16-year old behemoth Kyle Chalmers has swum 49.27 in the 100 long course meter freestyle at the Georgina Hope Foundation Australian Age Group Championships on Sunday in Sydney. This meet, which is designed to determine the best swimmer in each event for each age across Australia, runs 8 days through next Monday.
The meet includes the following age groups in a full slate of events, focusing on the Olympic schedule:
The most anticipated age group of those in this particular week will be the 16-year olds, where Kyle Chalmers is coming off of a record-setting performance last week that earned him a spot on the Australian team for the World Championships this summer, which is his first senior national squad. His first swim of the Age Group Championships weren’t quite as fast as the 48.69 done last week, but the mark is still one that would make every other 16-year old in the world jealous.
Jack Cartwright took 2nd in the event in 50.29, which is a stout time for a 16-year old in any other class.
Chalmers wasn’t the only 16-year old to impress on the first day of this meet. In the age groups’ other event for the day, the 200 fly, Tasmin Cook took the girls’ race in 2:09.93. That’s two seconds better than Alanna Bowles used to win this age group last year.
That swim would’ve placed 3rd at senior Nationals last week, a meet where Cook didn’t compete, though she wouldn’t have really been within range to take a spot on the Worlds team (two-and-a-half seconds short).
Chelsea Gubecka, expected to be a force all week long in Sydney, took 2nd in 2:12.84 as a warmup.
This meet is an open meet, which means that there are a few international stars present (though they’re generally not awarded the official title of “Australian Age Group Champion”). Included among those is a Junior National Team from Canada, who has made this trip a standard on their annual development schedule.
14-year old Penny Oleksiak is included on that team after an incredible run at the Canadian World Championship Trials two weeks ago that saw her break several National Age Group records in her home country. She started out the meet with a new lifetime best in the 200 IM at 2:19.53, beating out the top Australian finisher Katie Strachan (2:20.21).
Oleksiak didn’t swim this event in Toronto, and in fact hasn’t raced it yet this year, but that early result is still a good sign that she’s got some taper left for this week. She also won the 100 fly on Monday in 1:01.51, a second-and-a-half slower than she was in Toronto, so she’s still not going to be quite at her best.
Other Noteworthy Times:
- In the Boys’ 16-year olds 200 fly, Bowen Gough swam a 2:01.20 to win by two seconds. Gough tore through the first 150 of this race, and while he lost his steam a bit to finish, his damage was already done.
- Ami Matsuo of the Carlisle Swimming Club won the 17-18 Girls’ 50 free in 25.34. That’s a season-best for her and was better than the times she swam in any of the three rounds last week where she wound up 7th.
- Elijah Winnington, who has a long history of success at this meet, won the 14-year old boys’ 200 IM in 2:10.00 ahead of Leo Macalister. The 14-year olds age group wasn’t the strongest at this meet last year, but should see better results in 2015.
- Shayna Jack matched her semi-finals time from senior Nationals to win the finals of the girls’ 16-year olds 100 free on Monday in 54.94. Elyse Woods took 2nd in 56.04.
- Chandler’s Georgia Bohl won the girls’ 17-18 100 meter breaststroke in 1:08.75, which blew-away the competition by over two seconds.
- 18-year old Grayson Bell is the new young hope in an Australian men’s breaststroke group that needs one. After a 6th-place performance at Nationals last week in 1:01.90, he won the 17-18 boys’ 100 breaststroke on Monday with a 1:01.73, less than half-a-second away from the Australian Age Group Record (and only .13 from the All-Comers mark for 17-year olds, which is a record that stands from the 1990’s). This makes back-to-back titles for Bell as he raced to an early lead over Alex Milligan (1:02.96).
- Another Canadian, Danika Huizinga, won the girls’ 15s 200 backstroke in 2:14.82, with teammate Rebecca Smith placing 2nd in 2:15.40. Smith held the lead for most of this race, but Huizinga built her speed on the last 100 for victory. The top Canadian, Tanya Stovgaard, was 3rd in 2:18.35.
- Joshua Parrish won the boys 17-18 400 free in 3:52.87. While that’s still a far-cry from Ian Thorpe’s legendary record (3:40.59), it does place Parrish 11th on the all-time rankings for 17-year olds in Australia. He beat out Damian Fyfe, who was 2nd in 3:55.11. Fyfe will be a contender to win both the 100 fly and 200 free later in this meet.