SYDNEY, Australia, August 23. THE first full day of competition at the Australian short course meters national championships featured Alicia Coutts, who earlier this month amassed an amazing five medals at the long course world championships.
Coutts kicked off her meet with a meet record 25.48 in the 50 butterfly, taking down Brittany Elmslie’s 26.63 from last year. The top six were under the meet record, including newly-naturalized Australian Ellen Gandy, who posted a 26.14 for second place. Christine Licciardi was third with a 26.37.
Coutts was back in the pool shortly after that with a winning time of 53.46 in the 100 freestyle. She still has a way to go to catch Marieke Guehrer’s meet record of 52.72, and fellow Aussie Libby Trickett’s amazing world record of 51.01. Kelly Stubbins wasn’t too far behind in second place with a 53.67 and Melissa Mitchell took third with a 53.91.
A day after crushing the Commonwealth record in the 1500 freestyle, Laura Crockart could only manage a meet record in the 800 freestyle with an 8:21.28, beating her own meet record from last year of 8:21.93. Crockart has a bigger mountain to climb to reach Rebecca Adlington’s Commonwealth record of 8:08.25 and Kylie Palmer’s national record of 8:12.32. Chelsea Gubecka was second with an 8:28.44, and Zoe Elkerton placed third with an 8:34.78.
Bobby Hurley took the men’s 50 backstroke with a new All-Comers record time of 23.23, taking down his own mark from 2008 by one hundredth of a second. The All-Comers record is similar to the US Open record in that it is the fastest swim done in Australia, regardless of nationality. Hurley just missed breaking his national record of 23.04 from last December, and has been a tad faster already this season, with a 23.20 to his credit from the Berlin stop of the World Cup last week. Placing second in the race was Daniel Blackborrow with a 23.75 and Daniel Arnamnart was third with a 24.19.
Another meet record fell in the men’s 200 butterfly, as Hugo Morris was able to touch out world championship team member at the finish, 1:53.47 to 1:53.99. Morris’ time beat the meet record of 1:53.52 set by Grant Irvine. David Morgan finished third in the race with a 1:56.70.
Sally Foster, another member of the Australian world championship team, won the women’s 100 breaststroke with a 1:04.69, crushing Sarah Katsoulis’ meet record of 1:06.42. Leiston Pickett and Lorna Tonks also broke the meet record in finishing second and third, respectively, with times of 1:05.41 and 1:05.71.
With world champion Christian Sprenger sitting out the meet, Max Ireland took the opportunity to win the men’s 50 breast with a 27.44, ahead of Matt Abood’s 27.70. Jeremy Meyer was third with a 27.87.
Kenneth To, the reigning men’s champion in the FINA World Cup and a recent competitor at the world championships, won the 100 freestyle in a meet-record time of 47.03. The time beat Matt Abood’s mark of 47.33. Travis Mahoney was second with a 47.58, while Bobby Hurley took third with a 47.74. Abood, a member of the world championship-winning 400 free relay in 2011, settled for fourth with a 47.95.
Belinda Hocking, the silver medalist in the 200 back in Barcelona, won in Sydney easily with a meet record 2:03.14, obliterating Jordan White’s meet record of 2:07.25. Hayley White was also under the meet record with a 2:04.28 for second, as was third place finisher Mikka Sheridan with a 2:06.03.
Aisling Scott captured the women’s 400 IM with a 4:35.95, with Samantha Wilkins second with a 4:38.20 and Meagan Ramsey third with a 4:39.33. David McKeon wrapped up the individual events with a 3:45.23 in the 400 freestyle, ahead of Kurt Herzog’s 3:46.47 and Jordan Merrilees’ 3:48.04.
Taylor Corrie and Madison Elliott, fresh from the IPC disabled world championships, were 1-2 in the women’s 50 and 100 freestyle events for para-swimmers. Corrie had the top time in the 50 free with a 28.14, while Elliott clocked a 30.41. Corrie registered the top time with a 1:00.63, while Elliott was second with a 1:06.93. Jacob Templeton won the men’s 50 free with a 24.43 and the 100 free with a 53.60.