By Stephen J. Thomas
BRISBANE, Qld., Australia, January 9. AMERICAN Junior National Team’s Tricia Weaner took the lead from mid-way through the race to take the 200 meter backstroke in an impressive 2:14.90 from AIS based Karina Leane (2:15.63) and US teammate Julia Smit (2:17.06) on the final day of the Queensland Open and Age Championship in Brisbane. Smit won the first gold for the US team yesterday in the 400IM.
Queenslander Hayden Stoeckel won the men’s event in 2:04.18 (2:03.92p) from Japanese visitor Koutatsu Okabe (2:04.66) and Matthew Lowrey (2:06.52).
In the absence of world record-holder Grant Hackett, 19-year-old Canadian Kurtis MacGillivary won the open 1500 freestyle in 15:36.69. Japan’s Yu Inoue was second in 15:38.86 from Ky Hurst in 15.39.32. Both MacGillivary and Hurst train with Hackett at the Miami club.
Young Gold Coast rising star Ephraim Hannant had another outstanding swim in the 15-year-old boys’ 1500m freestyle where he clocked an impressive 15:47.48. However, the Queensland and national age record stands at an even more impressive 15:30.63 set in 1996 by one Grant Hackett, the current world record-holder. Hannant also trains with Hackett at the Miami Club on the Gold Coast under master distance coach Denis Cotterell. Hannant last night also smashed the State age record for the 400IM with an eye-catching 4:28.66, not far short of the national mark of 4:26.42 held by Ian Thorpe.
In all, Hannant won ten individual events from ten at the meet – the 100-200 double in fly and backstroke, the 200-400 medley double and four freestyle events 100-200-400-1500 clocking respectively 53.06 – 1:54.40 – 3:58.51 – 15:47.48. All were PRs.
Coach Cotterell told Swiminfo, "I brought Ephraim up into my senior squad this past year and he has being coming along nicely. We did not realize how many events he had won until the end of the meet; our aim was to give each race his best and I’m very pleased with the way he managed himself with such a tough program."