James Magnussen did his best Cesar Cielo impression and fired off a great in-season time on day 1 of the 2012 South Australian State Championships in Adelaide. He scored a 48.05 to win the 100 freestyle title running-away in what should be the best non-Trials swim in the world this year.
What a difference a year makes: He didn’t have a January meet in 2011 (he competes very lightly, in general), but at that point of his career, his lifetime best was only a relatively pedestrian 48.9. With his sudden surge in the past 12 months, it’s hard to know what the context of this time is. Cielo is also good in-season, so don’t be shocked if he responds soon, but right now Magnussen is all over this 100 free.
Incidentally, this swim was a South Australian All-Comers Record. He swims the 200 free on Saturday.
Matthew Abood, who has never been a hammer in-season, swam a solid 49.85. That’s two-tenths slower than he was last week in Western Australia. I think he probably would have liked to be a bit quicker, but 3rd-place swimmer Eamon Sullivan had to have been looking for better than his 50.63. He’s often slow in-season as well, but that’s the slowest finals swim he’s had in 3 years.
The other lightning-fast swim came from Blair Evans in the women’s 400 IM, where she went a 4:36.21 to take an 11-second win. That’s a lifetime best for her by four seconds and probably puts a huge shift into her plans for the Olympic Trials. That swim for the 20-year old would have placed 7th in the world last year, and is the best time this year by two seconds. This event comes at the beginning of the meet, so she’ll be able to feel out her body’s reaction, but I’d expect her to totally drop the 800 from her schedule to pull full effort into this 400 IM, along with the 200 and 400 freestyles. Evans’ swim was another South Australian All-Comers Record.
In other strong swims, Daniel Tranter of the Sopac swim club in New South Wales slapped three seconds off of the All-Comers Record in the men’s 200 IM with a win in 2:00.41. That’s a new lifetime-best for him, as he’s improved his time by two seconds in the last month. There are a lot of very young swimmers (Kenneth To, Mitchell Larkin, and Tranter are all 20-and-under) and this could be one of the most interesting, though under-the-radar, races of this year’s Australian Olympic Trials.
Jackie Stapels of Norwood, which is the best club in the state, broke a South Australian Record in the 200 fly in 2:12.56. That cleared her own mark set back in 2009, which shows that her training has finally caught up with the rubber suits. There’s too much depth for her to have a shot at the 2012 Olympic Team, but if she trains through 2016 (before which there should be a lot of other butterfly retirements), she’s got a chance at Rio given her recent improvement.
Daniel Arnamnart of Sopac knocked out home-town favorite Hayden Stoeckel in the men’s 50 back handily 25.22-25.81. Arnamnart’s swim was a South Australian All-Comers Record.
In the women’s version, Arnamnart’s teammate Kirstie Meertens did the same with an All-Comers Record of 29.04. She also beat-out a hometown favorite in Whitney Ireland, who was 4th-best in 29.90. No sign of Emily Seebohm yet on day 1 of this meet, as she will kick off on Saturday with the 100 free, followed by a 100 back on Sunday. It seems as though she’s really pared down her Olympic schedule, which may be a sign that she won’t try for the 100 fly/100 back double at Trials.
Live results (as well as live video) available here.