Alicia Coutts, Ellen Gandy Close Out Aussie Short Course Meet With Commonwealth Marks

SYDNEY, Australia, August 25. THE final night of competition at the Australian Short Course Championships produced some extremely swift swims to put on exclamation point on a strong weekend of swimming.

Ellen Gandy, who was born in England and represented Great Britain internationally including a spot on the 2012 London Olympic roster, set her first Australian record after sitting out last year to make the switch. Gandy has trained in Australia since she was 15 while at the Nunawading Swim Club in Melbourne, and decided to switch nationalities after the Olympics.

Gandy blasted the women’s 200-meter fly finale with a scorching time of 2:02.88. That performance beat the Commonwealth record of 2:03.20 previously held by Audrey Lacroix of Canada since 2009. She also surpassed the Australian record of 2:03.27 set by Jessicah Schipper in 2009, and the Australian All Comers record of 2:03.32 by Schipper in 2009 as well.

“I’m so excited. I was so close to it at the World Cups and I really wanted to get it at the second World Cup in Berlin but just missed out, so I’m really happy that I’ve been able to make my mark on the Australian record,” said Gandy. “I’ve looked up to Jess Schipper for so long so to get her record and the Commonwealth record, just feels amazing.”

Gandy smashed the field as Brianna Throssell took second in 2:08.43 and Jordan White earned third in 2:09.07.

Meanwhile, Alicia Coutts won her fifth gold medal of the meet, and second Commonwealth record of the competition, with a sterling time in the women’s 200-meter IM. Coutts clocked a winning time of 2:05.82. That time beat the Commonwealth and Australian record of 2:06.24 set by Emily Seebohm earlier this month at the World Cups. It also demolished the Australian All Comers record of 2:07.64 set by Seebohm in 2010. Aisling Scott finished second in 2:09.93, while Samantha Wilkins earned third in 2:11.49.

Coutts then picked up a silver in the women’s 50-meter breaststroke behind London Olympian Leiston Pickett. Pickett won in 30.12, while Coutts and Sally Foster tied for second with matching 30.55s.

Kenneth To, a short course sensation for the Aussies, opened up the night with a 51.24 in the men’s 100-meter IM. That time beat his Australia All Comers record of 51.64 set last year at this meet. That produced his fourth gold of the night. Travis Mahoney (53.64) and Sam Beinke (53.83) placed second and third.

To returned in the men’s 50-meter free with a 21.33 for his fifth gold medal of the competition. Matthew Abood (21.45) and Andrew Abood (21.67) rounded out the podium in the men’s splash-and-dash event.

Bobby Hurley also tracked down an Australian All Comers mark. He blazed the men’s 100-meter back with a 50.41. That swim beat the 50.58 set by Thomas Rupprath of Germany way back in 2002. Joshua Beaver took second in 51.91, while Bob Jovanovich picked up third in 52.04.

Meanwhile, Nathaniel Romeo clinched his second title of the meet with a 50.73 in the men’s 100-meter fly. Chris Wright (51.11) and David Morgan (51.54) finished second and third, while Australian record holder Mitchell Patterson missed the podium with a 51.57.

Jeremy Meyer defended his men’s 200-meter breast title in 2:07.25, while Lennard Bremer finished just behind in 2:07.37. Nikolas Pregelj rounded out the podium with a time of 2:13.74. In another close contest, Kelley Stubbins clipped Melanie Schlanger in the women’s 200-meter free, 1:55.98 to 1:56.24. Amy Levings picked up third in 1:58.84. Holly Barratt topped the women’s 50-meter back in 26.91, while Kirstie Meeteens (27.12) and Adelaide Hart (27.33) completed the top three in the sprint backstroke event.

The day also featured a pair of timed final events. Matthew Levings won the men’s 1500-meter freestyle in 14:46.90, while Wally Eggleton (15:22.37) and Lachlan Hansen (15:28.84) took second and third in the event. Travis Mahoney snared the men’s 400-meter IM title in 4:09.19. Jared Gilliland (4:11.70) and David Morgan (4:13.71) also medaled.