Day 4 of the 2014 Australian National Championships, plus Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacs trials, saw the meet’s biggest upset to date. Perhaps, though, it won’t be an upset that Australian fans are upset about, as it makes the Australian relays that much better.
Men’s 100 Free – FINALS
Fast forward to the second event of the night, and 19-year old Cameron McEvoy turned effectively dead-even with James Magnussen 22.75-22.76. While normally, that’s a perfect position for Magnussen to be in, and he’s generally a much better closer than McEvoy.
On this day, however, Magnussen didn’t have his typical closing speed, and McEvoy’s was better than we’ve seen in the past, and the result was the teenager toppling the World Champion 47.65-47.92.
That swim for McEvoy moves him into 4th on Australia’s all-time list – he sits just behind a suited Eamon Sullivan; Magnussen c. 2011, and James Roberts, who didn’t even qualify for this final. Magnussen’s still the world-leader this year with a swim from January, but unlike past Australian relays that have fallen apart at the ‘big meet,’ this one feels like it might hold together a bit better.[ranking title=”2014 LCM Men 100 Free TYR World Ranking” top=10]
Tommaso D’Orsogna took 3rd in the race in 48.72, and Kenneth To rounded out the top 4 in 49.23. Those four, plus Roberts and Luke Percy (who tied for 10th in the semi-finals 49.92), are all very young, but so too is Alexander Graham – the 5th place finisher in 49.30. Graham is a bit of ‘new blood’ in this group, having been very good in the Age Group circuit the last few years, and we might see him overtake a relay spot by Worlds in 2015, at least.
The Australian men still haven’t figured this group out for a big relay swim yet, but they’re young enough that they’ve got plenty of time to work on it.
Women’s 200 Backstroke – FINALS
This women’s 200 backstroke was another very tight race, at least until Nunawading’s Belinda Hockin broke things open coming off of the halfway turn. Aside from coming off of the start, the 3rd 50 was her fastest 50 of 31.83, and she rode that to a 2:07.52 winning time in the women’s 200 back.
That is an astonishing sixth-straight long course National title in the event for the 23-year old Hocking, dating all the way back to the 2008 Olympic Trials (where she was 2nd). The winner of that 2008 race and the last swimmer to beat Hocking at this meet was Meagen Nay, who this year took 3rd this year in 2:08.44.
In between the two was Emily Seebohm in a 2:08.28, and all three are under the SAL A standard, meaning all three will swim this race at both big meets this summer.
Mikkayla Sheridan took 4th in 2:12.10, and St. Peter’s Western 15-year old Amy Forrester was 5th in 2:12.23 – which should be good enough to earn her a spot on the Jr. Pan Pacs team.
Women’s 200 IM – FINALS
While the men’s 100 free result absorbed a lot of the attention on Friday evening, the women’s qualifying finals were also very good, as this meet suddenly gained some serious energy today. Alicia Coutts continued marching through her requisite qualifying with a runaway victory in the women’s 200 IM of 2:08.89.
It looks like Coutts is continuing to make progress in her breaststroke – her 37.39 split on that leg is a new high water mark for her.
Emily Seebohm took 2nd in 2:11.25, which just misses the “A” standard by .04 seconds on the back-end of a very good double. With a spot on the team already locked up, though, Seebohm will likely be given the option to swim this as a bonus race, if her schedule allows for it.
Melbourne Vicente’s Kotuku Ngawati took 3rd in 2:13.08, ahead of 400 IM winner Keryn McMaster (2:13.41).
Men’s 50 Back – FINALS (non-qualifying)
This men’s 50 back won’t earn anybody a qualifying spot for Worlds, however it did earn Ben Treffers even more confidence with his spot on the summer’s teams already secured.
Treffers’ 24.54 breaks the 2009 Australian National Record of Ash Delaney that was a 24.81, and puts him into the top 15 all-time in the event.
That blew away the competition in this race that included Bobby Hurley (25.19) and the defending champion Daniel Arnamnart (25.28).
Women’s 50 Fly – FINALS (non-qualifying)
Marieke D’Cruz (nee Guehrer) topped the women’s 50 fly in 26.20, a fairly unremarkable time other than the fact that she bested the defending champ Alicia Coutts (26.36) in the race.
D’Cruz is still looking for her qualifications for the Commonwealth Games at this meet, and it seems as though perhaps she’s run out of chances with her best events behind her.
Qualifying Status After Friday
Note: we have pared down the definitions of these selection criteria to what will realistically happen at the meet. To read full selection criteria, click here. Note that at the Commonwealth Games, the winners of the 100 strokes and the 1-2-3-4 finishers of the 100 and 200 freestyles, not already qualified, take the same priority. For Pan Pacs, the freestylers have a higher priority. All will likely be taken with rosters of 26 men and 26 women available.
We’re about halfway through these Australian Championships, and the rosters are not filling up fast, even with the potential of three qualifiers per event. That means that thus far, there’s still much hope for the swimmers with “B” standards of getting their shot at the Commonwealth Games at least this summer.
