Watch Coach & Athlete, Mom & Daughter Pallister/Elford Make It Work

17-year-old Lani Pallister has already made her mark on the junior international swimming scene, taking home 3 individual gold medals at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships.

While competing in Fiji, then-16-year-old Pallister took the 400m, 800m, and 1500m freestyle trifecta, topping the podium in efforts of 4:07.76, 8:29.65 and 16:08.09, respectively. The Cotton Tree athlete also bagged a silver in the 200m free, collecting a time of 1:59.00.

Since then, Pallister has continued to make waves both in the pool and in the ocean. While competing at the National Open at the Lifesaving World Championships in November 2018, Pallister swept her pool rescue and surf events, bringing home gold in the 200m Obstacles and 4x50m Obstacle Relay. Pallister also notched World Records in the 100m Medley Rescue and 200m Super Lifesaver events to give the Australian Lifesaving Team an overall victory.

The teen followed up with another open water win by taking the famed Lorne Pier to Pub open water event title in the 1k race.

Continuing her hot streak back at the pool, Pallister was a one-woman wrecking ball at the Australian Age Championships in April, reaping gold across the 200m free (1:59.06), 400m free (4:08.37) and 800m free (8:28.54) once again.

Pallister came very close to earning a berth on the Aussie World Championships squad, coming in 3rd in the 1500m freestyle at the nation’s Trials for Gwangju. En route to earning bronze in a new personal best time of 16:06.84, Pallister clocked a new Australian Age Record in the event, one whose previous national age standard was held by none other than her own mother.

The previous Age Record for 17-year-olds rested at the 16:10.11 clocked by her mom and coach, Janelle Elford, in Perth way back in 1987, making Pallister the fastest of her age in over 30 years. Elford was a notable Aussie swimmer in her own right, having taken gold in the women’s 800 free relay.

In the video below, courtesy of Swimming Australia, see how Elford and Pallister get it done both in and out of the pool in their unique, familial coach/athlete relationship. The pair have their sights set on Tokyo and we get to hear how their in-rhythm relations is working toward making that happen.

And, look for Pallister among the 30-strong Aussie roster heading to Budapest, Hungary for the 2019 World Junior Championships.


Coach & Athlete – Blood is Thicker Than Water from Swimming Australia on Vimeo.


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13 % Chinese person

Lani is 4.06 + & 8.25+ & could medal or even win juniors . Better than that , Aust could have 3 in the top 10 for 400-800. That hasn’t happened for a long time .
Nice stroke too .


Only two per country at junior worlds . Or did I misunderstand ?


I think they mean overall world rankings 👍🏽


If she can improve her 200m free time over the next 10 months, she could prove to be a key leg in that 4×200 freestyle relay for Tokyo alongside mckeon and Titmus


They used to call Janelle ‘Big Red’ – wonder if Lani is ‘Little Red’?

About Retta Race

Retta Race

After 16 years at a Fortune 1000 financial company, long-time swimmer Retta Race decided to change lanes and pursue her sporting passion. She currently is Coach for the Northern KY Swordfish Masters, a team she started up in December 2013, while also offering private coaching. Retta is also an MBA …

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