Australian Emily Seebohm saved her best swim for day 2 at the Queensland State Championships in Brisbane, Australia, after a mediocre swim in yesterday’s 100 fly.
In the Monday finals session, Seebohm’s best race, the 100 back, kicked off the competition, and she stepped up to the tune of a 59.37 for the event victory. That’s only a tenth of a second off of what she did at Worlds in July, and on the basis of her 100 fly swim from yesterday she is perhaps not at full rest.
Sophie Edington took 2nd in the race in 1:00.97, followed by Grace Loh in 1:01.60. For Edington, that’s actually a fairly strong time, as she’s generally a 50 meter specialist in backstroke.
Seebohm would also win the 200 IM in 2:13.37. She took the race out slow on the front half, though the fly and backstroke are strong strokes for her, and like more-and-more of the world’s top female IM’ers seem to be doing, she had a great breaststroke leg to take command of the race. In 2nd was Tomoyo Fukuda in 2:14.87, following by New Zealand’s Natalie Wiegersma in 2:15.74.
Speaking of 50-meter specialists, 2010 Commonwealth Games team member Daniel Arnamnart swam a 54.85 to win the men’s 100 backstroke. That’s easily his best time of the season after he’s taken off significant time from competition following a disappointing 5th-place finish in the 100 at April’s Australian Championships. Ashley Delaney, who finished 3rd at those same World Championship trials, was the runner-up here in 54.90.
Further down the results, Australia’s newest breakout sensation Cameron McEvoy finished 7th in 57.01. That’s not a great time like we saw from him in Sunday’s 200 free, but it is another career-best (by four tenths) in an off event. The ability to step up and swim finals in secondary events is a big piece of a young swimmer’s development, especially in Australia where many in-season meets are stretched out over a week or more.
Cameron’s younger sister Brittany McEvoy showed her freestyle chops on day 2 as well when she placed 2nd in the 15-year old girls’ 100 free in a swift 56.76. She’s been a bit faster this year, but like her brother she’s made big steps in 2011. Look for her to have a breakout year in 2012, though she’s probably a quadrennial away from threatening for a spot on the Olympic Team. The winner of that race was Brianna Throssell from Perth in 56.36.
Looking at other young men’s sprinters, in the 15 year old boys division Blake Jones of the same team as the McEvoy’s, the Southport Olympic SC, stood out in 52.31. Southport is really on their game and putting out some great freestylers right now.
Back to the senior division, in the women’s 400 free Katie Goldman swam a masterful 4:06.98 to win the women’s 400 free. Relative to her bests, that was a much stronger swim than she did in the 200. Her splits were 59.9-1:02.5-1:02.9-1:01.6. On the basis of this swim, expect a great 800 free later in this meet that runs through Saturday.
In the men’s 400 free, Kore’as Tae Hwan Park who trains in Australia came back on Monday to win the men’s 400 in 3:49.44 after failing to final in Sunday’s 200 free. That’s still not an awesome time, but it certainly showed a better focus than did his 200.
Leisel Jones ton the women’s 100 breaststroke in 1:07.46, which is much better than she typically goes in December. China’s Li Ping Ji took 2nd in 1:08.44.
Even more impressive was Christian Sprenger winning the men’s race in 1:00.07. That’s the best time he’s gone since the rubber-suited 2009 World Championships, which will hopefully bring some stability to the Australian breaststroke group that has been volatile since having such a great 2009 season. Brenton Rickard took 2nd in 1:01.63.
With the above pair aging (Rickard is 28, and Sprenger turns 26 next week) we also got an introduction to the new blood of Australian breaststroking on Monday morning when 16-year old Tommy Sucipto of the South Lake Dolphins won his age division in 1:02.93. Similarly on the women’s side, where Jones is also 26, the girls’ 16-years race was won by Taylor McKeown in 1:08.98. In the senior race, those times would have both earned (or come extremely close to) medals.