2018 AUSTRALIAN SWIMMING TRIALS
- Wednesday, February 28th – Saturday, March 3rd
- Optus Aquatic Centre, Marine Parade, Southport, Queensland
- Prelims at 11:00am local (8pm EST previous night)/Finals at 7:15pm local (4:15am EST)
- Meet Central
- Selection Criteria (including QTs)
- Start Lists
- SwimSwam Meet Preview
- Live Stream (prelims only)
- Live Results
Day 1 Prelims Recap
WOMEN’S 200 FREE (FINAL)
- Australian National Record – 1:54.83, Emma McKeon, 2016
- ‘A’ Cut – 1:56.34
- GOLD – ARIARNE TITMUS, 1:55.76
- SILVER – EMMA MCKEON, 1:56.57
- BRONZE – LEAH NEALE – 1:57.68
In what some might call a mild upset, 17-year-old Ariarne Titmus raced her way to a national title in the women’s 200m freestyle over Olympic bronze medalist Emma McKeon.
Titmus set herself up nicely in the morning with a solid mark of 1:56.68, not far off of her own career-fastest of 1:56.34 put up at the Queensland Championships last December. However, the St. Peters Western athlete kicked things up a notch tonight, splitting, 56.86/58.9 to clock a huge winning time of 1:55.76, her fastest ever. Her time is also the new 17-year-old national age record.
For comparison American legend Katie Ledecky’s fastest 200m freestyle at 17 years of age checked in at 1:55.16, so the fact Titmus is in that range even before the main Commonwealth Games event is exciting for Aussie fans.
Seasoned racer McKeon did what needed to be done to nab her spot among the top 3. Even though her outing of 1:56.57 is over the A qualifying time dictated by Swimming Australia, the national record holder will surely get a nod in this event individually.
Titmus and McKeon now rank as 2nd and 5th in the world this season, respectively, giving them a nice edge headed into a home-hosted Commonwealth Games.
Rounding out the top 3 was Olympic silver medalist Leah Neale, who touched in 1:57.68.
Of note, 25-year-old Olympian Cate Campbell finished 9th and out of the final in 1:59.53. The 25-year-old only had intentions of swimming the prelim of this race anyway, as a means to put her hat in the ring for a possible 4x200m freestyle relay spot.
MEN’S 100 BACK (FINAL)
- Australian National Record – 52.11, Mitch Larkin, 2015
- ‘A’ Cut – 53.76
- GOLD – MITCH LARKIN, 53.37
- SILVER – BRAD WOODWARD, 54.24
- BRONZE – BEN TREFFERS, 54.40
2015 double world champion Mitch Larkin looked back to form, producing the only A qualifying time of the final. After a swift 53.90 opener this morning, Larkin nailed his Commonwealth Games roster spot in a mark of 53.37 to check-in as the 2nd fastest swimmer in the world this season.
It took Larkin 53.59 to catch silver behind England’s Christopher Walker-Hebborn at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, so the 24-year-old St. Peters Western star looks primed to upgrade to gold if he can produce a similar performance at this same venue in 5 weeks.
19-year-old Bradley Woodward of Mingara Aquatic scored the fastest of his career by well over half a second, stopping the clock at 54.24 for silver, while veteran Ben Treffers settled for bronze in 54.40. Treffers has said his career is up in the air and depends greatly on these Trials. He’ll need to step it up in the 50m back and hope for a roster spot in that lower priority, non-Olympic event.
WOMEN’S 200 BREAST (FINAL)
- Australian National Record – 2:20.54, Leisel Jones, 2006
- ‘A’ Cut – 2:23.81
- GOLD – TAYLOR MCKEOWN, 2:23.87
- SILVER – TESSA WALLACE, 2:24.41
- BRONZE – GEORGIA BOHL, 2:25.52
2016 Olympic finalist Taylor McKeown rose to the occasion to build on her top seed from this morning, taking the women’s 200m breaststroke win decisively in 2:23.87. The 22-year-old closed in a quick split of 36.91 on her final 50, not unlike her 36.93 from her prelim result, to earn gold in the only sub-2:24 time of the field.
