Horton No-Shows 800 Free But Steers MVC To Relay Gold At Vic Open


Although Olympic champion Mack Horton was originally entered in the men’s 800m free for night 2 of the 2019 Vic Open in Melbourne, the 23-year-old Melbourne Vicentre swimmer wound up not swimming one of his go-to events.

Instead, spectators had to settle seeing the freestyle ace solely contest the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay at the end of the session, with Horton’s MVC squad taking the gold in a collective effort of 3:16.40. Along with Luke Gebbie (49.65), Jack Gerrard (47.89) and Benno Negri (48.84), Horton punched a split of 50.02 to help land MVC atop the podium to round out the 2-day SCM competition.

Yesterday’s game-changing swimmer Gabriella Peiniger was back at it again tonight, with the 17-year-old MLC star taking 3 individual events yet again.

The versatile teen fired off a winning mark of 59.03 to win the women’s 100m IM by over 2 1/2 seconds, producing a new lifetime best in the process. Entering this meet Peiniger’s PB rested at the 1:01.85 notched at the 2018 Vic Open Age Championships, so she crushed that time by almost 3 seconds with tonight’s effort.

In fact, Peiniger’s time checks her in as the 2nd fastest Aussie 17-year-old female ever in the SCM 100 IM event, sitting only behind Olympic medalist Emily Seebohm and her age-best of 58.50.

Aussie Girls 17 Years 100 Metres Individual Medley – All-Time Performers
58.50 Emily Seebohm Brothers Singapore FINA World Cup 21.11.09
59.03 Gabriella Peiniger 2019 Vic Open
1:00.40 Samantha Wilkins Haileybury Adelaide Australian SC 30.06.11
1:00.58 Tessa Wallace Pelican Waters Adelaide Australian SC 30.06.11
1:00.90 Kotuku Ngawati Melb. Vicentre Adelaide Australian SC 30.06.11
1:01.02 Alice Mills Chandler Hobart Australian SC 02.08.03

Peiniger’s next victim tonight was the 100m fly, with the MLC racer clocking a gold medal-worthy mark of 57.67. That represented the only outing of the field to dip under the minute mark, with Peiniger once again checking in among the best-ever for Aussie female 17-year-olds. Her 57.67 now positions Peiniger as the 2nd fastest Aussie ever, sitting behind Seebohm again.

Aussie Girls 17 Years 100 Metres Butterfly – All-Time Performers
57.40 Emily Seebohm Brothers Brisbane Queensland SC 29.08.09
57.67 Gabriella Peiniger 2019 Vic Open
57.84 Christina Licciardi Melb. Vicentre Sydney Australian SC 22.08.13
58.22 Gemma Cooney Brisbane Grammar Adelaide Australian SC 26.10.17
58.33 Jessicah Schipper Redcliffe LL Melbourne FINA World Cup 28.11.03
58.45 Danni Miatke Carey Aquatic Melbourne Australian SC 07.08.05
58.48 Ellese Zalewski Melb. Vicentre Hobart Australian SC 08.08.09

Finally, Peiniger did damage in the women’s 100m freestyle, dipping under the 54 second mark fo the first time ever. Heading into this Vic Open, Peiniger’s previous SCM PB sat at the 54.89 notched at last year’s Vic Open Age Championships.

Flash forward to tonight, however, and the teen crushed the only sub-54 second outing of the field, producing a winning effort of 53.79. That held off Kotuku Ngawati and her silver medal-garnering 54.74 to represent the only 2 swimmers under 55.

As with her other 2 performances tonight, Peiniger’s 100m free time of 53.79 enters her into the all-time Aussie performers’ list for female 17-year-olds, inserting her as the 4th fastest ever at that age.

Aussie Girls 17 Years 100 Metres Freestyle – All-Time Performers
52.41 Emma McKeon Wests Illawarra Singapore FINA World Cup 04.11.11
53.05 Emily Seebohm Brothers Brisbane Queensland SC 20.06.09
53.77 Shayna Jack Commercial Brisbane Australian SC 03.11.16
53.79 Daniella Peiniger 2019 Vic Open
53.95 Gemma Cooney Brisbane Grammar Adelaide Australian SC 26.10.17
54.15 Alice Mills Chandler Hobart Australian SC 02.08.03

David Schlicht, who swims for the University of Arizona Wildcats in the NCAA realm, took the men’s 200m IM tonight in a time of 1:58.01, the 4th fastest time of his career.

Nunawading’s Brendon Smith doubled up on wins tonight, taking the 200m back in 1:56.69 over teammate Bown Gough‘s mark of 1:57.12, while also topping the men’s 200m free field in 1:47.23. His 2free time sliced .12 off of his previous PB of 1:47.35 notched at this same meet one year ago.

World Championships finalist Matthew Temple put up a 50m fly time of 23.80 to take the gold and also checked-in with a mark of 1:59.08 to earn the same result in the 200m fly.

Additional Winners:

  • 16-year-old Cheltenham swimmer Abbey Kearney took the women’s 400m free by 2 1/2 seconds in a time of 4:12.19.
  • The women’s 100m back saw a battle between Olivia Lefoe and Elyse Woods, with the former touching in 1:00.05 to the latter’s 1:00.08.
  • Luke Gebbie reaped gold in the men’s 50m free event, hitting the wall in 22.29 to edge out Temple and his silver medal mark of 22.49.
  • 16-year-old Tara Kinder got her hand on the wall first in the women’s 200m breast in 2:23.93 to beat out World Championships swimmer Jess Hansen‘s clocking of 2:25.88.
  • In Horton’s absence, Silas Harris topped the men’s 800m free race in a mark of 8:00.58.
  • 18-year-old NTC athlete Jack Carr was successful in the men’s 50m back event beating the field in a time of 25.26.
  • Nunawading’s Sophie Caldwell was the Vic Open champion in the women’s 400m IM in a time of 4:46.84.
  • Firbank Aquastar Samuel Williamson put up a winning effort of 59.40 in the men’s 100m breast to take gold ahead of runner-up Daniel Cave and his time of 59.57.
  • Mikayla Smith touched in 31.24 to take the women’s 50m breast.

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2 years ago

Was he protesting?

Reply to  Wondering
2 years ago

Protesting his coach entering him in the 800 free

2 years ago

Horton keeping the protest going.

2 years ago

Tara Kinder is the first legitimately interesting Australian female breaststroke prospect in a while (as far as international potential is concerned).

She is absolutely huge, and super efficient. Skills are pretty solid for an Australian too.

If she can get a little bit more top end speed she could really be something.

Reply to  Jred
2 years ago

As an Australian, I really hope so!!

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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