2019 AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Sunday, April 7th – Friday, April 12th
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Night 4 of the 2019 Australian National Championships brought several first-time national title winners while best times were falling left to right throughout the session. As a reminder this meet is NOT a World Championships qualifying affair. The Australian World Championships Trials take place in June.
Women’s 200m Back – Final
- GOLD – Minna Atherton, 2:11.18
- SILVER – Calypso Sheridan, 2:11.23
- BRONZE – Mikkayla Sheridan, 2:12.60
Winning her first national title tonight was 18-year-old Minna Atherton. The Brisbane Grammar athlete topped the women’s 200m backstroke field tonight, just barely, squeaking out the win in a time of 2:11.18.
Right behind her was teammate and Northwestern University NCAA A finalist Calypso Sheridan, who continued her meet with another big swim here tonight. Sheridan touched just .05 behind Atherton to take silver in 2:11.23, 2 days after hitting a big-time personal best in the 400m IM for silver.
For Atherton, tonight’s effort was well off her personal best of 2:08.00 from 2016, but enough to take the gold. Sheridan’s time tonight replaces her previous personal best by a mile, with the 20-year-old not having swum this at a major meet since 2017. Her lifetime best was the 2:14.73 clocked in 2015, so she put up a solid swim tonight for a new PB.
USCS swimmer Sheridan rounded out the top 3 in 2:12.60.
Men’s 200m Free – Final
After firing off a warning shot to the world with his 47.48 personal best and 100m freestyle gold medal-winning time here at his home pool, #KingKyle Chalmers produced another top swim in the 200m free.
Punching the top time of the morning in 1:47.63, the 20-year-old 100m free Olympic champion from Rio dropped over a second to ultimately top the podium in a mark of 1:46.30. That held off 18-year-old Bond racer Elijah Winnington who produced a mark of 1:46.91 for runner-up, while Clyde Lewis did some damage with a 1:47.92 for bronze.
Chalmers split 51.95/54.35 to put together his 1:46.30 while Winnington’s splits entailed a quicker 51.58, but slightly slower back half of 55.33. Winnington already holds a season fastest of 1:46.13, the newly-minted World Junior Record in the event, which he logged at last December’s Queensland Championships. That keeps Winnington as the 5th fastest swimmer in the world.
Chalmers gets bumped up from 16th place in the world with his 1:47.45 from NSWs to now 7th in the world rankings. As a refresher, Chalmers took the 2018 Commonwealth Games title in a rapid 1:45.56.
St. Peters Western’s Lewis earned bronze tonight in 1:47.92, the 6th fastest time of the 21-year-old’s career. He took 7th place at last year’s Pan Pacs in a time of 1:46.94.
Way down the line was Cameron McEvoy who swam a time of 1:51.43 this morning for 20th, out of the final. He was the title winner in 2014, 2015 and 2016, with 2016’s time reprsented by a 1:45.63.
Men’s 400m IM – Final
- GOLD – Mitch Larkin, 4:14.62
- SILVER – Brendon Smith, 4:14.91
- BRONZE – Kieren Pollard, 4:21.31
Mitch Larkin produced a new personal best in this men’s 400m IM, hacking about a second off of his 4:15.68 title-winning mark from this same meet last year.
Tonight the 25-year-old Olympic medalist had to fight to the end, as 18-year-old Nunawading athlete Brendon Smith swam the race of his life to try to chase down Larkin. Smith ultimately touched in 4:14.91, a monster new personal best by over 4 seconds.
Larkin and Smith entered the final 100m with the former in the lead, but Smith slowly gained on the 2015 double World Champion, out splitting him on the final 100m 57.49 to Larkin’s 59.19, but the teen simply ran out of real estate to hit the wall first. Instead, Smith’s time tonight granted him the silver medal and would have split the American Foster brothers for silver at last year’s Junior Pan Pacific Championships where Smith finished in 4th.
Bronze tonight went to Kieren Pollard in 4:21.31, which represents a new personal best for the 19-year-old Breakers swimmer as well.
Larkin now ranks 7th in the world while Smith moves into slot #8 in the season’s rankings.
Women’s 200m Breast – Final
- GOLD – Jenna Strauch, 2:24.88
- SILVER – Abbey Harkin, 2:25.12
- BRONZE – Zoe Deacon, 2:27.66
Keeping up with the personal best trend was 22-year-old Bond athlete Jenna Strauch. Strauch nailed her first Australian national title by way of winning teh women’s 200m breaststroke tonight in 2:24.88. That crushes her previous personal best mark of 2:26.47 from way back in 2013. Strauch sits just outside the top 10 performers in the world this season with her gold medal win this evening.
St. Peters Western’s Abbey Harkin took silver tonight in 2:25.12 while Nunawading teenager Zoe Duncan, 18, wound up with the bronze in 2:27.66. For Harkin, she slashed over 3 seconds off of her previous lifetime best of 2:28.89 from this same meet last year.
Women’s 50m Free – Final
- GOLD – Cate Campbell, 24.30
- SILVER – Shayna Jack, 24.38
- BRONZE – Bronte Campbell, 24.51
Cate Campbell busted out yet another impressive win here in South Australia, following up her 100m free victory with a 50m free gold tonight. Already punching a morning swim of 24.52, the 26-year-old Olympic medalist produced a winning 24.30 to top the podium in her best time of the season. C1’s effort now ranks her #2 in the world, sitting only behind Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom and her world-leading 24.11 from just this week as well.
St. Peters Western’s Shayna Jack is swimming lights out at this meet, firing off another personal best with her 24.56 silver medal swim this evening to beat out Bronte Campbell. Jack’s previous season-best was 24.68 from Queensland Championships, while her lifetime quickest was the 24.47 thrown down at last year’s Pan Pacs.
Bronte took bronze in 24.51 this evening, her quickest of the season. C1 is now #2, Jack #4 and C2 is #6, all from one race.
Women’s 4x200m Free Relay – Final
Gold went to St. Peters Western with the help of a big-time lead-off by Jack. The 20-year-old who took 50m free silver tonight just .08 behind C1 cranked out a monster lead-off of 1:56.77, obliterating her previous personal best in the event. The total team time was 7:53.07, a new Championship Record.
Entering this meet Jack’s PB was the 1:58.30 she clocked at the Queensland Championships last December, so in a span of just 4 months the World Championships medalist found a way to hack almost a second and a half from that mark to produce her 1:56.77 tonight.
Jack now ranks 8th in the world in the women’s 200m free this season. Ariarne Titmus, who wowed the world with her 1:54.30 200m free winning time from yesterday, clocked 1:56.80 as the anchor tonight.
Men’s 4x200m Free Relay – Final
St. Peters Western also took gold in the men’s edition of the race, with the squad clocking 7:23.04 for the win. Max Carleton earned the fastest split as the 3rd swimmer, hitting 1:49.76.
Of note, on the runner-up TSS Aquatics squad, Cameron McEvoy led-off in 1:50.08.