Aussie Winnington Clocks Comeback 1:46.19 For 200 Free Gold At US Nats


The U.S. Nationals are an open competition, which means we’re treated to an array of different nations intermingled with Americans over the 5-day meet taking place in Stanford, California.

Among the Australian contingent racing this week is 19-year-old Elijah Winnington of Bond University.

As background for this star visiting from down under, the swimming community was left stunned by the Bond University’s lackluster performance at this year’s Aussie World Trials held in June, with his swims there well out of character from what he had been putting on the board leading up to the Brisbane competition.

Winnington wound up with the bronze in the 400m free (3:48.45), but missed the main goal of Gwangju qualification. The 400m free is an event in which the 19-year-old Bond athlete took the Aussie National title just 2 months prior in the then-5th fastest time of the world in 3:44.68, marking his first senior national title.

Despite owning the World Junior Record with his lifetime best of  1:46.13 registered at the Queensland Championships last December, Winnington clocked a mark of 1:47.86 in the final at Aussie World Trials relegated to 8th place.

Winnington scratched the 800m free and the 200m fly, but gritted out swims in the 50m free, 100m free and 100m fly finishing in respective places of 14th, 13th, and 13th, when he’s used to making the final in each.

Flash forward to tonight in California, however, and Winnington powered his way to the 200m free wall first in a winning time of 1:46.19. Splitting 51.83/54.36, Winnington held off the likes of Dean Farris and Maxime Rooney, along with runner-up Kieran Smith, all Americans racing on their home turf.

The Richard Scarce-trained Winnigton just produced the 2nd fastest time of his career and a result that would have finished 3rd at the Aussie World Trials, placing him on the men’s 4x200m free relay.

Immediately after his race tonight, Winnington stated, “I turned off the last wall and just gave it everything I had on that last lap.”

He says of racing stateside, “It’s incredible. Racing here is insane. America really knows how to put on a competition. It’s an honor to race here.”

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

More Australians should race in the States. They are better racers then the Aussies, because there is always so much competition & competitions to hone your skills.

Reply to  Robbos
1 year ago

Tend to agree. The bulk of AUS swimmers would benefit by racing considerably more than they do AND outside the domestic environment but with some this will take some significant attitudinal changes from both swimmer and coaches ….. another area where AUS Swimming will benefit by more getting “outside experience”. NCAA may work for some, not for others ….. and may not be 100% workable for those close to natl team selection but people need to find what is going to work for them, both in swimming terms and the wider picture. As for racing US Pro meets, certainly “on board” but Swimming AUS needs to get its collective head out of wherever it is and revamp the AUS competition… Read more »

1 year ago

A very pleasing result and conformation that his performance at Worlds Trials (and subsequent non selection) was merely down to a misjudged taper rather than a wider malaise. Certainly makes the competition for 400FR and, especially 200FR look even tastier for next year’s Olympic Trials. Should both he & Cartwright be back firing next year then the AUS M4X200 depth is looking ominous to say the least.

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 …

Read More »