Jordan Merrilees Swims 200 Back PB At Australian Trials Prelims


23-year-old Jordan Merrilees swam a lifetime best in the men’s 200 backstroke prelims on the final day of the Australian Pan Pac Trials, clocking a 1:58.58 to drop his previous PB of 1:59.14 from the Commonwealth Trials. Bradley Woodward was close behind in 2nd (1:58.78), and has a shot at Pan Pac qualification in the final. Woodward was 1:56.57 at the Commonwealth Games, and can qualify for Tokyo with a swim of 1:56.11 or better. Mitch Larkin, the only male backstroker qualified so far, advanced in 4th in a time of 1:59.77.

In the women’s race, Minna Atherton led the pack in 2:12.71, just off her season-best of 2:12.49. Kaylee McKeown, who qualified earlier in the meet in the 100 back, sits 2nd in 2:13.18, and has a shot at the 2:07.64 standard after being 2:07.86 at the Commonwealth Games. Sian Whittaker (2:14.44) and Hayley Baker (2:15.43) qualified 3rd and 4th, and both have been sub-2:10 this year (Whittaker 2:09.7, Baker 2:08.6).


  • Cate Campbell, the #1 ranked 50 freestyler in the world this year with her best time of 23.78, qualified 1st in the women’s 50 freestyle in 24.54. Shayna Jack, who is also qualified for Pan Pacs already, sits 2nd in 24.67.
  • James Roberts (22.42) leads Grayson Bell (22.55) and Louis Townsend (22.59) in the men’s 50 free, with Roberts the only one within striking distance of the qualifying time of 21.77. Roberts was 21.97 at the Commonwealth Trials.
  • Jessica Hansen leads a group of four women who were 2:29-something in the women’s 200 breast, clocking 2:29.03 (not far off her season-best 2:28.60). Hansen has already qualified for the team here in the 100 breast, but the final will be the last shot for Taylor McKeown. McKeown has been faster than the qualifying time of 2:23.81 this year, going 2:23.74 at the Victorian State Championships, but since it wasn’t at the Commonwealth Games, didn’t qualify her for Pan Pacs. She’ll be hunting for that time, and Jenna Strauch and Georgia Bohl will also be in the mix.
  • Matthew Wilson qualified 1st in the men’s 200 breast in 2:10.24, with Zach Stubblety-Cook 2nd in 2:11.31. Wilson has already made the Pan Pacs with his 2:08.64 at the Commonwealth Games.

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3 years ago

I still really don’t understand why these countries do these time standards that are above the A cut, seems like a bad idea.

bobo gigi
Reply to  IDisagree
3 years ago

Maybe that’s the only way in their opinion to push coaches and athletes to improve and reach the top international level.
That system has changed French swimming in early 2000s. And today fortunately we still have high time standards. If not, coaches and athletes would be complacent. In USA it’s different. There’s so much depth. They don’t need qualifying times. You are forced to always improve because if you stagnate or move backward then a young swimmer will take your spot.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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