Shayna Jack Earns Redemptive 200 Free B-Final Win; 7 Women Under 1:57 In Australia


Australia has no shortage of depth when it comes to women’s freestyle events, as demonstrated by the 200m freestyle on day three of the nation’s World Championship Trials.

After all was said and done in Melbourne, a total of seven women dipped under the 1:57 threshold to liven up the discussion of who possibly could be representing the green and gold in the 4x200m free relay next month in Fukuoka.

We reported how 19-year-old Mollie O’Callaghan upset reigning Olympic and Commonwealth Games champion Ariarne Titmus in the A-final this evening.

O’Callaghan ripped a new lifetime best of 1:53.83 to grab the gold while Titmus settled for silver in a season-best of 1:54.14. Lani Pallister produced a mark of 1:56.03 to round out the podium.

After missing the A-Final by just .06, Shayna Jack picked up a redemptive B-Final win in a mark of 1:56.82 to also make her presence known.

Here were the top 7 times in the women’s 200m free event:

  1. Mollie O’Callaghan – 1:53.83
  2. Ariarne Titmus – 1:54.14
  3. Lani Pallister – 1:56.03
  4. Madi Wilson – 1:56.68
  5. Shayna Jack – 1:56.82 (B-Final)
  6. Kiah Melverton – 1:56.85
  7. Brianna Throssell – 1:56.87

As a point of reference, at the 2022 U.S. Nationals, just two swimmers – Katie Ledecky (1:54.50) and Erin Gemmell (1:56.14) – beat the 1:57 barrier. At the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Wave II, only 3 racers were under 1:57 – Ledecky (1:55.11), Allison Schmitt (1:56.79) and Paige Madden (1:56.80).

Of note is the fact that Aussie Kaylee McKeown also owns a sub-1:57 time on the season, having produced a lifetime best of 1:56.88 at April’s Australian National Championships. She opted out of the event at this competition after already qualifying for Fukuoka in the 200m IM and 100m back races thus far. Nevertheless, she brings the 1:56-zone Aussie swimmers to a total of 8 on the season.

Before tonight’s 200m free, MOC had already qualified for the World Championships in the 100m back, while Titmus and Pallister nailed QT’s in the 400m free. Throssell, too, had already added her name to the Fukuoka roster in the 100m fly.

One glaring absence among tonight’s top 200m free finishers was Olympic medalist Meg Harris. The Marion swimmer was subdued in the prelims, posting a morning mark of 1:57.81 to capture the 8th seed.

But the 21-year-old added time when the medals were on the line, ultimately registering 1:58.03 for 8th place, despite her owning a lifetime best of 1:56.29.

With the aforementioned names well over a second ahead of the Olympian, it’s unlikely Harris will get a nod to repeat her performance as a member of the bronze medal-earning 4x200m free relay from Tokyo.

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Sherry Smit
5 months ago

Great article Retta! Look forward to these

Reply to  Sherry Smit
5 months ago

Thank you!

5 months ago

Not sure I’d classiify her performance as “redemptive”, per se. Redemptive would be replicating something along the lines of her Nationals swim which would be sending a message “you need me in this relay”.

It was certainly a creditable performance but did it truly make a statement that she is a “must have” for this 4X200 ? With all due respect, it did not. It certainly puts her back amongst the names to be considered but necesarily with any “inside line” on the others.

Reply to  commonwombat
5 months ago

This relay is formed for titmus, moc, pallister and wilson/jack

5 months ago

Retta, looks like you are covering at least 3 championships/trials (Aus, France, S. Korea) in your wee hours the past few days. We really appreciate these articles 🙂

5 months ago

What a depth! What a performance! Australian swimming is very lucky to have such a density. 👋👋👋🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺 Swimming is really a lifestyle in Australia. Even we already knew it, the 800 relay will be monstruous as usual. If not in Fukuoka, I won’t be surprised to see the WR at 7’35” in Paris.

5 months ago

Nearly 8 with Forrester 1:57.01

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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