2018 AUSTRALIAN SHORT COURSE CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Thursday, October 25th – Saturday, October 27th
- Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre
- Heats at 10am local (9:30am Sat.)/Finals at 6:30pm local (4:30pm Sat.)
- Qualifying meet for 2018 Short Course World Championships squad
- Aussie SC World C’ships Selection Criteria
- SwimSwam Meet Preview
- Entry List
- Day 1 Prelims Recap
- Live Results
- Live Stream
Day 1 finals of the 2018 Aussie SC Championships, the meet which serves as the qualifying competition for the Short Course World Championships, brought out the big guns of the Dolphins squad. Cameron McEvoy, Kyle Chalmers, Emily Seebohm and Emma McKeon were among those hitting the Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre pool vying for a chance to represent their nation in Hangzhou this December.
According to Australia’s selection procedures, a maximum squad number of 20 will travel to Hangzhou, with selection priority given to those 1st and 2nd placed eligible athletes in the A final of individual Olympic events at the Aussie SC Championships, as long as they have equaled or bettered the established Swimming Australia qualifying time.
Last year’s title winner in the men’s 400m free, Olympian David McKeon, is out of this meet, still recovering from shoulder surgery, which left the door wide open for a new gold medalist. 23-year-0ld Jack McLoughlin made it happen, following up on his impressive morning effort of 3:40.58 with an even faster 3:39.03 to take the top prize and shut Olympian Mack Horton out of the medals.
With his head-turning swim, McLoughlin clinched a spot on the Australian SC Worlds roster, with his mark tonight dipping under the Aussie-dictated QT of 3:40.87.
Also dipping under the qualifying mark was 18-year-old Bond athlete Elijah Winnington, Commonwealth Games relay medalist on the Gold Coast. Winnington fell just .14 shy of McLoughlin, touching in 3:39.17 for silver and a chance to represent Australia this December.
However, with Winnington’s age being 18, his time also establishes a new World Junior Record, successfully delving under the 3:39.48 benchmark set by FINA that had yet to be reached.
Bronze tonight went to TSS Aquatics’ Josh Parrish, who touched in 3:41.08, while Horton settled for 4th in 3:45.56, well over the consideration time. He’ll have more chances to qualify in the 200m and 800m freestyle events.
Matching her exact winning time from the 2017 edition of this meet, Olympic medalist Emily Seebohm scored the 200m backstroke win again at these championships, stopping the clock at 2:02.72. The 26-year-old saw Minna Atherton surge to the top seed this morning, but Seebohm held steady and used her seasoned racing skills to slide into the wall well ahead of the teen when it counted.
Seebohm has already been as fast as 1:59.94 this season at the World Cup stop in Budapest to rank as the top swimmer in the world.
For Atherton’s part, her mark tonight of 2:03.26 claimed silver, while also dipping under the 2:05.12 qualifying mark for Hangzhou. Atherton has been itching for yet another opportunity to represent the green and gold and looks to be on her way to getting that chance with her swim tonight.
Melbourne Vicentre’s Sian Whittaker took bronze this evening in the women’s 200m back, earning a podium spot in 2:06.21, the 5th fastest time of the 21-year-old’s career. Atherton and Whittaker now also check-in among the world’s fastest this season, positioned as the 4th and 8th quickest this season, respectively.
22-year-old Nicholas Brown of UWA West Coast swam lights out to produce the fastest SCM 200 fly of his career. Entering this meet with a personal best of 1:53.26 from 2016, Brown scorched a winning effort of 1:52.29 to take gold and clinch a qualifying time for Hangzhou. His outing also positions him as 4th fastest in the world so far this season.
Runner-up Bowen Gough of Nunawading fell just shy of the 1:53.09 qualification standard, finishing in 1:53.47 for silver while Olympian David Morgan rounded out the top 3 in 1:55.93.
