2018 VICTORIAN OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Friday, January 12th – Sunday, January 14th
- Melbourne Sports Aquatic Center (MSAC)
- Prelims 9am local/Finals 6pm local
- Meet Central
- Psych Sheets
With the Australian Commonwealth Games Selection Trials just over a month away, athletes down under are getting in some final racing at the 2018 Victorian open Championships scheduled for January 12th-14th at the Melbourne Sports Aquatic Centre (MSAC). Mainstay powerhouses will be sprinkled throughout the 64 events held over 3 days, but some young guns will also be ready to make their marks ahead of the Trials set for February 28th – March 2nd.
One of those youthful forces is 19-year-old Jack Cartwright, the St. Peters Western swimmer who made a name for himself with wicked-fast swims at the 2017 World Championships. A relatively inexperienced competitor at the senior level, Cartwright made the men’s 100m freestyle final in Budapest, while also scoring solid splits on his nation’s 4x100m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relays.
This weekend we’ll get a preview of what this young star can do against domestic teen rival and 2016 Olympic Champion, Kyle Chalmers. The pair are set to race against one another in the 100m freestyle, where Cartwright actually holds the top seed in 47.97, as well as the 200m freestyle, where Chalmers is the hunted with his sub-1:47 time of 1:46.87. The sprinting duels will be a highlight of this meet, as well as at the Gold Coast next month, where James Magnussen and Cameron McEvoy will also be dominant players in the mix for Commonwealth Games individual and relay berths.
An even younger talent in Tom Hauck has been making waves in Australia all year, as the 15-year-old All Saints swimmer crushed a few Queensland records earlier this season, one of which belonged to Ian Thorpe. Hauck’s highest seed this meet is his 10th place position in the men’s 200m IM, but he’s also situated as the 11th-seeded swimmer in the 400m free and 100m backstroke entering this meet. Look for young ‘Tom-a-Hauck’ to rise within the ranks, as the teen has been dropping time and lurking in the shadows of the Australian big boys already this year.
Mitch Larkin will be taking on his usual 100m and 200m backstroke races, but also comes into the meet as the top seed in the men’s 200m IM. Larkin lit up the event last moth at the Queensland Championships, where the 24-year-old established a new personal best of 1:58.89. The St. Peters Western double world champion from 2015 is making a case to add the 200m IM to his backstroke line-up for next month’s trials, holding the only entry time under the 2-minute mark.
On the women’s side, 2016 Olympic silver medalist in the 200m butterfly, Maddie Groves, is expected to make a full-fledged racing comeback after her missed-doping-test debacle that disrupted her training this year. Groves was 1 of 3 Aussies, along with Thomas Fraser-Holmes and Jarrod Poort, named as having missed 3 drug tests over a 12-month period. Groves was the only swimmer to have been cleared to compete and the 22-year-old is slated to show us what she’s got across the 50m fly/100m fly/2000m fly, as well as the 50m free and 100m free events.
Racing mainstays Emma McKeon, Brittany Elmslie, Emily Seebohm, Minna Atherton, Leah Neale, as well as the McKeown sisters are entered in this weekend’s Vic Open to get some fine-tuning in for next month.
Training partners Mack Horton (AUS) and Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) will battle in the men’s 400m and 1500m freestyle races this weekend as well.