McKeown’s time was within a second of the 2:23.07 she produced for 7th place at the last year’s World Championships. Although her time technically falls just .06 shy of the A cut, given the fact she’s been an Olympic finalist and has proven she is capable of surpassing the 2:23.81 standard, she most likely will be discretionarily selected to the Commonwealth squad.
Her 2:23.50 from the Queensland Championships still ranks as McKeown’s fastest swim of the season and stands as the #2 time in the world.
Tessa Wallace dropped almost 5 seconds from her prelim swim to frog-hop her way from 3rd seed to a silver medal, earning a final time of 2:24.41, while Griffith University’s Georgia Bohl‘s time of 2:25.52 rendered the 20-year-old bronze in the race.
MEN’S 200 BREAST (FINAL)
- Australian National Record – 2:07.31, Christian Sprenger, 2009
- ‘A’ Cut – 2:08.80
- GOLD – MATTHEW WILSON, 2:08.31
- SILVER – ZAC STUBBLETY-COOK, 2:10.64
- BRONZE – GEORGE HARLEY, 2:10.82
19-year-old Matthew Wilson wowed the crowd with a massive gold medal-winning swim in the men’s 200m breaststroke. Entering these Trials, his fastest was the 2:08.64 he produced in semi-finals last year in Budapest, a mark he was unable to match in the final.
Tonight, the SOPAC swimmer got off quickly with a speedy 1:01.61 opening 100 and then held on to close in 1:06.57 to clock a time of 2:08.31, sliding under the 2:08.80 A qualifying standard. Wilson’s 2:08.31 tonight now ranks as the 2nd fastest time in the world, ahead of such powerhouses as China’s Yan Zibei and Japanese world record holder Ippei Watanabe.
Wilson threw down the only sub-2:10 outing of the entire field, with Zac Stubblety-Cook and George Harley falling short in 2:10.64 and 2:10.82, for silver and bronze, respectively.
Given the fact the top 3 finishers are all just 19 years old gives the green and gold hope that they can finally perhaps fulfill the huge breaststroking shoes left by retired Christian Sprenger.
MEN’S 200 FLY (FINAL)
- Australian National Record – 1:54.46, Nick D’Arcy, 2009
- ‘A’ Cut – 1:55.58
- GOLD – DAVID MORGAN, 1:56.73
- SILVER – GRANT IRVINE, 1:57.37
- BRONZE – THEO BENEHOUTSOS, 1:57.99
24-year-old David Morgan proved he’s not messing around, firing off the 4th fastest time of his career to take the men’s 200m butterfly national title. The silver medalist from the 2014 Commonwealth Games finished ahead of the field in 1:56.73, not too far off of 1:56.34 that garnered him his hardware in Glasgow 4 years ago.
Right behind was Grant Irvine, the semi-finalist from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Irvine most definitely would have liked to have gone faster than the 1:57.37 he produced, a mark so far off the A cut, he may potentially be left home depending on overall roster size. Morgan at least dipped under the Australian-dictated B standard of 1:57.28.
Greek-born Theo Benehoutsos rounded out the top 3 with bronze in 1:57.99, just .05 behind his morning swim of 1:57.94.
WOMEN’S 100 BACK (FINAL)
- Australian National Record – 58.23, Emily Seebohm, 2012
- ‘A’ Cut – 59.82
- GOLD – EMILY SEEBOHM, 59.15
- SILVER – HAYLEY BAKER, 59.95
- BRONZE – KAYLEE MCKEOWN, 1:00.09
Emily Seebohm proved once again that she is the undisputed Australian queen of backstroke after nabbing the morning’s only A cut outright with her top seed of 58.90 on the 100m sprint. Although tonight the 25-year-old was a tad slower, she still dipped well beneath the A cut of 59.82 once again with a solid 59.15 gold medal-winning swim.
