backstroke podium, producing a time of 2:04.64 to beat the field by over 2 seconds.
  • Melbourne Vicentre’s Kotuku Ngawati got it done in the women’s 100m free, touching in 53.45 for the win. Of note, 17-year-old Gabriella Peiniger reaped the bronze in 54.05, a time that represents the 5th fastest ever for that age for an Aussie.
  • World University Games champion William Yang tied Bradley Woodward for 50m back gold, each touching in 23.93 as the only swimmers under 24 seconds in the race.
  • Marion’s Ellysia Oldsen edged out 16-year-old St. Peters Western swimmer Mia O’Leary for 50m fly gold. The women earned respective times of 26.62 and 26.83.
  • Sam Williamson took the Aussie national title in the men’s 50m breast in a time of 26.65.

Tomorrow’s competition brings the unique skins races. Although classified as exhibition races, the men’s and women’s freestyle skins events will put some cash up for grabs for athletes taking on the challenge. In this knockout system, 10 swimmers will compete in the 100m freestyle, with the top 4 each earning $100 and continuing on to the next round.

Those 4 will then race a 50m freestyle, with the top 2 finishers collecting $250 each and then moving on to a 25m final. The ultimate winner of that head-to-head battle earns a $1000 payday.

The Men’s skins starting line up includes:

  1. Zac Incerti – UWA West Coast, WA
  2. Will Stockwell – Rackley Swim Team, QLD
  3. Matthew Temple – Nunawading, VIC
  4. Ashton Brinkworth – UWA West Coast, WA
  5. David Morgan – TSS Aquatic, QLD
  6. William Yang – Loreto Normanhurst, NSW
  7. Mack Horton – Melbourne Vicentre, VIC
  8. Lachlan Carter – Acacia Bayside, QLD
  9. Grayson Bell – TSS Aquatic, QLD
  10. Bowen Gough, Nunawading, VIC – WILDCARD entry via peer nomination

The Women’s skins starting line up includes:

  1. Laura Taylor, TSS Aquatic, QLD
  2. Julia Hawkins, Nunawading, VIC
  3. Koti Ngawati, Melb Vicentre, VIC
  4. Olivia Lefoe, MLC Aquatic, VIC
  5. Jade Starr, Nudgee, QLD
  6. Kiah Melverton, TSS Aquatic, QLD
  7. Elyse Woods, Melb Vicentre, VIC
  8. WILDCARD – nominate now @SwimmingAustralia on Instagram
  9. WILDCARD – nominate now @SwimmingAustralia on Instagram
  10. WILDCARD – nominate now @SwimmingAustralia on Instagram

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3 years ago

*Simone Manuel has also entered the chat*

3 years ago

*Townley Haas has entered the chat*

3 years ago

Australia needs to push for inclusion of a 4×400 free relay at Worlds and Olympics. 🤔

Reply to  Troyy
3 years ago

I’d watch it !!

bear drinks beer
Reply to  Troyy
3 years ago

It won’t be fair if Italy 4×800 free and Hungary 4×200 fly are not included.

Reply to  bear drinks beer
3 years ago


3 years ago

Mack is using this as a training weekend.

Hoping he does what he needs to nail the Olympics it’d be great for a clean athlete who has the guts to stand up to bureaucracy in our sport.

3 years ago

10th place is next level for podium protests. Well played sir, well played.

3 years ago

On swimming Australia Instagram, the skins is advertised as 100, 50 , 50 . So I’m not sure which is correct Retta.

3 years ago

I think Mack Horton is in real danger of not making the Olympic team individually next year because he only seems to perform at Worlds or Olympics. At trials, he always seems to be very average and to me that won’t cut it next year with these juniors coming through like Neill and Hauck plus others like Winnington and McLoughlin who are all capable of good times.

Reply to  Jeff
3 years ago

Reverse C1 syndrome

Reply to  Jeff
3 years ago

Or realistically he is going through some very hard training and is very broken down. He has always done well when he needs to, so even if he squeaks into the olympic field, he has a plan and I firmly believe he will be speedy come trials or olympics. Trust the process.

Reply to  Jeff
3 years ago

He’s actually lucky Winnington peaked at Natioanls and flopped at Trials otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to give him the 400 slot for Gwngju. But unless his teammates drop a bunch of time in the 400 come Tokyo I hope to see Horton go because this is one event he always seems to deliver in at big meets.

Sun Yangs Hammer
3 years ago

Article approved by Sun Yang

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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