McKeon Posts Another 53-Range 100 Free, Pallister With 15:54 1500 Free To Close Vic Open


The final day of the 2024 Victorian Open Long Course Championships unfolded today in Melbourne, giving us a glimpse into where several Aussie stars are at with Aussie Nationals taking place in April and Olympic Trials set for June.

Kaylee McKeown fans were disappointed that the 22-year-old wound up not racing today after having been entered in both the women’s 50m back and 200m IM.

Already here at MSAC, McKeown put up a series of impressive performances including a time of 58.19 in the 100m back, 1:07.01 in the 100m breast, 54.35 in the 100m free and 4:06.85 in the 400m free. The latter was quite head-turning, with McKeown entering the sub-4:10 zone for the first time in her career for this off-event.

Australia’s most decorated Olympian of all time Emma McKeon was in the water for this 3rd day, logging yet another imposing result in sprint freestyle.

29-year-old McKeon raced in the heats of the women’s 200m free with the purpose of time-trialing the opening 100m.

McKeon’s split checked in at 53.02, comprised of a 25.42 opener and 27.60 on the back half. That was nearly identical to the 53.00 she posted in the individual 100m freestyle event on night one which positioned her as 4th in the world this season.

With McKeon out of the 200m free final, it was Griffith teammate Lani Pallister who wound up topping the podium.

21-year-old Pallister blasted a time of 1:56.63, far and away the best of the field as the sole competitor under 2:01.

Pallister split 57.08/59.55 to turn in the 5th-fastest time of her career and rank her just outside the season’s top 15 performers worldwide. Her personal best remains at the 1:56.03 notched at last year’s World Championships Trials.

Pallister will be among those vying at least for a coveted spot on the women’s 4x200m free relay for Paris. She was a member of the prelims line up for the event at the 2023 World Championships, registering a 2nd leg of 1:56.83.

Of note, Japan’s Rikako Ikee, who’s been training at Griffith since last October, was entered in the 200m free but wound up not racing today.

Pallister also took on the 1500m free final which saw her produce a winning effort of 15:54.52, the 4th-best outing of her career. She now takes over as the 5th-quickest performer on the season and her time would have captured silver at this year’s World Championships.

2023-2024 LCM Women 1500 Free

3 Lani
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William Yang dove back in after taking the men’s 100m free earlier in the competition. Still coming back to form since undergoing back surgery last year, Yang took the 50m free gold this evening in 22.28.

The 25-year-old was lightly quicker in the morning, notching 22.14, a new personal best. His result overtook his prior PB of 22.31 from 2019.

That, paired with his 48.52 100m free result, is promising for what he may be able to produce come June’s Olympic Trials.

With 2024 World Championships silver medalist Cameron McEvoy on track to take the top spot in the 50m free at Trials, Yang enters the conversation regarding who may make a run at slot #2 for Paris. The QT of 21.88 is now within striking distance for Yang given the fact he’s within .26 at this in-season meet.

However, he’ll need to fend off the likes of Thomas Nowakowski who put up a time of 21.89 at last year’s World Championships Trials, as well as Isaac Cooper who placed 5th in Doha with a time of 21.77.

Flynn Southam and Kyle Chalmers are also among those who could vie for the 50m free Olympic roster spot.

Coming back to this Vic Open, Cody Simpson was another standout performer on this final day, winning the men’s 100m fly by nearly a second.

27-year-old Simpson touched in 52.02 to separate himself from Japan’s Kosuke Tsukamoto and Korea’s Kim Jihun, who finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Tsukamoto hit 52.84 while Kim logged 53.04.

As for Simpson, his 52.02 (24.39/27.63) represents his best of the season and among the top 10 performances of his career. In June he’ll be chasing the Australian Qualification Time of 51.17, as well as a top 2 finish, needed to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

Additional Winners

  • 18-year-old Johann Zymanski topped the men’s 1500m free podium in 15:36.47.
  • The women’s 200m fly saw 21-year-old Lucy Dring get it done for gold in 2:13.33.
  • Lily Koch of Nunawading, just 15 years of age, notched a mark of 32.61 to top the women’s 50m breast podium. Her faster morning swim of 32.53 ranks her 9th among all Aussies aged 15, all-time.
  • As exhibition swimmers, former world record holder Matt Wilson and Joshua Yong hit the quickest times of the men’s 200m breast field. Wilson touched in 2:11.31 while Yong was also under the 2:12 threshold in 2:11.96.
  • Isabella Boyd won the women’s 200m IM by over 4 seconds, clocking 2:13.73.
  • The men’s 400m IM saw William Petric produce a time of 4:18.38 for the gold. He owns a lifetime best of 4:14.48 from last December and will need to be even quicker than that at Trials where a minimum time of 4:12.50 is needed to make the Olympic squad.
  • Olivia Lefoe took the women’s 50m back in 28.91 while Zac Dell won the men’s 100m back race in 55.54 this evening.

