Both Cate Campbell & McKeon Go Under 53; Chalmers 52.0 In 100 Fly


The 2019 Australian National Championships kicked off today in South Australia, with Cate Campbell, Mitch Larkin and several other Olympic starts in the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre pool.

Although athletes are vying for national titles and bragging rights, the qualifying competition for the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju is the Australian Swimming Trials, which won’t take place until mid-June. As such, some swimmers to the tune of Emily Seebohm and Thomas Fraser-Holmes are sitting out this competition.

Men’s 100m Back – Final

  • GOLD – Mitch Larkin, 53.51
  • SILVER – William Yang, 53.59
  • BRONZE – Tristan Hollard, 54.02

Collecting a remarkable 15th national title, 25-year-old Mitch Larkin took gold in the men’s 100m backstroke tonight. The St. Peters Western athlete notched a winning time of 53.51 to beat out a charging Ravenswood swimmer in William Yang. Bobby Hurley-trained Yang hit the wall in 53.59.

Yang opened in the fastest split of the field in 25.98, but faded just a tad to hit only .08 behind Larkin. Rounding out the top 3 was Tristan Hollard who touched in 54.02.

Larkin now checks-in as the 5th fastest swimmer in the world this season, while Yang is now 7th.

2018-2019 LCM MEN 100 BACK

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Men’s 400m Free – Final

World Junior Record holder Elijah Winnington made it happen tonight in the men’s 400m freestyle, registering a big-time 3:44.68 to take his first Australian Senior National Title.

The 18-year-old Bond swimmer staked his claim on the event early, leading this morning’s heats in a sub-3:50 effort of 3:49.45 to prove he meant business. Tonight, Winnington fired off his 3:44.68 to fall just .08 shy of Mack Horton’s World Junior Record set way back in 2014.

Winnington holds the SCM World Junior Record in this event with the 3:39.17 he notched last October. His time tonight wipes out his previous LCM personal best of 3:45.98 hit at last year’s Pan Pacs Trials.

Women’s 100m Free – Final

The Australian women’s sprinting contingency was out in full force tonight, led by World Record holder Cate CampbellC1 threw down a massive 52.35 to take the women’s 100m free by almost half a second ahead of another sub-53 second swimmer in Emma McKeon.

McKeon clocked 52.84, just .04 off her own personal best of 52.80 logged at the 2016 Olympic Trials. This represents just her 3rd time under the 53-second barrier.

20-year-old St. Peters Western athlete Shayna Jack ripped a 53.20 for bronze tonight, a new PB by .20

Campbell’s time tonight checks-in as the 5th fastest of her storied career, which is saying a lot considering the 26-year-old has been under the 53 second threshold well over a dozen times.

As she is used to, C1 now tops the world rankings with her time tonight, displacing former #1 Rikako Ikee of Japan who held 52.79. Ikee is away from the pool battling leukemia.

McKeon is now situated 3rd fastest in the world, with Jack right behind in 4th. Australia’s 4x100m freestyle relay prospects are stacking up to be downright frightening once World Championships come around.

2018-2019 LCM WOMEN 100 FREE

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Other finishers in the race included Brianna Throssell clocking 53.80 for 4th, marking the first time the Western Australian swimmer has been under 54 seconds in the event. Bronte Campbell settled for 5th in 53.81, while Madi Wilson notched 53.91 for 6th, also scoring a new personal best.

At the end of the session, several of these same swimmers competing in the 100m free relay, with C1 anchoring in 52.35 for Knox Pymble, McKeon anchoring in 52.84 for Griffith University, while Jack split 53.20 for St. Peters Western.

Men’s 100m Fly – Final

Leading the men’s 100 fly final was 2016 100m free Olympic champion Kyle ChalmersA true thoroughbred sprinter, Chalmers set himself up for success by taking the top seed of the morning in 52.67, leading Matthew Temple by .02.

Tonight, however, the 20-year-old Marion athlete busted out a winning effort of 52.07, collecting a new lifetime best in the process. Between the NSW Championships just last month and tonight, Chalmers, has hacked .54 off of his PB to put his name in the ring for this event on the Australian national team.

Chalmers is now 13th in the world, while Temple’s runner-up time of 52.16 is also in the top 20. Bowen Gough hit the wall in 52.78 for bronze tonight.

Women’s 100m Breast – Final

  • GOLD – Abbey Harkin, 1:07.02
  • SILVER – Jessica Hansen, 1:07.45
  • BRONZE – Jenna Strauch, 1:07.79

Jess Hansen opened with a fiery split of 31.60 tonight, but wound up fading a tad to ultimately hit the wall .43 behind winner Abbey Harkin in tonight’s women’s 100m breast.

