While the bottom-end of the teenage-scale starred in the first two days of the 2012 long course Australian Age Group Championships, on Wednesday it was time for the stars of the age-group scene to make their statements.
Cameron McEvoy and Brittany Elmslie, both Olympians-to-be this summer, took the titles in the men’s and women’s 200 freestyles in the 17-18 race: the oldest at this meet.
McEvoy won the men’s race in 1:49.11 – which is a good time for this age group meet though for the first time of the week, not an outstanding personal-time – it might be time for him to settle back down from competition and get back into training for London. He won over a lifetime best from Hugo Morris in 1:50.67.
In the women’s race, Elmslie won in 1:58.70 after fading hard in the last 50 meters, an indicator that she’s back in heavy training with another big meet left this year. Emma McKeon, who just missed a spot in London, took 2nd in 1:58.75, followed by Mikkayla Sheridan in 2:00.69. All three of those swimmers, only 17, are coming just a month after a big taper meet, and leaves the Australians feeling confident into the future in this event (and specifically in the 800 free relay).
In the longer 400 free, in the 15-year olds age group, Mack Horton won in 3:56.49 – just over a tenth faster than his swim from senior Nationals in March and on a nearly four-second margin of victory. Remy Fairweather in the women’s version of that race, who has been a distance breakout star this year despite just missing the Olympic Team, won in 4:14.99 – far off of her 4:08 from senior Nationals.
And in the girls’ 17-18 200 breaststroke, Taylor McKeown won in 2:27.41. That’s four-seconds faster than Tessa Wallace won this same race in last year, though Wallace had the last laugh as she is headed to London thanks to her 200 breaststroke win, while McKeown was only 3rd.
Buster Sykes was another senior Nationals finalist, and he won the 17-18 boys’ 200 breaststroke in 2:13.45, which is a lifetime best swim for him.
Kyle Chandler, the burgeoning 13-year old star, didn’t have a swim on Wednesday in the finals session aside from a 28.47 in the 50 back leading off Norwood’s 200 medley relay. Nicholas Groenewald, the 14-year old who also has multiple titles under his belt at this meet (and a National Age Record) was 6th in the 100 free in 54.23. He too led off the medley relay (for Nunawading) in 27.14 – easily the best split in that field.