QUEENSLAND, Australia, December 18. THE 2013 McDonalds Queensland Championships got underway on Sunday, and several quick times have already been posted by some of Australia’s top swimmers. Notable performances have come from Emma McKeon (200 free, 1:56.17), Cate Campbell (100 free, 52.69) and Madeline Groves (100 fly, 57.72).
In the women’s 200 free, West Illawarra’s Emma McKeon posted a new Queensland All-Comers record of 1:56.17, which is also less than half a second off the Australian record of 1:55.73, set by Kylie Palmer in 2011. That moves McKeon up to fifth in the world this year and knocks six tenths off her fastest time of 2013 of 1:56.77. New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle grabbed second in 1:58.63, followed by Brittany Elmslie of St. Peters Western, who touched right behind in 1:58.66.
Korea’s Tae Hwan Park, the defending Olympic silver medalist in the event, took home the men’s 200 free title in 1:47.92 as he ran down Miami Swim Club’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes on the final 50 meters. Fraser-Holmes, who led at each of the first three turns, settled for second in 1:48.21, while Palm Beach’s Cameron McEvoy rounded out the top three in 1:48.41.
The women’s 200 breast looked like a three-person race for most of the way, as Indooroopilly’s Taylor McKeown, St. Peters Western’s Georgia Bohl and Marion’s Sally Foster turned virtually even at the 150-meter mark. Foster and McKeown pulled away on the final length, turning in times of 2:26.24 and 2:26.76, respectively, while Bohl faded to third in 2:28.74. Foster’s time was fast enough to put her in the top 25 in the world this year, though she had already posted a 2:23.94 in April for the ninth-best ranking.
Meanwhile, the men’s 200 breast turned out to be much different story, as Nudgee Brothers’ Buster Sykes dominated the event, leading from start to finish and posting a 2:14.50 for the win. Palm Beach’s Nikolas Pregelj came in second at 2:18.49, followed by Rocky City’s Matthew White (2:19.30).
Two youngsters from St. Peters Western put their stamp on the women’s 100 fly, as 18-year-old Madeline Groves and 19-year-old Brittany Elmslie finished 1-2 in the event with the only two swims under 1:00. Groves led the way in 57.72, while Elmslie hit the touchpads in 59.97. That time slingshots Groves to eighth in the world in 2013, with Elmslie now bumped into a three-way tie for 11th with a 58.02 from April.
In the men’s 100 fly, SOPAC’s Jayden Hadler made up over half a second on Commercial’s Tommaso D’Orsogna on the final 50 to take the win in 52.67. D’Orsogna, who turned first in 24.58, slipped to second in 52.99, while Daniel Tranter claimed third place honors in 53.14.
The women’s 400 IM featured a battle royale between Samantha Hamill and Waterworx’s Keryn McMaster. Hamill led through the 250-meter mark, but saw her lead shrink and then evaporate as McMaster pulled ahead at the breast-to-free transition before pulling away to win in 4:41.96. Hamill stayed in contact, posting a 4:43.18 for second. West Coast’s Jessica Pengelly took third in 4:46.33. Thomas Fraser-Holmes won the men’s 400 IM in 4:18.43, though complete results were not available. St. Peters Western’s Mitchell Larkin took third in 4:23.69.
Emily Seebohm, the 2012 Olympic silver medalist in the 100 back, was the class of the field this time, recording the only sub-1:00 swim of the day with a 59.53. Her top time this year is a 58.79 from the FINA World Championships this summer, which ranks third behind Missy Franklin’s 58.39 and Aya Terakawa’s 58.70. St. Peters Western took the next two podium spots with Madison Wilson (1:00.63) and Meagan Nay (1:01.70) rounding out the top three.
The final of the men’s 100 back came down to the finish, with Trinity Grammar School’s Bobby Hurley just out-touching SOPAC’s Daniel Arnamnart, 54.82 to 54.92. Mitchell Larkin of St. Peters Western took third in 55.12.