Another Nunawading swimmer, Jessica Hansen, kept her best-time streak alive, belting out a gold medal-garnering 100m breaststroke effort of 1:05.14. That surpasses her previous personal best of 1:05.25 from 2016 and secures her consideration for this year’s Short Course World Championships.
Hansen was the only swimmer to finish under the Aussie-dictated 1:05.20 QT, as Leiston Pickett fell .73 short in a silver medal effort of 1:05.93. Jenna Strauch was next in 1:06.03 for bronze.
Pickett actually opened with the quickest first 50 of the field in 30.83, but fell behind on the back half, splitting 35.10 to Hansen’s 34.12.
Minus national record holder Cate Campbell among those in the field, Griffith’s Emma McKeon got the job done in the 100m freestyle tonight, in 52.51. That was slower than her prelim outing of 52.16, a mark that represents the 5th fastest SCM time of her career, but still checked in as the only sub-53 second time of the entire field this evening.
Next up was 30-year-old veteran Holly Barratt who rocked the fastest time ever of her long career. Entering tonight’s final, Barratt had only dipped under the 54-second threshold once with a 53.99 from way back in 2014. But, feeding off McKeon beside her, Barratt split 25.68/27.68 to claim a new PB at 30 years old in this speedy event.
Carla Buchanan rounded out the top 3 in 53.39, but McKeon was the only racer to finish beneath the QT of 52.94.
In the highly anticipated men’s 100m free race, new TSS Aquatics member Cameron McEvoy showed he’s back, registering a winning time of 46.32 for the title and a chance to travel to Hangzhou. Firing off an opening 50 of 21.82 and closing in 24.50, the 24-year-old LCM textile world record holder in this event managed to hold off a charging Kyle Chalmers who wound up touching just .21 behind in 46.53.
Chalmers used his typical back-half strategy to reel in McEvoy opening in 22.49, but coming home rapidly in wicked-fast 24.04. McEvoy had set out quick enough at the get-go to still get to the wall first, with both men smashing the 47.30 consideration time.
McEvoy enters the world rankings as the 3rd fastest swimmer this season, while Chalmers moves into 4th overall. McEvoy later anchored his TSS Aquatics 4 x 100m freestyle relay in 46.69 at the end of the meet as well.
For McEvoy, his 46.32 ranks as the 3rd fastest time of his career and quickest since 2016, a solid indication his move to TSS may be paying dividends.
Also under the QT was Rackley’s Louis Townsend, who claimed bronze in 47.11. The 20-year-old’s time tonight crushed his previous best effort of 48.66 by well over a second.
Jack Gerrard finished 4th in 47.46, while Olympian Dan Smith cleaned up in 5th place in 47.79. Thomas Fraser-Holmes, in one of his first major competitions since coming off suspension, took 6th in 48.54. After his monster 400m free, Winnington finished way back in this event, taking 10th in 48.85, although still scoring a PB.
St. Peters Western swimmer Abbey Harkin busted out the fastest SCM 400m IM time of her career to take gold tonight. Harkin got her hand on the wall in a time of 4:32.57 to drop just under 10 seconds off of her previous fastest and clinch a QT for Hangzhou.
Falling short was TSS Aquatics’ Kiah Melverton, who settled for silver in 4:35.20, while Mikkayla Sheridan touched just .22 behind in 4:35.22 for bronze in the race.
A mild upset occurred in the women’s 800m freestyle, as multiple Commonwealth Games gold medalist Ariarne Titmus saw Junior Pan Pacs champion Lani Pallister power her way to gold in a winning time of 8:13.26. 16-year-old Pallister wreaked havoc in Fiji, sweeping the women’s 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles.
The 16-year-old showed no fear here in Melbourne, keeping up with Titmus stroke-for-stroke until Pallister wound up passing the Tasmanian teen up right at the end. For her part, Titmus touched the wall just .25 back in 8:13.41, but both very comfortably dipped under the 8:25.85 QT.
The pair now sit as the 2nd and 3rd fastest swimmers in the world, situated only behind newly-minted World Junior Record holder Wang Jianjiahe of China.