Tonight saw the opening night of the Australian Short Course Championhips from Perth, WA. First time back at this great facility for a long time. There are only a few of the returning Olympians that have decided to compete here. Most are holidaying or filming Subway Advertisements (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtO2i_UFC9c).
Swimming Australia in a bid to reign in some spending, is only sending a small team to Worlds Short Course this year. They are planning only for a team of 28 and have set their own qualifying times. They are pretty fast. Mens 50 free? 21.29. 7 people this year have gone that fast. In the world, not Australia. So, they are fast. Most times are based on about 15th place ranking in the world.
The mens 200 free final saw a predictable ending with Tommaso D’Orsogna flying out of the blocks, holding until 50 to go when he was swamped by Jarrod Killey and Bobby Hurley. Killey managed to sneak under the imposed QT by 0.05sec with a 1:43.20 for the win. Hurley took 2nd in 1:43.49, followed by D’Orsogna (1:43,87) and Kyle Richardson (1:44.45).
Young star Cameron McEvoy couldn’t go out with the pace of the lead pack, and ran out of room to make the top four on a furious closing length. He was 5th in 1:44.79.
The womens 200 fly was led from start to finish. In what looked like a very comfortable swim, Amy Smith held a great pace and if anything, outlasted her opponents as they dropped off. Another classy swimmer coming out of St Peters Western Swim Club, winning in 2:07.42. She is in good company training alongside Stephanie Rice, Meagan Nay, Nick D’Arcy and Kenrick Monk to name a few.
Having missed the Olympic Team, 19 year old Ellen Fullerton has proven lately that she is still a quality swimmer and that in the near future, she will likely be one of the ones to beat in the 400 IM. In that race at this meet, leading from start to finish, the only time she looked to have a peer was when she didn’t pull away further in the breaststroke leg. It was a particularly comfortable win but again, only just snuck under the QT in 4:34.48.
Looking ahead to tomorrow, there should be some awesome racing when the mens 100 back, breast and fly finals are on. This meet could very quickly become the Kenny To show. In the semis of the 100 fly tonight it was a lesson for every one in attendance. So fast. So controlled. So comfortable. Highest profile of the returning Olympians would be silver medalist Nick Sprenger. Looking lethargic early on in the 100 breast, he did what was required to get out of the semis and into the final. The womens side sees the 50 breast with Sarah Katsoulis lookng the goods, and the 100 back final where a name many Americans will remember, Rachael Goh, is topping the times. Rachael, having changed clubs recently, looked every part the favourite for tomorrow nights final. Her superior turns and underwater work make her almost an unbackable favourite. That would be the case if it weren’t for Grace Loh just out touching her good friend in the second semi.
For any college recruiters out there, this is the one you should be paying attention to . Lots of young swimmers swimming fast short course.
Live results can be found here http://www.clubsonline.com.au/uploads/swimresults/National/2012SC/index.htm