BRISBANE, Australia, April 4. A big upset followed by an Australian record being smashed were some of the highlights tonight at the Australian Nationals and Commonwealth Games in Brisbane.
Nunawading’s Belinda Hocking, the top-ranked swimmer in the world with a 2:06.40 from the NSW State Championships, cruised to victory in the women’s 200-meter backstroke with a 2:07.52. That’s well off her No. 1 time, but it was all she needed for the win and a spot on the Commonwealth Games squad. It’s also her sixth straight win in the event.
Nudgee Brothers’ Emily Seebohm grabbed second in the finale in 2:08.28 to better her third-ranked season best of 2:08.91 from the International Swim Meet in Berlin. St. Pete’s Meagen Nay, who stands second in the SwimVortex rankings already with a 2:08.19 from the Victorian Open Champs, took third overall in 2:08.44.
PBC’s Cameron McEvoy set fire to Twitter on Friday night with a huge upset of James Magnussen, 47.65 to 47.92, in the men’s 100-meter freestyle event. Although Magnussen still owns the top-ranked time in the world this year with a 47.59 from the Australian Aquatic Super Series, he wasn’t able to hold off McEvoy in the finale as the upstart upset the Missile, 47.65 to 47.92. McEvoy is only the second swimmer under 48 seconds this year, moving ahead of Nathan Adrian (48.26) in the rankings.
Tommaso D’Orsogna checked in third with a 48.72 to move to sixth in the world rankings, while Kenneth To rounded out the top four with a 49.23. To has been faster with a 10th-ranked 49.00 from earlier this week in Brisbane.
Redlands’ Alicia Coutts demolished her own top-ranked time in the women’s 200-meter IM with a sizzling 2:08.89 to win the finale this evening. Coming into tonight, she’d owned the best time in the world already with a 2:10.23 from the NSW State Championships, and took it to another level this evening. In fact, she just missed beating her Australian All-Comers record of 2:08.63 set while winning this event last year at Nationals.
Emily Seebohm had another runner-up finish with a 2:11.25 as part of a difficult 200 back/200 IM double, while Kotuku Ngawati pulled down third-place honors with a 2:13.08.
Burley Griffin’s Ben Treffers crushed the Australian record in the men’s 50-meter back with a scorching 24.54. Ashley Delaney had previously owned the record with a 24.81, but Treffers put it on notice during semis with a world top-ranked 24.82, then delivered the final blow this evening in the sprint back. He’s now just half-a-second back of the World and Commonwealth record of 24.04 set by Liam Tancock in 2009.
Trinity Grammar’s Bobby Hurley posted a 25.19 to take second tonight, just off his third-ranked time of 25.10 from the NSW State Championships. SoPac’s Daniel Arnamnart wound up third overall in 25.28.
Marieke D’Cruz matched her season-best time of 26.20 from the NSW State Championships to win the women’s 50-meter fly this evening. Redlands’ Alicia Coutts followed up her dominant swim in the 200 IM with a second-place 26.36 in the sprint fly, while St. Pete’s Brittany Elmslie captured third in 26.50.
Commercial’s Cate Campbell remained on point this week in Brisbane as she lowered her top ranking in the women’s 100-meter free semis with a 53.01 this evening. That swim clipped her previous top time of 53.08 from the Australian Aquatic Super Series, and is close to the 52.92 Campbell used to win the event last year.
Emma McKeon, who has been on first here in Brisbane including a 200 free Aussie record on night one, took second in qualifying in the 100 free in 53.43 to move to second in the world, while Commercial’s Bronte Campbell posted a third-place 53.61 for third in the world rankings to set up an epic finale. Melanie Schlanger also broke 54 seconds in semis with a 53.78 to jump to sixth in the rankings.
Commercial’s Christian Sprenger powered his way to a 27.82 to top men’s 50-meter breast semifinal qualifying. He’s been faster this year with a third-ranked 27.54 to his credit from the Australian Aquatic Super Series, so look for him to put up a special time in the finale. Max Ireland (28.25), Jake Packard (28.29) and Josh Palmer (28.40) rounded out the top four headed to finals.
Commercial’s Tommaso D’Orsogna threw down a 52.38 in the men’s 100-meter fly to lead the way in the semifinal heats. That moved D’Orsogna from ninth in the rankings to second overall behind only Albert Subirats’ 52.26 from the South American Games. Jayden Hadler clocked a 52.55 for second, and pushed his way into fourth in the world, while Chris Wright claimed third with a 52.59 for sixth in the world rankings. That’s a pretty fast finale already, and Grant Irvine threw in another top 10 time with a fourth-place 52.70 out of semis.
Indooroopilly’s Lorna Tonks took the top seed in the finale of the women’s 100-meter breast with a 1:07.26. The performance cleared her previous season best of 1:07.88 to push her to fourth in the world this year. Sally Hunter (1:08.14), Leiston Pickett (1:08.26) and Samantha Marshall (1:08.51) rounded out the top four.
Hayley Morris posted the top ranked time in the women’s 100-meter breast with a 1:22.46, while Katherine Downie (1:25.15) and Madeline Scott (1:25.58) finished second and third in the event. Taylor Corry had the highest ranked time in the women’s 100-meter back in 1:01.02, while Jacqueline Freney (1:26.20) and Ashleigh Cockburn (1:13.45) ranked second and third. Michael Anderson clocked a 1:01.16 for the top ranking in the men’s 100-meter back with Grant Patterson (2:01.56) and Brenden Hall (1:05.97) second and third.
Kayla Clarke posted a 2:13.93 to top the women’s 200-meter free, while Taylor Corry (2:17.00) and Maddison Elliott (2:28.95) ranked second and third in the finale. Rowan Crothers earned the top ranking in the men’s 200-meter free with a 1:59.02. Brenden Hall (1:59.81) and Mitchell Kilduff (2:01.15) took second and third.
During prelims of the women’s 800-meter freestyle, Rocky City’s Alanna Bowles, 16, qualified second in 8:29.40 to set a World Junior Record. That trumped the FINA reference time of 8:32.30 posted by Bonnie Macdonald at the World Junior Championships last summer.