Christian Sprenger, Emily Seebohm Blast Aussie All-Comer Records on Night Three

BRISBANE, Australia, April 3. THE third night of action at the Australian Nationals and Commonwealth Games Trials featured a pair of Australian All-Comers records falling by the wayside once Christian Sprenger and Emily Seebohm churned to victory in their respective events.

St. Pete’s Grant Irvine kicked off the night with a 1:56.23 to win the men’s 200-meter fly as he came barreling home to catch Mitchell Pratt of the Tigersharks with a 30.58 final split. That swim jumped Irvine to second in the SwimVortex world rankings behind Daiya Seto’s swift 1:54.82 from the Australian Aquatic Super Series earlier this year.

Pratt, who had already posted a 1:56.41 at the MLC Aquatic Meet in Melbourne earlier this year to now stand third in the world, took second this evening in 1:57.00 after leading at the 150-mark with a 1:25.02. SoPac’s Daniel Tranter checked in with a third-place 1:57.48 to move to sixth in the world, while Miami’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes posted a fourth-place 1:57.61 for seventh in the rankings.

She came up just short of her top-ranked speed from semifinals (24.13), but Commercial’s Cate Campbell still demonstrated that sizzling consistency that she’s becoming known for after clocking a 24.18 to win the women’s 50-meter freestyle title going away. That’s well inside her winning time of 24.27 from a year ago as she successfully defended her title.

Sister Bronte Campbell turned in a season-best 24.58 for second overall, clipping the fourth-ranked 24.60 she posted in semis. But, it wasn’t enough to move ahead of either Fran Halsall (24.38) or Jeanette Ottesen (24.54) in the world rankings.

Southport’s Melanie Schlanger hit the wall in 24.82 for third, off her fifth-ranked 24.69 from semis, while West Illawarra’s Emma McKeon charted a 25.00 for fourth overall. That effort clipped her 10th-ranked season best of 25.03 from semis.

Indooroopilly’s Taylor McKeown owned the women’s 200-meter breaststroke finale with a time of 2:22.10. She went out fast and never looked back as she smashed the field en route to second in the world rankings in the event. Only Rikke Moller Pedersen’s near world-record of 2:19.94 from the Danish Open is faster this year. McKeown leapfrogged Kanako Watanabe (2:22.46) to claim second overall.

Marion’s Sally Hunter bettered her seventh-ranked season best of 2:25.79 from the Super Series with a second-place time of 2:24.91 this evening. That pushed her to sixth in the world rankings overall. Tessa Wallace snatched third tonight with a 2:25.29 for eighth in the world in what proved to be a swift finale.

Nudgee Brothers’ Emily Seebohm became the first sub-59 swimmer of the year in the women’s 100-meter backstroke with an Australian All-Comers record. Seebohm already owned the top time in the world with her 59.34 from semis before crushing the 100 back finale this evening in 58.92. That swim beat her previous All-Comers mark of 59.17 set while winning this event a year ago. Seebohm also owns the Australian record with a 58.23 set at the 2012 London Olympics.

Nunawading’s Belinda Hocking raced her way to second in the finale with a 59.83, tying Mie Nielsen for second in the world rankings. Meanwhile, St. Pete’s Meagen Nay (59.90) became just the fifth swimmer under 1:00 this year to move to fourth in the world ahead of Katinka Hosszu (59.98).

Commercial’s Christian Sprenger posted the first 58-second men’s 100-meter breaststroke ever on Australian soil as he blasted a time of 58.87 to win the finale. That swim beat a 59.05 All-Comers record he set a year ago before winning the 2013 title with a 59.31. His time tonight rivaled Brenton Rickard’s Australian record of 58.58, and is the first sub-59 of the year in the world as he beat Adam Peaty’s top-ranked 59.90.

Indooroopilly’s Jake Packard knocked off Nudgee Brothers’ Buster Sykes in the race for second, 1:01.38 to 1:01.73.

Burley Griffin’s Ben Treffers, who already moved to the top of the world rankings with a 24.91 during prelims of the men’s 50-meter back this morning, nearly took down the Aussie record in the sprint backstroke during semis. Treffers ripped off a 24.82 this evening, just off Ashley Delaney’s 2009 mark of 24.81 as Treffers put some distance between himself and Camille Lacourt (24.97) in the rankings.

SoPac’s Daniel Arnamnart raced into second in the semis with a 25.32 to move to seventh in the world, while Trinity Grammar’s Bobby Hurley grabbed third tonight in 25.41 to win the first semifinal heat. Hurley has been faster this year with a third-ranked 25.10 from the NSW State Championships and could challenge Treffers during finals.

SoPac’s Marieke D’Cruz (nee Guehrer) turned in a 26.38 to lead the way during the women’s 50-meter fly semis. That’s shy of her fifth-ranked season best of 26.20 from the NSW State Championships, but puts herself in position to do some damage during finals. Perth City’s Brianna Throssell (26.72), Redlands’ Alicia Coutts (26.74) and St. Pete’s Brittany Elmslie (26.74) made up the rest of the top four heading into the finale.

SoPac’s James Magnussen, the top-ranked swimmer in the world by far with a 47.59 from the Australian Aquatic Super Series, kept some gas in the tank during semis with a 47.83 to win the second of the semifinal rounds. Look for the Missile to uncork a special swim in the finale.

PBC’s Cameron McEvoy looked on point with a season-best time of 48.14 to win the first semifinal and qualify second into finals. That’s better than his second-ranked 48.19 also from the Super Series. Commercial’s Tommaso D’Orsogna tied Trinity Grammar’s Kenneth To with matching 49.03s for third heading into the finale.

Daniel Fox posted the top ranked time in the men’s 200-meter free with a 1:57.68, while Mitchell Kilduff (2:00.60) and Joshua Alford (2:02.72) were listed second and third out of the finale. That’s a Paralympic world record for Daniel Fox in the S14 division. Lake Patterson clocked the highest rated swim in the women’s 50-meter backstroke with a 39.30, while Taylor Corry’s 32.26 came in second. Maddison Elliott placed third overall in 37.51. Timothy Disken clocked in with a 30.68 for the top rated time in the men’s 50-meter back finale. Michael Anderson posted a 29.10 for second with Sean Russo checking in third with a 28.85.