Sprinter Jack Cartwright Enters Only 1500 Free at Australian Swimming Trials


The final start lists for Australia’s World Championship Trials have been released, and, complete with a “no changes can now be made” warning at the top, there is a most peculiar entry for 20-year old Jack Cartwright.

That’s “entry” in the singular, because the St. Peters Western swimmer is entered in only a single event, the men’s 1500 free, where he’s the 9th seed with a 15:44.34. That time sits him 57 seconds away from top seed Jack McLoughlin, and even without an entry from Mack Horton, leaves him 45 seconds short of the qualifying standard for the World Championships.

What makes this singular entry so bizarre is that Cartwright, to this point of his career, has been a world-class sprinter. To be specific, he took a silver, behind only countrymate Kyle Chalmers and tied with the defending World Champion Caeleb Dressel, in the 100 free at last summer’s Pan Pac Championships. There he swam a 48.22 that was the 3rd-best time of his career. His best time was a 47.97 done in the semi-finals of the 2017 World Championships, when he was only 18, to qualify through to the final in 5th place; he would add a few tenths and finish 7th in the medal round.

There’s virtually nothing in his championship history that would foreshadow such a shift. He was the Australian Champion at last summer’s Pan Pac Trials in the 100 free, took 3rd in the 200 back, and split a 1:47.21 on an 800 free relay. He swam the 100 free exclusively (individually and in relays) at the Commonwealth Games, and at Pan Pacs he was 6th in the 50 free (22.65), swam on Australia’s 400 free relay (48.56 on a rolling start), and also clocked a leg on their 800 free relay (1:45.52 on a rolling start), in  addition to his medal-worthy 100 individually.

All of his international medals to date have been over 100 or 200 meters, including a World Junior Championship in 2015 on the men’s 400 free relay.

In fact, Cartwright has only one result in the 1500 free, in long course or short course, in his career according to Swimming Australia’s official database. That’s the 15:44.34 that he’s seeded with, which was swum at December’s Queensland Long Course Championships.

He didn’t race the 100 free at that meet either. Instead, he entered the 200 back (1:59.77), the 400 free (3:53.46), the 100 fly (54.49), and the 50 free (22.61), in addition to the 1500 free.

Cartwright was absent from April’s Australian Swimming Championships, and registers no results in Australia’s official database in 2019. He did, however, sign an endorsement deal with FINIS just before those Australian Championships.

We’ve reached out to Cartwright to ask about his sudden shift in focus, but as of posting have not received a response.

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2 years ago


2 years ago

Very strange story! Any Aussies in the know know what is going on here?

Phil Lutton
Reply to  Superfan
2 years ago

This is an error according to his coach and will be sorted in coming days.

Reply to  Phil Lutton
2 years ago

Where did you hear that?

Phil Lutton
Reply to  Troy
2 years ago

I asked his coach

Swimmer A
Reply to  Phil Lutton
2 years ago

Lol, I love this site

Reply to  Swimmer A
2 years ago

Yeah me too

Reply to  Phil Lutton
2 years ago


2 years ago

Isn’t it usually the other way around? Distance swimmers dreaming of being sprinters? Sprinters don’t dream of being distance swimmers. This is all sorts of wrong

Old Man Chalmers
Reply to  Sccoach
2 years ago

its even stranger when you consider that Cartwright said a while back that he didn’t like training for the 200 and only did it for the relay spot. Why then would he extend to the 1500?

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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