Kaylee McKeown Fires Off 26.98 LCM 50 Back Lead-Off At Queensland Championships

2023 QUEENSLAND CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 2023 Queensland Championships kicked off today from Brisbane Aquatic Center with club relays on day one’s agenda.

Olympic multi-medalist Kaylee McKeown wasted no time making her presence known, leading off her Griffith University women’s 4x50m medley relay in nearly record-breaking fashion.

22-year-old McKeown fired off a backstroke split of 26.98 to surge her squad to the lead. That was the quickest split of the field by nearly a second, with World Record holder Mollie O’Callaghan representing the next-quickest in 27.90 as lead-off on St. Peters Western.

Ultimately, Griffith wound up with the bronze in 1:51.04 while SPW took gold in 1:50.54 and Rackley the silver in 1:51.00. All of the top 3 teams beat the previous Queensland and Queensland All Comers Record of 1:51.47 Chandler put on the books in 2017.

McKeown owns the 50m backstroke World Record with the lifetime best of 26.86 she put up just this past October at the Budapest stop of the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup.

However, her lead-off tonight down under registers as the #2 performance all-time, tying China’s Xiang Liu‘s 26.98 logged at the 2018 Asian Games. McKeown now owns 4 of the top 10 swims ever produced in the LCM 50 backstroke.

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kevin
2 months ago

She is seriously a hot swimmer on any day we could be seeing the best ever ❤️

Babydream on spring
Reply to  kevin
2 months ago

Yes totally

Sandra R
2 months ago

Kaylee is an amazing swimmer, and as the 50M LC world record holder, her lead-off time in the medley relay is not a surprise.

Sub13
Reply to  Sandra R
2 months ago

I think it’s a surprise! She just matched the previous WR at a random in-season meet! Before this year her PB was ranked 8th all time. I don’t think we should downplay how much of a big deal it is to break a WR and then keep backing it up with similar times. There are lots of swimmers who break a WR once and never come close again. Kaylee almost seems to be getting the Ledecky treatment of “she does amazing stuff so often that it’s not a big deal anymore”

Joel
2 months ago

Someone said the Brisbane pool is too old for world records to be set at trials in 2024. Kaylee came close today. Plus she set a short course one there in 2020. C1 set a LC one there back in 2016 too I think

Sub13
Reply to  Joel
2 months ago

Tbh I’d rather they swim in an older pool for trials. In Fukuoka we had such a high % of swimmers doing better at worlds than trials, maybe because trials weren’t held in ideal conditions. Much better to have something left in the tank than set a WR at trials and go slower at Olympics!

Troyy
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

Kaylee was fast at trials even in the slow pool so the pool doesn’t seem to matter for her.

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

but but she was still slower at world!!!

Troyy
Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
2 months ago

Is that you Coleman??

Boxall's Railing
2 months ago

Hit me to read she’s only 22. Feels like she’s been the backstroke queen forever now.

Sub13
2 months ago

I think it’s been overlooked that Kaylee set a 1.3 second PB in the 50 free today as well.

I believe she is now tied with Hosszu for the fastest combined 50m add ups on 1:51.20 (please correct me if there is someone else faster).

We already know from the article last week she has the fastest 100m add ups.

McIntosh currently has the fastest 200m add ups with 8:34.16. Kaylee doesn’t have a recorded time for 200 fly, but she would take the top spot with a 2:09.96 or better.

Fastest 50 and 100 add ups ever and pretty close to the 200s as well. Versatile queen!

Summer Love
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

Incredible

Sub13
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

Actually scratch that. Looks like there are a few who might have faster 50 add ups. But she’s still up there.

Thomas Selig
2 months ago

McKeown’s ability to casually throw down insane times in-season is incredible.

Southerly Buster
2 months ago

Seems like every time McKeown dives in the water we fans need to be on alert for a possible World Record or PB (even in a club relay).

Jonathan
2 months ago

In a way it’s a bit of a curse that Kaylee McKeown and Regan Smith can swim so unbelievably fast in season. Makes it harder for them to peak and swim their best times of the season at the most important meets of the season.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Jonathan
2 months ago

One of them has less trouble than the other

Hhdjhdhd
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
2 months ago

You did not 🤣😭😭

jeff
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
2 months ago

actually if you look at the data, neither of them hit season bests at the most important swim with any consistency. From 2021 to 2023, neither of them set SBs in Worlds/Olympics finals in the 200 back. In the 100 back, they both did it in 2023, but didn’t in 2021/2022. So both of them are at 1/6 across the last 3 seasons

Joel
Reply to  jeff
2 months ago

Kaylee was only 0.02 off her SB at the Olympics I think.

Sub13
Reply to  jeff
2 months ago

To get technical and specific: the 200 fly in Tokyo and Budapest are the only times in the last 4 years that Smith has set a season best at an international level individual final.

For Kaylee, she set a season best in an international level final in the 50 back this year (DQ’d from 200IM so who knows what would have happened), 50 back and 200IM last year, and 100/200 back and 200IM at Short Course Worlds last year.

So Kaylee does often swim slower than her SB but it’s less often than Smith, and the difference is usually much less. For example, Kaylee’s 100 back was 0.03 off her trials time at worlds this year and 0.02 off her… Read more »

snailSpace
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
2 months ago

What has Regan Smith ever done to you?

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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