McKeown Rips Another Sub-58 100 Backstroke, O’Callaghan Takes 200 Free In Queensland

2023 QUEENSLAND CHAMPIONSHIPS

The 2023 Queensland Championships saw day two unfold from Brisbane Aquatic Center with the meet representing the last-chance opportunity for swimmers to qualify for the 2024 World Championships.

As we’ve reported, head coach Rohan Taylor doubts the maximum roster size for Doha will top out at 20 due to the timing of the competition, which means we may see some up-and-coming athletes step up and qualify for a chance to race on their first international Worlds stage.

The first event on the night was the women’s 200m freestyle with World Record holder Mollie O’Callaghan producing a smooth time of 1:54.36 to grab the gold.

The 19-year-old St. Peters Western star opened in 56.24 and closed in 58.12 to get the job done, establishing a new Queensland All Comers Record in the process. Her time overtook the previous mark of 1:54.55 Emma McKeon put on the books in 2019. McKeon wasn’t entered in this 2free event.

Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus was next to the wall in a result of 1:55.99 to beat out Kaylee McKeown of Griffith who turned in a time of 1:56.14.

For 22-year-old McKeown, the multi-World Record holder just earned a new lifetime best in this event, slicing over half a second off her 1:56.88 from this year’s Australian National Championships. She appears very serious about chasing a potential slot on the women’s 4x200m free relay for the Paris Olympic Games.

McKeown was back in the water later on in the session to take on the 100m back. As is her norm, she produced another head-turning performance of 57.79 to grab the gold by well over a second.

McKeown split 28.38/29.41 to come within .46 of her own World Record with tonight’s performance checking in as the 7th-best outing of her prolific career.

Breakers’ 18-year-old Iona Anderson also got under the QT needed for Doha by registering a silver medal-worthy time of 59.43. The West Australian had only ever been under the 1:00 barrier one other time, carrying a personal best of 59.88 into this competition.

O’Callaghan doubled up on her 200m free performance with a bronze in this 1back, hitting 59.53 to also land on the podium.

The men’s 200m free saw 20-year-old Maximillian Giuliani of Miami continue his remarkable breakout year.

It was at the Berlin stop of the World Aquatics Swimming World Cup where Giuliani clocked his first-ever international podium placement time, grabbing 200m free gold in a then-personal best of 1:46.18.

He took that time down to a new PB of 1:45.42 at the Budapest stop on the tour and tonight was within striking distance with another successful result of 1:45.67. That got Giuliani to the wall .11 ahead of Rackley’s Olympian Tommy Neill, with Neill scoring silver in 1:45.78 while Elijah Winnington rounded out the top 3 in 1:46.36.

Neill’s time tonight fell just .08 shy of his best-ever 1:45.70 logged at the 2021 Olympic Trials, giving us a glimpse into his return to form after a couple of low-key years.

On another stop along her post-injury return, 26-year-old Jenna Strauch took the women’s 200m breaststroke event in a time of 2:23.94. Strauch has already been as swift as 2:22.83 in Budapest to rank #3 in the world at the moment.

Chandler’s Ella Ramsay notched 2:24.28 behind Strauch, ripping a big-time lifetime best in the process of earning silver. Ramsay’s previous career-quickest rested at the 2:27.41 put up at the Pro Swim Championships this past July.

19-year-old Ramsay now checks in as the 14th-quickest performer worldwide on the season.

Additional Notes

  • Former World Record holder Zac Stubblety-Cook was entered in today’s 200m breast but wound up not swimming. In his absence, it was visiting Japanese Olympian Daiya Seto who topped the podium, scoring 2:09.88 as the sole racer under the 2:10 threshold. Matt Wilson, another former World Record holder, hit 2:10.92 as the silver medalist and Nunawading’s William Petric posted 2:12.51 as the bronze medalist. Seto has been as fast as 2:08.98 in this event from 2019.
  • Another Japanese swimmer in Yu Nishizono did damage in the boys’ 12-year-old 200m breast. He logged a winning effort of 2:29.98 and beat out the Queensland Record of 2:34.86, although it won’t qualify as he is a non-Australian.
  • Bradley Woodward won the men’s 100m backstroke in a result of 53.60. Isaac Cooper notched 55.27 in the morning heats to snag the 3rd seed but wound up dropping the final. Woodward clocked a 200m back lifetime best of 1:55.56 recently at the Japan Open so look for him to steal the spotlight later on in this competition.
  • The girls’ 16-year-old 100m free saw St. Peters Western Jaclyn Barclay get to the wall first in 55.70, just .05 off her PB from earlier this year. With a stable full of senior sprint freestylers, the rising stars are also ready to backfill to continue the green and gold’s dominance in this arena.
  • Titmus dove in for a 2nd event of the 800m freestyle where she turned in a time of 8:25.40. We already reported that the Dean Boxall-trained star is opting out of the 2024 World Championships to focus on Paris 2024.
  • Matt Galea of SOPAC snagged the victory in the men’s 1500m free in 15:17.45.



											
										

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Andy
2 months ago

Mollie swimming a respectable in season 53.2 100free as her SIXTH swim of the day, which included 2x400frees and a PB in the 100fly. Truly impressive! I hope she goes to Doha and 3-peats the 100 free.

I know everyone is high on Haughey but mollie has been consistently dropping time year on year and is still a teenager!

Majer99
2 months ago

Interesting on the men’s 400 IM with Neill and Petric advancing their pbs that Smith no longer has a smooth path to selection. This must be the strongest crop (yes it is still relatively weak compared to the top end internationally) of IMs Australia has had for a long time if not forever.

Majer99
2 months ago

At NSW Champs 13 yr old Samuel Skrabak went 24.61 50 free which appears to 3rd fastest ever with Chalmers leading the way at 24 flat

Troyy
Reply to  Majer99
2 months ago

Hudson Hegarty only 0.2 behind and Noah Kemp that got fourth with 25.5 is only barely 13.

Last edited 2 months ago by Troyy
Roman Skrabak
Reply to  Majer99
2 months ago

Thank you Majer99, my son Samuel warks reallt hard on his big dream… 😉

Summer Love
2 months ago

Yolane Kukla’s 12-13 yo records will never be broken.

Troyy
2 months ago

19 yo Harrison Turner’s 49.73 from the heats was a 1.4 second PB.

Majer99
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

He had a significant pb in the 200 free as well yday. given his 200 fly times have historically been better interesting if his free is catching up or he is going to drop on the fly

sharkboii
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

that’s a horrible time, even after the pb..

Troyy
2 months ago

So McEvoy scratched the final.

Sub13
2 months ago

Jack wins in a 52.7. Harris 53.0, C1 53.2 and MOC 53.2 after a 400 free 😳

Troyy
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

Not just a 400 free but also a big PB in the 100 fly.

Troyy
2 months ago

52.76 Jack
53.03 Harris
53.23 Campbell
53.27 O’Callaghan

Troyy
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

So close to 52 for Meg. It’s surely gonna happen next year.

23/51/1:52
Reply to  Troyy
2 months ago

As expected from the heats, really solid times for December for all involved.

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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