Priority 1: “SAL A Times”
Emma McKeon (200 free, 100 fly, 800 free relay)
Bronte Barratt (200 free, 800 free relay)
Ellen Gandy (100 fly)
Alicia Coutts (100 fly, 200 IM, 400 medley relay)
Cate Campbell (50 free)
Bronte Campbell (50 free)
Melanie Schlanger (50 free)
Taylor McKeown (200 breast)
Emily Seebohm (100 back, 200 back, 400 medley relay; 200 IM (“B” time))
Belinda Hocking (100 back)
Meagen Nay (100 back, 200 back)
Belinda Hocking (200 back)
David McKeon (200 free, 400 free, 800 free relay)
Mack Horton (400 free)
Jordan Harrison (400 free)
Christian Sprenger (100 breast, 200 breast, 400 medley relay)
Cameron McEvoy (100 free, 200 free, 400 free relay, 400 medley relay, 800 free relay)
Thomas Fraser-Holmes (200 free, 400 IM, 800 free relay)
Mitch Larkin (100 back, 400 medley relay)
Ben Treffers (100 back)
James Magnussen (100 free, 400 free relay)
Priority 2: Relay Swimmers
Brittany Elmslie (200 free – for relay)
Meagen Nay (200 free – for relay)
Ned McKendry (200 free – for relay)
Tommaso D’Orsogna (100 free – for relay)
Kenneth To (100 free – for relay)
Priority 3: Top 3 Under “B” standard (Commonwealth Games only, if the roster has room, unless they are to go under the SAL “A” standard there, which earns them a swim at Pan Pacs).
Keryn McMaster (400 IM)
Ellen Gandy (400 IM)
Jessica Penngellly (400 IM)
Meagen Nay (200 free – individual at CWG, with opportunity to qualify for PP)
Sally Foster (200 breast)
Tessa Wallace (200 breast)
Kotuku NGawati (200 IM)
Daniel Tranter (200 breast)
Josh Beaver (100 back))
Travis Mahoney (400 IM)
Jared Gilliland (400 IM)
Grant Irvine (200 Fly)
Mitchell Pratt (200 Fly)
- Cate Campbell took the top seed in the women’s 100 free in 53.01, with the on-fire Emma McKeon sitting 2nd in 53.43. As of right now, there’s some separation between the top four and the rest of the field, with Bronte Campbell the 3rd seed into finals in 53.61, and Mel Schlanger the 4th seed in 53.78. Brittany Elmslie, though, throughout this meet has been putting in very good finals races, and could jump up and take a spot. Coutts is not going after this race individually, though she’ll likely be used in relay situations this summer regardless if she’s swimming well.
- Christian Sprenger is looking to finish off his breaststroke triple, and will take a 27.82 into the 50 final. Given that the split on his 100 was faster than that, expect him to be much better on Saturday. Max Ireland (28.25) and Jake Packard (28.29) will chase.
- Tommaso D’Orsogna cruised through prelims, and in the semi-finals of the 100 fly swam a 52.38 – which just misses his lifetime best – for the top seed. While that leaves him still short of the SAL “A” time, it seems unlikely that any of the Australians will get to that 51.78 second mark, which means that first-to-the-wall should get an invite to swim on the Commonwealth Games medley relay. Jayden Hadler swam a 52.55, Christopher Wright swam a 52.59, and 200 winner Grant Irvine swam a 52.70 to be just behind D’Orsogna.
- Having not been much of a factor for the 50 breaststroke, Indooroopilly’s Lorna Tonks had a great semi-finals swim of 1:07.26 in the 100 breast to take the top seed into finals. Sally Foster (1:08.14), the defending champion, and Leiston Pickett (1:08.26), younger than them both, make up the top three. This is a tight final, though, with 2nd-8th ranging only from 1:08.1 to 1:09.0, though it’s going to take a lot of drops to get more than one “priority 2” qualifier.
Para Swimming Finals
In the multi-class Para-Swimming finals, athletes are compared to the world record for the category in that event and assigned a score that determines the winner, so it’s important to keep in mind that the fastest time is not always the most impressive. A score of 1000 relates to equaling a World Record.
- 15-year old Hayley Morris, another team climbing the ranks of Australian Para swimming, had the top time in the S9 class of the Para Sport final (aka, the Commonwealth Games qualifier). Katherine Downie took 2nd in 1:25.15, and Madeline Scott took 3rd in 1:25.58.
- In the multi-class 100 back final, 19-year old Taylor Corry swam a 1:10.02 out of the S14 class, which gave her 864 points and an event win over Jacquie Freney’s 1:26.20 (847 points). Corry won this race last year as well.
- In the men’s 100 back, 2012 silver medalist Michael Anderson swam a 1:01.16 to win out of the S10 category. This race is a demonstration of where multi-class swimming, which on paper seems like a lot of fun, falls apart for fans watching the race. The runner-up by points, Grant Patterson, took almost twice as long to swim the race in 2:01.56, but by FINA points wasn’t that far behind with an 878. He’s afforded more time for the same score being int he S3 category, but the disparity there is hard for spectators to follow.
- S14 Kayla Clarke from Waterworx won the women’s 200 free in 2:13.93, with Corry earning another podium by placing 2nd in 2:17.00. You’ll notice a lot of S14 winners at this meet, and that’s due in part to the fact that as swimmers are compared to World Records to get scores, the S14 World Records aren’t as impressive, relatively speaking, because there’s only very few opportunities at the Paralympics. In 2012, for example, there were only two men’s and two women’s events available.
- 16-year old Rowan Crothers has officially crossed over into stardom, breaking his second World Record of the meet. This time, it was with a 1:59.02 in the 200 free. That destroys Brenden Hall’s S9 World Record of 2:01.63 – a record that Hall, finishing 2nd in this race, also broke easily in 1:59.81.