Cate Campbell Named Swimming Australia Swimmer of the Year

Australian swimmer Cate Campbell was named the 2018 Swimming Australia Olympic Program Swimmer of the Year as one of 3 top prize-winners on Saturday night in Melbourne at the Swimming Australia Awards. The event, which coincided with the conclusion of the Short Course National Championships (in which Campbell didn’t race), celebrates the conclusion of the 2017-2018 season.

Over the last year, Campbell broke the World Record in the 100 short course meter free at the 2017 Australian Short Course Championships; won 3 gold and 1 silver medals at the Commonwealth Games; anchored Australia’s World Record breaking 400 free relay at the Commonwealth Games; and won 5 gold medals at the Pan Pac Championships. Pan Pacs included a new personal best and Commonwealth Record in the 100 free (52.03) and a new Meet Record in the 50 free (23.81).

Other award winners:

  • Jack McLoughlin (Chandler) & Emma McKeon (Griffith University), Hancock Prospecting Swimmers Swimmer (TIE) – The two swimmers tied in a vote among their peers, McKeon earned this honor for the 2nd-straight year. She won 6 medals at the Commonwealth Games, including on that World Record-setting 400 free relay and Games Records setting 800 free and 400 medley relays. She followed that up with 4 gold medals and 2 bronze medals at Pan Pacs, with all 4 golds coming in relay events. McLoughlin won the 1500 free and took silver in the 400 free at the Commonwealth Games, then won the 400 and took bronze in the 800 and 1500 freest at Pan Pacs.
  • Matthew Levy (North Sydney), Paralympic Program Swimmer of the Year – Levy won the men’s S7 50 free event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games
  • Karena Lee (Noosa), Open Water Swimmer of the Year – In a tough year for Australia’s open water swimming group, Lee took a silver medal in the 10k at the Pan Pac Championships
  • Ben Pobhan (Arena), AIS Discovery of the Year
  • Kyle Chalmers (Marion) & Ariarne Titmus (St. Peter’s Western), Patron Awards

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1 year ago

Obviously it was quite another disappointing year for Australian swimming, highlighted by Swimming Australia touting Campbell’s PB and meet records like she was some kind of age group swimmer.Maybe Cate needs to take yet another year off to work on her 50 Free, to climb out of her rut there and become competitive again.

Reply to  Danish
1 year ago

Early contender for worst comment of the day! Way to come out swinging on a Sunday morning!

She won 3 golds at the Commonwealth Games, 5 golds at Pan Pacs, the 2nd-fastest 100 LC meter free in history, and broke 2 World Records. In a year with no LC Worlds or Olympics, what more was it that you would’ve expected her to do?

Reply to  SwimObserver
1 year ago

Are we really supposed to get excited that Cate Campbell beat Holly Barratt by .08 in the 50 Fly at the Commonwealth Games? Her injured sister–who swam with one good shoulder–beat her in the 100 Free at Commies. Not exactly the most competitive meet ever with basically two countries represented, essentially an intersquad (interfamily?) meet. Cate is in a tough place, she is on the struggle bus in her individual events esp 50 Free, but is still important to AUS in relays, so they try to prop her up because she is obviously quite temperamental.

Reply to  Faeopre
1 year ago

Using this logic, Simone Manuel may as well retire, because Cate smashed her in every individual and relay event at the Pan Pacs…..think about it before clicking ‘thumbs down’….

Reply to  Torchbearer
1 year ago

I missed something, did Simone Manuel swim 50 Fly against speedster Holly Barratt at the Commonwealth Games? No, she was probably at home polishing her 2016 Rio 100 Free gold medal while she and Penny Oleksiak shared a good laugh by phone.

Scott Morgan
Reply to  SwimObserver
1 year ago

Swimobserver, agreed and well put. She had a smokin’ year. Some weird sour grapes and hatin’ going on here.

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Danish
1 year ago

Could say the same about blume after her 100 free in euros, which was far more of a disaster than any of cate’s swims this year.

Scott Morgan
Reply to  Danish
1 year ago

Agreed. She’s always been lightening fast and full of class. Strength and character personified.

1 year ago

Just three years ago Cate Campbell was the only swimmer who could dream of beating super fast suit record of Steffen Britta. Now when she almost broke 52sec barrier she is even father of being world record holder than she was before. Sport knows no mercy.

Reply to  Yozhik
1 year ago

After finishing sixth in the 100 Free at 2016 Olympics and only third in the world this year in the 50 Free, I think it is highly likely that by 2020 Tokyo a then 28-year old Cate Campbell does not even make it out of semi-finals in the 50 and 100 Free events.

1 year ago

Based on medals and swimming multiple world record times, Lakeisha Patterson should have won the para award hands down. Perhaps she has finally become too much on the nose even for Swimming Australia.

Reply to  Fred
1 year ago

Perhaps. She was a double gold medalist at Commonwealth Games beating two S9 swimmers Tai and Cole in the 100 free in S8 WR time in the process. Well done to Levy, he also had a good, although maybe not so good, showing at Pan Pacs according to the results. And, well done to Cate Campbell I think she deserved top gong.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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