By Kurt Hanson
SYDNEY, April 9. AUSTRALIA'S sprinting future looks in good hands with Andrew Lauterstein setting two Australian records on the way to victory on night one of the Australian Age Championships at the Sydney Aquatic Centre.
Lauterstein started the evening by equaling the Australian Age record in the 14 years 50 metre freestyle event, clocking 24.16 to take victory. The Victorian who hails from the Southern Bay Swimming club, former club of multiple Olympic and World Champion medallist Michael Klim, took the win ahead of favourite and the now equal Australian record holder, Craig McLennan who took the silver tonight with Grant Britt of Toongabbie taking the bronze.
Lauterstein went to work again later in the program in the 14 years 100 metre butterfly where he set his second Australian Age record of the night, clocking 56.86 in his victory and breaking the six year-old mark held by Shane Fielding.
The third Australian Age record of the night fell in the boys 15 years 200-metre individual medley. Leith Brodie of Albany Creek, Queensland clocked 2:07.77 in winning gold and breaking the five-year-old record set by Heath McDermott of Narooma in 1997.
Commonwealth Games team member, Alice Mills kick- started her Australian Age Championships with a new personal best time in winning the girls 15 years 200 metre individual medley. Mills, who will head to Manchester later in the year for the Commonwealth Games, clocked 2:17.44, 0.94 of a second faster than her Australian open championships time that scored her bronze in Brisbane just over two weeks ago.
The women's dominance in sprint freestyle by the Chandler club of Queensland witnessed the fourth Australian Age record of the night crumble in the 18 years and under 4×50 metre relay. The team of Teagan Wilke, Cassie Hunt, Jodie Henry and Alice Mills clocked 1:42.30, to smash the previous record set last year by the exact same team. Twelve months on and the Shannon Rollason squad have seen another remarkable improvement of 2.91 seconds in the event.
Katie Bird has showed she has a prosperous future clocking a 1:13.69 to take out the girls 13 years and under 100-metre breaststroke. The Ginninderra won the race ahead of Dominica Watt 1:14.13 and Melissa Barck 1:14.18.
2001 Goodwill Games team member, Sophie Edington took gold in the 17 – 18 years 100 metre backstroke clocking a solid 1:03.68. Her male counter part, Adam Lucas took out his 100-metre backstroke event in 57.74.
New Zealand took a Trans-Tasman win with Rebecca Linton taking out the girls 16 years 400 metre freestyle in 4:20.21. The new Australian champion was Briody Murphy whom finished second in the race in 4:20.39 but took the gold as the first Aussie home. Melissa Gorman was second with Jamie Jaques of Mackay taking third placing.
Queenslander, Nicholas Sprenger showed a strong performance to open his gold medal account at the championships, winning the 16 years 400 metre freestyle. City of Perth teammates, Travis Nederpelt and Aaron Holding took the minor placings
Redcliffe Leagues Lawnton teenager Jessicah Schipper will be one to watch in the up coming years after dominating her 15 years girls 200 metre butterfly event. Schipper clocked 2:15.85 to leave her nearest rival some 3.67 seconds behind in Sian Williams of Swan Hill and Claire Barrett of Chandler.
Mitchell Bacon defended his 16 – 18 years 400 metre individual medley title clocking 4:27.88 to take the title ahead of Travis Nederpelt who scored his second silver of the night and Adam Lucas with the bronze.
Samantha Drayton of Macquarie Shores, NSW won a gripping girls 14 years 200 metre breaststroke final touching out her rivals in 2:36.71. Carlile's, Kristi Oliver took silver in 2:36.83 with Rebecca North of Brothers, Queensland was third in 2:37.10.
Miami freestyler, Daniel Lysaught won the boys 17 – 18 years 400 metre freestyle in 3:59.72. The training partner of both Grant Hackett and Giaan Rooney showed a strong finish to beat South Australian Ashley Semmens, who took the silver from lane eight in 4:00.72. Brent Skudutis of Mackay took third in 4:01.04.
Karina Leane showed her experience in taking out the girls 16 years 100-metre backstroke ahead of Queenslanders, Angela Scott and Marieke Guehrer.
2001 World Championships team member, Linda MacKenzie battled out the tightest race of the evening to take the win in the girls 17 – 18 years 400-metre freestyle. MacKenzie touched out Belinda Wilson of Toongabbie by 0.17 of a second who finished in 4:18.26, Tammie Smith of Newman Churchlands, Western Australia took the bronze in 4:20.42.
In the girls 14 years and under state 4×50 metre medley relay, it was Queensland that took the gold ahead of Victoria and New South Wales. In the men's state relay, New South Wales took revenge to defeat Queensland with Victoria third.
In the boys 18 years and under 4×50 metre freestyle relay, the West Coast club from Western Australia took gold with team members Eamon Sullivan, Adam Lucas, Adrian Davini and Guy Greer. Silver medallists were Guildford Blues of NSW with bronze to the Commercial club of Queensland.
Other winners on Day One included:
Melissa Mitchell (Wilkinson, NSW) Girls in the 14 years 50 metre freestyle (26.51)
Paul Hickey (Maroochydore, QLD) Boys 15 years 200 metre butterfly (2:05.51)
Joseph Vraca (Auburn, NSW) Boys 14 years 200m breaststroke (2:27.19)
Elise Kennedy (Maroubra, NSW) Girls 13 years & under 100 metre freestyle (58.62)
Nic Donald (United, NSW) Boys 13 years & under 100 metre freestyle (55.17)
Danni Miatke (Cassuarina, NT) Girls 14 years 100 metre butterfly (1:02.02)
Michael Jackson (City of Perth) Boys 16 years 100 metre backstroke (59.11)
Ross Moore (West Coast, WA) Boys 13 years and under 100 metre breaststroke (1:12.54)
Kelly Willis (Gardens, QLD) Girls 15 years and under 800 metre freestyle (8:58.68)