Harkin claimed the national title in 1:07.02, her fastest by over a second, while Hansen picked up silver in 1:07.45. Also under 1:08 tonight was Jenna Strauch, who rounded out the top 3 in 1:07.79.

Hansen’s time of 1:06.91 from NSW’s keeps the 23-year-old Nunawading swimmer at #4 in the world rankings for this season, but Harkin’s effort rockets the St. Peters Western athlete to #5.

Lilly King By Jack Spitser

2018-2019 LCM WOMEN 100 BREAST

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Women’s 800m Free – Final

The top 3 finishers in tonight’s 800m free all went over their entry times for the event, but still put together some extremely solid swims still several weeks out from the World Championships Trials.

18-year-old Ariarne Titmus put up an especially notable performance, logging the 2nd fastest time of her young career with her gold medal-garnering 8:18.61 this evening.  That moves the St. Peters Western Commonwealth Games champion to slot #3 in this season’s world rankings.

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Only Titmus’ 8:17.07 from last year’s Pan Pacs, where she took silver behind American icon Katie Ledecky, has been faster.

Kiah Melverton beat her season-best of 8:30.52 from the Queensland Championships with a nice 8:27.72 to snag silver this evening. Melverton took bronze in this event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and also notched 1500m freestyle silver at Pan Pacs.

Bronze tonight went to Maddie Gough in 8:28.43, though she was slightly faster in the 8:27.44 she threw down in Marseille.

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1 year ago

Enjoyed watching the first titles at my new local pool down the road….was blown away by how easy CCampbell made a 52.3 look….

Reply to  Torchbearer
1 year ago

PLUS- Cate just said she will swim past Tokyo, and possibly to Paris 2024! Wow.

Reply to  Torchbearer
1 year ago

Isn’t that surprising of how many times Cate Campbell swam 52.3x – 7 times. And then only two times faster (52.06, 52.03) far away from this magic zone.

Bertold Zahoran
Reply to  Torchbearer
1 year ago

cant imagine she has only 1 world title so far, her sister has 1 more than her.

1 year ago

Wow, Aussie women putting up some incredible times. Also impressed by Elijah Winnington. Never really heard of him admittedly, but 18 and swimming 3:44.68 is mighty impressive. Anyone who knows more about Aussie swimming than me care to shed more light on him?

Reply to  Philip
1 year ago

World junior record holder 200 free long course also. ( from Dec 2018 in Brisbane ). 1.46.13 . Just been ratified. Was on Australia’s gold medal winning relay at Comm Games 2018 (4×200) .Strong age grouper for years and now reaching senior ranks and blossoming. Lovely young man. Turns 19 soon so maybe cannot set anymore world junior records Retta?

Reply to  Philip
1 year ago

Winnington is only a year or so out of Age group racing but has already made the jump to Natl team status. To date his main mark has been at 200 where he has hit 1.46low. Competition for the individual spots at 200 will be very tight but he is thereabouts and there is a strong likelihood he will gain 4×200 relay selection. This is a significant 400 PB and certainly puts him in the selection picture with Horton & McLoughlin.

Bertold Zahoran
Reply to  commonwombat
1 year ago

can he win sun yang this and next yrs?

1 year ago

Are Cate and Emma peaking for the Australian Championships?

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Lille
1 year ago

C1 is always fast in season, don’t know about mckeon though

Reply to  Lille
1 year ago

Aussie elites often semi-taper for nationals, akin to an elite collegiate swimmer at conference.

It gets lots of press in Oz, so most sponsors expect their top athletes to turn up and put on a bit of a show even though it’s not the trials.

Reply to  Togger
1 year ago

I’d say youre spot on, Togger. Love Emma McKeon but never imagined her swimming sub 53 without some substantial rest.

Reply to  Togger
1 year ago

Traditionally Nats have been the selection trials for the major intl meet (Olympics/Worlds) so you do see swimmers peak for this meet. The problem has been that all too many cannot replicate/peak again when it comes to the intl meet. This year is actually going to be curious with Nats NOT being the selection meet; and not everyone has turned up so the depth of fields will be variable to say the least. I expect to see times to be variable with regards to international competitiveness as some ARE clearly looking at the selection meet in Jun. Will we see some swimmers be “caught out” by peaking now but not being able to replicate when it counts ? I hope… Read more »

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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