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Stephen Thomas
1 month ago

No mention of the Campbell sisters in any of the posts!

Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Stephen Thomas
1 month ago

that’s because this a results recap and she didn’t compete here. they’re still the 9th and 12th and fastest 100 freestylers post-fukuoka, so they’re still elite. I guess cate was right when she said the americans were sore losers, since you still feel the need to talk about her in an unrelated article

Last edited 1 month ago by Emily Se-Bom Lee
Reply to  Emily Se-Bom Lee
1 month ago

Stephen is Australian.

1 month ago

Slightly off topic NSW metros was held on the weekend most notable results were Marcus da Silva 100 free in 49.92 and Shaun Champion 23.96/52.24 in the 50/100 fly

1 month ago

Emma looks fantastic she knows what’s required to get 50/100 spots Paris her times at Vic indicate she is well on track .. other than Molly i Don’t see meg or Shayna getting a 100 ind spot .
I do however see Meg and Shayna giving Emma a big threat in the 50 . Olivia Wunsch is a Smokey she didn’t go to worlds coach must think she is a real deal certainly top 6 100 free without question so hence relay spot Paris

Reply to  kevin
1 month ago

Considering the quality of athletes vying for those six spots I wouldn’t say Wunsch is certain to get top six.

Reply to  kevin
1 month ago

I dont think anyone is certain of an individual spot, the 100 free at trials will be tightly contested. Olivia Wunsch will have to improve ans swim past some established names to book that relay spot. I’d like that to happen, but nothing is a lock. Decided on the day.

Reply to  kevin
1 month ago

Meg isn’t gonna snag the second spot barring an upset, but Jack has a faster SB and faster best time since Tokyo than McKeon.

Reply to  snailSpace
1 month ago

Emma went 23.99 at Commies

1 month ago

Emma’s 100 free looked faster on the video timer but obviously not accurate. Still very solid times for in-season, and her 100 fly being much better than her best last season is a good sign.

Hoping Lani can make a breakthrough and get on to the final 200 free relay. Feels like she has a 1:55 low split in her, and I think Jack is better off concentrating on the 50/100 instead of trying to extend up to 200.

Decent time from Yang. Australia might finally get 4 47s at trials.

Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

Emma: yes I watched it at 1/3 speed on Kayo, and it certainly looked liked 52.5/.6.
Interesting to see the discrepancy between that and the ‘true’ time.

M4x1: that would be superb – who are you thinking are the likely names?
Just based on past sub-47/48 flat times:
Taylor ?

Tough to know where some of these are at right now. I gather we didn’t get to see ‘prime’ Jack at Doha.

Then there’s Yang of course. Guiliani went 48.2 last year, so he must be in the frame too.
Any intell on how Zac Incerti is going?

Hopefully the NSW Champs give us a better insight – will know… Read more »

Reply to  SNygans01
1 month ago

McEvoy is training for the 100 free from after WC.

Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

A striking omission from my list! Cheers

Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

Oh when did he say that? I hadn’t heard that?

Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

I can’t find the article, but I heard that both Cooper & McEvoy were concentrating on 50s till end of WC & then bring in the 100 free for McEvoy & 100 back for Cooper for the Paris Olympics.

Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

Certainly Isaac said that post-race at Doha but can’t remember Cam saying anything about 100s.

Reply to  SNygans01
1 month ago

Obviously Kyle.

Southam and Cartwright both went 47 last year although Cartwright was very sick at Worlds so I hope he recovers well.

Taylor, Incerti, Giuliani and Temple are all realistically possible based on previous performance. Taylor split a 47.5 on the relay heat in Fukuoka, Incerti 47.5 in Tokyo.

Also I guess Cam if he is incorporating the 100 should be in the 47 range.

Certainly no guarantees, but with 8 shots at a 47, 4 doesn’t seem crazy.

Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

My overall thoughts on the meet

McKeown: despite scratching the last day, appears to be tracking quite close to same time last year and the tenth or so difference may’ve been down to some less than tidy finishes (100back/breast). Otherwise, she looked fine.

McKeon: always a tricky one to fully gauge precisely where she’s at as she almost always looks so smooth but, other than her finishes, she DID look better than 2023 in her 100s at least. 56.40 in 100fly was what I was projecting for Trials, seeing this in Feb may definitely need a recalibration.

Pallister: slightly lower profile but equally as impressive. Barring health/injury, a virtual lock to qualify in 400/1500 and most likely 800; the question… Read more »

Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

We would need 4 47s if we any chance against the Americans, they are very much the favs for the male 4×100 free, even without Dressel.

Reply to  Robbos
1 month ago

What about team GB?

Reply to  Danpitameyer
1 month ago

They are just ahead of Australia, Italy, but behind USA.

Reply to  Sub13
1 month ago

Jack is fine for one swim in the 4×200 final. She’s not so great at three individual 200s plus the relay (as in Doha).

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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