BRISBANE, Australia, June 6. THE highlight events of the second-and-final session of the Brisbane Grand Prix proved to be the scintillating sprint freestyles.
Cate Campbell nearly topped her top-ranked time in the women’s 100-meter freestyle with a scorching time of 52.70 for the win. Her best time this year is a 52.68 from the Australian National Championships, while she also clocked a scorching 52.74 at the first stop of the Grand Prix series last month as well. Campbell’s just scary in how consistent she has become in the sprint freestyle events, and is looking good to stand atop the rankings by the end of the summer.
“I was really pleased with that swim today. We’ve kind of got our aerobic block under our belt and are kind of working on the lactate now, so working on that last 25m which is always a bit of stinger,” said Campbell. “We’ve got another four weeks of really tough training and then its taper time. Every time I get in and race, I want to swim a smart race, but there is actually a lot of thought that goes into swimming a good 100. It’s about getting to that major meet knowing that you’ve done some really good swims and knowing how to put together a 100 so you don’t have to even think about it.”
Her sister Bronte took second in 53.27, just off her third-ranked season best of 53.02. Alicia Coutts tracked down third overall in 54.64.
James Magnussen bounced back from a surprising loss in the 50 free last night with a quick 48.77 to win the men’s 100-meter free tonight. Kenneth To took second overall in 49.56, while Jayden Hadler finished third in 49.86. It might not have been the same type of speed (47.59) as he had in Perth at the Australian Aquatic Super Series, but Magnussen was happy to get the win.
“I’m just starting to do some speed work now and dropping off the aerobic work and looking to spike things up,” said Magnussen. “I’m doing a lot of work at the moment on my starts and turns and it was really good to test them today against those two (Hadler and To) because they are both pretty skilful. That was probably one of my biggest weaknesses at trials so I’ve done a lot of work on them.”
Emma McKeon had another sensational swim in the women’s 200-meter free. A day after posting a 1:56.99 in prelims, she popped a 1:56.83 for the win. That’s a second off her second-ranked season best of 1:55.68. Bronte Barratt (1:57.83) took second, while Brittany Elmslie placed third in 1:58.42. Melanie Schlanger, in the B final, raced to a 1:57.29 to move to 13th in the SwimVortex world rankings.
McKeon doubled up with a 59.57 in the women’s 100-meter fly after posting a 58.69 in prelims yesterday. Marieke D’Cruz (1:00.24) and Madeline Groves (1:01.61) placed second and third in the finale.
Mitchell Larkin, the fourth-fastest swimmer this year in the men’s 200-meter back with a 1:55.26, clocked a 1:57.13 to capture the Grand Prix title today. Josh Beaver took second in 2:00.68 with Jack Selman placing third in 2:06.76.
Larkin claimed his second win of the night with a 55.48 in the men’s 100-meter back. He’s been much faster with a fourth-ranked 53.46 from Aussie Nationals earlier this year. Beaver (56.45) and Selmon (56.71) had similar finishes as the 200 back.
Meagen Nay, who already stands third in the world in the women’s 200-meter back with a 2:08.19, popped a swift time of 2:09.56 for the win this afternoon in Brisbane. Madison Wilson took second in the event with a 2:13.80, while Mikka Sheridan claimed third in 2:15.81.
Lorna Tonks blasted the women’s 100-meter breast finale with a 1:07.98. That’s just off her 11th-ranked season best of 1:07.26. Sally Hunter (1:09.43) and Georgia Bohl (1:09.97) battled for second. Alicia Coutts claimed the women’s 200-meter IM title in 2:14.66. Keryn McMaster took second in 2:16.88 with Taylor McKeown finishing third in 2:17.71.
Keryn McMaster won the women’s 200-meter fly in 2:14.32, while Madeline Grovers checked in with a second-place 2:14.89. Megan Gianotti wound up third in the event with a 2:15.09 as she matched her prelim time. Mitchell Pratt hit the wall in 1:59.55 to win the men’s 200-meter fly. Grant Irvine (2:02.39) and Jacob Hansford (2:04.48) finished second and third.
Sally Hunter clipped Taylor McKeown for the women’s 200-meter breast title, 2:26.46 to 2:26.97. That’s a few seconds off Hunter’s 12th-ranked season best of 2:24.91. Tessa Wallace placed third today in 2:28.59.
Daniel Smith topped the men’s 200-meter free in 1:48.54 with Kurt Herzog (1:48.77) and David McKeon (1:49.27) taking second and third in the A final. Cameron McEvoy, however, blitzed the B final with a 1:47.82. McEvoy is the top swimmer in the world with a 1:45.46, so it was a bit surprising when he turned in a 1:52.15 in prelims.
Kenneth To put together a 53.38 to win the men’s 100-meter fly, while Jayden Hadler (53.50) and Tommaso D’Orsogna (53.75) took second and third in the finale. Christopher Wright clocked a 53.70 out of the B final as well.
Madison Wilson clinched the women’s 100-meter back crown in 1:01.09 with Meagen Nay touching second in 1:01.11. Mikka Sheridan placed third in the event with a 1:03.60. Daniel Tranter topped the men’s 200-meter IM in 2:00.47. Thomas Fraser-Holmes (2:00.48) and Justin James (2:02.91) rounded out the podium.
With Christian Sprenger withdrawing from the rest of the meet following a bit of a shoulder twinge during the 50-meter breaststroke yesterday, the men’s breaststroke events definitely seemed bare. Buster Sykes beat Julian Layton, 2:16.46 to 2:17.45, in the 200-meter event, while Jake Packard downed Sykes in the 100, 1:03.19 to 1:03.20.
Meet organizers also attempted to add some variety to the distance events, so they did some unorthodox distance swims. Katie Goldman won the women’s 600-meter free in 6:11.25 with Mack Horton topping the men’s 900-meter free with an 8:43.99. They also had a mixed 3000-meter free with Jarrod Poort winning in 30:36.46.