Jones Nearly Tops 200 Breast World Record at Aussie Long Course Champs

By Jason Marsteller

BRISBANE, Australia, December 8. LEISEL Jones nearly eclipsed her 200 breaststroke world record, but could not hold onto that pace at the Australian Long Course National Championships held at the Chandler Aquatic Center on Dec. 8.

Women's 100 Freestyle Finals
Libby Lenton went out hard and held on to touch first in the 100 free. In the end, she clocked a 53.77 for the national title to down runner-up Jodie Henry's 53.93. Shayne Reese closed out the top three in 55.09.

"I'm really happy with the time, I was really hoping for a sub-54 swim tonight. Mentally, it has been quite tough and I have had two new challenges thrown my way and to finally get the gold is pretty exciting," Lenton said. "I always go out pretty hard and I think obviously (world record holder) Britta Steffen swims similarly to how I do and I knew that I had to go pretty hard coming home with Jodie there beside me and for the last 15 I just put my head down as much as possible and luckily got to the wall first.

"I had to really, really try to do the last 10 meters, it's always going to be really tough coming up someone like Jodie and she put in a fantastic effort tonight and its just really fantastic for in a couple of months time," Lenton continued.

Men's 200 Backstroke Finals
Hayden Stoeckel won his first Aussie national title with a personal-best time of 2:00.42 in the 200 back. Ephraim Hannant placed just behind in 2:00.94, while Daniel Arnamnart pocketed bronze in 2:01.67.

After trailing Arnamnart through the initial 50 meters, Stoeckel maintained a consistent pace to outlast the field.

Women's 200 Breaststroke Finals
Leisel Jones clocked the third-fastest time in history in the 200 breast with a 2:21.60 to win the event going away. However, Jones actually swam under world-record pace throughout the initial 150 meters – .83 seconds under with 50 meters to go. But, Jones could not hold on to that blazing pace to finish a full second off her global standard.

"I had a look at the time and I probably went a little bit hard and the last 50 stung a little bit but it's always good to go out there and have gutsy swims and really have a crack and I'm pretty proud of the fact that I can get out there and have a go at it," Jones said. "One day, I'll get stronger and fitter and be able to hold those times and still be able to come home harder."

Sally Foster finished with silver in 2:28.40, while Sarah Katsoulis took bronze in 2:29.69.

Men's 200 Breaststroke Finals
Brenton Rickard put together an amazing swim with a personal-best time of 2:11.45, the fifth-fastest in the world this year, to capture his first Aussie breaststroke national title sweep after winning both the 50 and 100 earlier in the meet. The effort also made Rickard the second-quickest Australian in the event.

Jim Piper lost the event at the Australian National Championships for the first time since 2001 by touching in second-place with a 2:13.05 clocking, while Robert McDonald nabbed bronze in 2:15.22.

Men's 800 Freestyle Relay Finals
The SAC Seals contingent of Nic Donald, Grant Brits, Misha Payne and Kenrick Monk won the men's distance relay in 7:34.76, while the St. Peters Western team of Nicholas Sprenger, Scott McIntosh, Edward Berry and David Browne took second in 7:37.06. Melbourne Vicentre's foursome of Patrick Murphy, Brett Doyle, Michael Papaioannou and Ryan Nolan completed the podium with a third-place 7:38.04.

Multi-Disability Events
Tamleh Wilson won the women's 100 free in 1:06.27, while Patrick Donachie captured the men's 100 free in 1:00.07.

Women's 50 Butterfly Semi-Finals
Danni Miatke raced to a top time of 26.66 while taking only three breaths throughout the event. Coming off her 100 free win, Libby Lenton qualified second in 26.84, while Jessicah Schipper posted the third-best semi time of 27.03.

Men's 50 Freestyle Semi-Finals
Eamon Sullivan put himself in position to sweep the 50 and 100 free events after clocking the top qualifying time in the 50 free of 22.14. Meanwhile, Ashley Callus finished second in 22.23, while Cameron Prosser qualified third in 22.79.

Men's 100 Butterfly Semi-Finals
Adam Pine (53.17) and Michael Klim (53.61) hit the wall with the first and second-best qualifying times out of semis, respectively. Additionally, Andrew Lauterstein posted the third-quickest time of 53.89.

Women's 200 Backstroke Semi-Finals
Frances Adcock recorded a personal-best time of 2:12.16 to grab the top seed heading into finals, while Joanna Fargus placed second in 2:12.98. Meagen Nay finished third in 2:14.01.

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