New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle, who already has the seventh-best time in the world in the 400 free from the FINA World Championships at 4:03.89, finished just off that time today with a 4:07.52, still well ahead of West Illawarra’s Emma McKeon (4:09.08) and SOPAC’s Jessica Ashwood (4:09.98). Boyle’s teammate, Matthew Stanley, won the men’s 400 free with the only sub-3:50 showing of the day. Stanley posted a 3:48.49 to outdistance Miami Swim Club’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes (3:50.50) and Redcliffe Leagues’ Matthew Terry (3:52.94).
In the women’s 100 breast, four swimmers touched within half a second of one another at the halfway point, but by the closing meters it had turned into a two-woman race between Indooroopilly’s Lorna Tonks and Marion’s Sally Foster, winner of the 200 breast earlier. At the touch, Tonks got the edge, 1:08.10 to 1:08.17. St. Peters Western’s Georgia Bohl took third in 1:08.77.
Commercial SC’s Christian Sprenger, the top-ranked 100 breaststroker of 2013, posted the winning time by more than two seconds today with a 1:00.49, well off his 58.79 from the FINA World Championships this summer. Nudgee Brothers’ Buster Sykes swam a 1:02.76 for second, while SOPAC’s Jayden Hadler placed third in 1:02.88.
Australian record-holder Cate Campbell continued her domination of the sprint free events, winning the 100 free by more than a second in 52.69, establishing a new Queensland record in the event. That time is just off her own Australian record of 52.33 in the event, which she set at this summer’s world championships. Bronte Campbell made it a 1-2 punch for the Campbell sisters with a 53.85 for second, while Brittany Elmslie picked up third in 54.71. Commercial’s Tommas D’Orsogna held on to win the men’s 100 free in 49.07, holding off fast closers in Kenneth To (49.33) and Daniel Tranter (49.44).
St. Peters Western’s Madeline Groves made it a clean sweep of the butterfly events with another solid performance. Groves sliced almost four seconds off her prelim swim to win in 2:07.19, more than five seconds ahead of Rock City’s Karleigh Banks (2:12.36) and Waterworx’s Keryn McMaster (2:13.83). In the men’s 200 fly, two swimmers cracked the 2:00 barrier, led by Miami Swim Club’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes, who posted a 1:59.07. New Zealand took the next two spots with Shaun Burnett (1:59.56) and Isaac Foote (2:00.85).
Emily Seebohm picked up another win, this time in the 200 IM. After building a half-second lead after the backstroke leg, Seebohm held on on breast and then pulled away on free to win in 2:13.81. Indooroopilly’s Taylor McKeown (2:14.62) and Waterworx’s Keryn McMaster (2:14.98) rounded out the top three. In the men’s race, Daniel Tranter established a new Queensland All-Comers record of 1:59.02, the only time under 2:00 in the event and more than two and a half seconds ahead of Jayden Hadler’s 2:01.53 and Sam Beinke’s 2:02.81.
St. Peters Western’s Meagan Nay picked up her first win of the meet in her best event, the 200 back, with a 2:09.75. That bettered teammate Madison Wilson’s 2:10.03, as well as third place finisher Mikkayla Sheridan’s 2:12.51. In the men’s 200 back, Mitchell Larkin of St. Peters Western set a new Queensland All-Comers record with a dominating swim of 1:58.11. That easily outdistanced Marion’s Ben Edmonds (2:01.94) and New Zealand’s Matthew Stanley (2:02.24).
New Zealand’s Lauren Boyle added a second win to her victory in the 400 free earlier with a wire-to-wire victory in the 800 free. Boyle was hardly challenged throughout the entire race but had to hold off a fast-closing Jessica Ashwood of SOPAC, who cut Boyle’s lead from over two seconds to half a second on the last 50 to touch second in 8:29.31. Rock City’s Alanna Bowles took third in 8:31.80. Meanwhile, Miami Swim Club’s Matthew Levings outlasted the field in the men’s 1500 free with a 15:17.67, while New Zealand secured second and third behind strong performances from Nathan Capp (15:22.83) and Michael Mincham (15:56.89).