By Stephen J. Thomas:
HOBART, Australia, August 4. DYNAMIC 17-year-old Alice Mills won the 100 IM in a new Aussie record of 1:01.02, breaking the record of 1:01.30 set by Brooke Hanson in the semifinal only yesterday. Mills took the silver medal in the 200m IM in Barcelona last week.
Unfortunately for Hanson, she was unable to compete in the final due to a groin strain. Shane Reese clocked a PR 1:01.65 to take the silver, 4th fastest all-time Aussie performer.
Earlier, both Mills and Libby Lenton had set a new joint Aussie record in the 50m freestyle when they both clocked 24.77 in their respective semifinals. Mills had to back up a short while after her individual medley win to compete in the final of the 50 free.
Again it was Mills, the world championship silver medalist in this event, up against the bronze medalist in Lenton. However this time round it was Lenton with her now customary fast start and streamlined turn that headed Mills to the wall to again lower the national mark by another 0.27 seconds – clocking 24.50. The world record stands at 23.59 set by Swede Therese Alshammar at the 2000 world champs in Athens.
Giaan Rooney took her second backstroke title of the meet when she took out the 50m backstroke in 27.90 (just 0.09 outside her national record). Last night she became only the third Aussie to go under the minute when she took out the four-lap race.
Kasey Giteau took out her first national title, winning the 400 free in 4:10.15. Twenty-year-old Giteau, who had been out of the pool for two weeks with a back injury, led by over 3 seconds at the 300-meter mark but tired and just managed to hold on from a fast finishing Nicole Hunter 4:10.67.
Matt Welsh won his third title of the meet, but only his first national 100 IM title when he clocked a fast 54.57, to become the second Aussie performer over the distance. Eighteen year-old Ashley Anderson clocked an excellent PR 54.77 to take silver (4th fastest Aussie all-time performer) from Josh Taylor PR 55.04 (7th fastest all-time performer).
James Beasley won his first national title with a sharp final lap taking out the 100m breaststroke in a PR 59.28, ahead of a quality field including Brenton Rickard (59.63) and Mark Riley (59.67) and Jim Piper (59.98). Sydneysider Andrew Richards won his first title taking the 200m butterfly in a PR 1:55.60.