Silver went to an unexpected competitor in Melbourne Vicentre’s Hayley Baker. Baker ripped off the 2nd fastest time of her career by just .01 to chase after Seebohm, touching in 59.95. Tonight represents just the 2nd time Baker has been under the minute barrier, beating the B time of 1:00.61 for possible consideration for the Commonwealth Games.
16-year-old Kaylee McKeown earned bronze, but has already proven she’s able to go sub-minute. She recently snagged the NSW State title in 59.67, with Baker finishing just behind in 1:00.27.
Brisbane Grammar’s world junior record holder Minna Atherton finished off the podium in 1:00.76. Also of note, Madi Wilson was originally entered in this event, but did not wind up swimming.
WOMEN’S 200 FLY (FINAL)
- Australian National Record – 2:03.41, Jess Schipper, 2009
- ‘A’ Cut – 2:07.82
- GOLD – LAURA TAYLOR, 2:06.80
- SILVER – EMMA MCKEON, 2:08.00
- BRONZE – BRIANNA THROSSELL, 2:08.11
TSS Aquatics’ Laura Taylor pulled another mild upset over Emma McKeon, taking the women’s 200m butterfly in 2:06.80. That mark sits over a full second under the A cut of 2:07.82 and ensures the 18-year-old a spot on her home country’s Commonwealth roster.
Taylor flew to the top the pack with a wicked-fast opener of 1:00.74, then produced a back half of 1:06.06 to crush a gold medal-winning effort of 2:06.80, the fastest of her young career.
McKeon finished in a most likely not-fully-rested 2:08.00 for silver, while Olympic finalist in this event, Western Australia’s Brianna Throssell, touched just .11 later in 2:08.11.
Of note, McKeon beat Taylor at December’s Queensland Championships, but Taylor got the upper hand at NSWs. At the latter, Taylor’s time of 2:08.11 to McKeon’s 2:08.32 for a big confidence boost headed into these Trials.
Teen Taylor raced her way into the world’s top 5 this season.
Olympic silver medalist in this event, Maddie Groves, finished in 5th in a time of 2:10.67. Australian media was doubtful she would even compete this week, so the fact Groves put forth a solid performance in light of her recent missing-doping-test-related case is notable.
MEN’S 200 FREE (FINAL)
- Australian National Record – 1:44.06, Ian Thorpe, 2001
- ‘A’ Cut – 1:46.28
- GOLD – KYLE CHALMERS, 1:46.49
- SILVER – MACK HORTON, 1:46.76
- BRONZE – ALEXANDER GRAHAM, 1:47.13
In one of the most highly anticipated finals of the entire meet, 19-year-old Kyle Chalmers came out on top, taking the men’s 200m freestyle title in a time of 1:46.49. Tonight represents the first time the 100m freestyle Olympic champion has delved into 1:46 territory, with his pervious personal best sitting at the 1:47.64 from 2016.
Olympic gold medalist in the 400m freestyle, Mack Horton, gave Chalmers a run for his money, finishing less than half a second later in 1:46.76, the only other sub-1:47 time of the field. The men split the race a tad differently, however, with Chalmers clocking 51.96 for the first 100 to Horton’s 52.95. On the return, Horton closed in 53.81 to Chalmers’ 54.53.
Bond’s Alexander Graham proved he, too, can go 1:46, earning 1:46.72 in the morning prelim. He followed up that outing with a slower 1:47.13 for bronze, but has proven a potentially valuable piece of the Australian men’s 4x200m freestyle puzzle. All 3 sit within the world’s top 5 after tonight.
17-year-old Elijah Winnington was right in the mix, finishing 4th in 1:47.28, while his Bond training partner, Cameron McEvoy had a terrible race, finishing in 1:48.67, over a second slower than his prelim swim.