Top 5 Swims From the 2024 Australian Age Championships


Now that all seven days of the 2024 Australian Age Championships are in the rearview mirror, let’s take a look back at the top five swims of this year’s meet in Queensland.

5. Leny Grigor, 14, 400 IM – 4:30.84

Somerset product Leny Grigor dropped almost two seconds in the 400 IM to take the top spot for 14-year-olds, moving up to 3rd in the Aussie age rankings behind Ian Thorpe‘s 4:26.42 from way back in 1997. He split 1:00.52 on the opening butterfly leg, 1:10.58 on backstroke, 1:17.33 on breaststroke, and 1:02.41 on freestyle. Grigor would rank 11th in the U.S. national age group (NAG) rankings, by comparison.

4. Ethan Haegebaert, 14, 50 Free – 23.66

Knox Pymble 14-year-old Ethan Haegebaert dipped under 24 seconds for the first time in prelims with a 23.86, taking a couple tenths off his best time of 24.08. He kept his momentum rolling into the final, where he won in 23.66 to move up to 3rd all-time among 14-year-old Australian boys. Kyle Chalmers holds the Aussie age record at 23.18 from 2013. By comparison, Haegebaer would rank 7th in the U.S. NAG rankings.

3. Max Cunningham, 14, 50 Fly – 24.97

Max Cunningham became the youngest Australian ever to break 25 seconds in the 50 fly, clocking a 24.97 to drop almost a second off his previous-best 25.74 from last year. The 14-year-old knocked almost three tenths off Kyle Chalmers‘ age record of 25.24 from 2013. Cunningham previously trained at Grace Swimming Club and now attends Churchie on a scholarship.

2. Joshua Conias, 16, 50 Free – 22.35

Joshua Conias fired off a huge lifetime best in the 50 free to scare Kyle Chalmers‘ age record. The 16-year-old reached the wall in 22.35, shaving a few tenths off his previous-best 22.70 and moving up from 5th to 2nd in Aussie age history. Chalmers is the only 16-year-old Australian boy who has been faster than Conias at 22.33 back in 2015.

Conias checks in as the fourth-fastest Aussie in the event this calendar year behind Cam McEvoy (21.13), Isaac Cooper (21.74), and Thomas Nowakowski (22.04). He would rank 2nd in the U.S. NAG rankings behind Michael Andrew (22.33) and ahead of Caeleb Dressel (22.39).

  1. Sienna Toohey, 15, 100 Breast – 1:07.72

Sienna Toohey won three events this week, none more impressive than her 100 breast victory in 1:07.72. Among 15-year-old Australian girls, only Olympic champion Leisel Jones has been faster with a 1:07.49 from the Sydney 2000 Olympics, which earned her a silver medal.

Toohey’s new lifetime best ranks her 5th among Australians this season and 2nd this calendar year behind only Jenna Strauch (1:07.59). She has come out of nowhere to put herself in contention for the Paris 2024 Olympics this summer, dropping her best time from 1:10 to 1:08 in February before tallying her previous-best 1:07.97 at the NSW Championships last month. Toohey is now within a second of the Olympic ‘A’ cut (1:06.79) with a couple months to go until Australian Trials in June.

Toohey also picked up wins in the 200 IM (2:16.65) and 50 breast (31.58) to go along with a runner-up finish in the 200 breast (2:29.52). The Wayne Gould-coached prospect dropped more than four seconds in the 200 IM and two seconds in the 200 breast, moving up to 8th for 15-year-old Aussie girls in the former event. Toohey was just off her own age record in the 50 breast, which she set at 31.34 last month.

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1 month ago

Yeah Max!! So close to the 100 fly record too

1 month ago

What’s the criteria for top swims ? So southam and wunsch in 100 free don’t count!

1 month ago

Hopefully – now the Age Champs are over – Sienna posts on here again and we can ask a few polite and non-intrusive questions.

Reply to  Oceanian
1 month ago

According to start lists, she’s staying on for Open Nationals so we may/may not be out of luck.

Reply to  Oceanian
1 month ago

She posted on here?

1 month ago

So exciting too have a huge prospect going forward in women’s breastroke Toohey an Achilles heal of late

Reply to  kevin
1 month ago

The way Australia’s breast stroke has been going the last two years, she might end up swimming the relay

Aussie oi oi oi
Reply to  Andy
1 month ago

And she has never been on a representative swim team! No State or National teams whatsoever. Her first team could actually be the Olympic team.

Quite possibly the worst talent id mistake this millennium. New NSW management to concerned with dollars, and not worried enough about the development of emerging swimmers 13-16 years old.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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