SYDNEY, Australia, December 19. ALTHOUGH Ian Thorpe’s return to the competitive ranks has boosted the arsenal of the Australian roster, there’s no questioning that the Aussie men have been in need of additional depth. Well, Eamon Sullivan could be the individual who provides that necessary spark. A 2004 Olympian, Sullivan had a strong weekend at the New South Wales Championships, winning the 50 and 100 freestyle events.
Sullivan made his biggest mark in the 100 free, claiming victory in 49.74 at Sydney Olympic Park. Immediately, that swim has made Sullivan a serious contender for a berth to the Commonwealth Games in the event. The effort also improved his personal-best by .31 and was plenty fast enough to hold off the challenge of Ashley Callus (50.09).
Coming off surgery to repair torn hip cartilage just eight weeks ago, Sullivan also cranked out a first-place performance in the 50 free, clocking in at 22.59. He was followed in second place by Brett Hawke (22.79). For good measure, Sullivan was the second-place finisher in the 50 butterfly. The Commonwealth Games Trials are slated for January.
"Since he was selected (to) the (2004) Olympic team, he was always one we thought was potentially a great sprinter and I think it's good that he showed that," said Alan Thompson, the Australian National Team coach. "He's a good young lad, a vibrant young fellow and I think he can be a great sprinter for us, at such a young age too."
On the final day of the three-day competition, Alice Mills doubled in the 200 individual medley and 50 freestyle, producing respective times of 2:16.36 and 25.21. Meanwhile, Tay Zimmer notched top showings in the 50 back (29.07) and 200 back (2:14.11). Mills’ decision in the 50 free came ahead of Michelle Englesman (25.61) and Jodie Henry (26.08). For the men, Adam Lucas won the 200 I.M. (2:04.00) and Adam Pine prevailed in the 100 butterfly (53.57).