UPDATED: Kaylee McKeown and Emma McKeon Light Up NSW State Championships in Sydney

Kaylee McKeown
ARCHWAY TO NSW ALL COMERS RECORD: Kaylee McKeown has set Sydney alight.Photo Courtesy Swimming NSW.

UPDATED: Kaylee McKeown and Emma McKeon Light Up NSW State Championships in Sydney

Tokyo Olympic hope Kaylee McKeown and Rio star Emma McKeon have both started their 2021 NSW State Championship campaigns in blistering fashion at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

McKeown, the 19-year-old from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, clocked the 12th fastest time in history with her impressive time of 2:05.66 (30.14; 1:02.02;1:34.24) – a NSW All-Comers record and her fourth best time since her Commonwealth and Australian record swim of 2:04.49 in Brisbane last November

Bombo Quarry Landscape

PURPLE PATCH: USC Spartan Kaylee McKeown reaching for the stars.  Photo Courtesy: Nina Beilby (Swimming NSW).

This emerging talent, coached by Chris Mooney at the University of Sunshine Coast (USC Spartans) is the real deal.

She will go head-to-head with US teen sensation and world record holder Regan Smith (2:03.35) in what will be one of real showdowns of this year’s Tokyo swimming competition.

And to top it off, it came at 10.30am in the morning as NSW officials and Australia’s High Performance team, look to mirror what will be morning finals in Tokyo.

As hard as she tried, triple Olympian and a two-timer world champion in the 200m backstroke, Emily Seebohm (McKeon (Griffith University) could not go with McKeown, clocking 2:09.12 (30.96; 1:03.52;1:36.61) with her Griffith team mate Jessica Unicomb (31.23; 1:04.99;1:39.73) third

State Open NSW 2021

SPRINGBOARD: Emma McKeon demonstrates a perfect track start. Photo Courtesy: Nina Beilby (Swimming NSW).

And Rio multi-medallist McKeon (Griffith University) scored a spectacular double, including an eye-catching victory over Cate Campbell (Knox-Pymble, NSW) in the 100m freestyle which saw Campbell lead though the 50m in 25.32, from McKeon (25.40) and Bronte Campbell (25.44).

But it was McKeon who punched hard through the third 25 and fought on strongly to maintain her 2021 No 1 world ranking, clocking 52.59 to Campbell’s 52.83, with the ever present Madi Wilson (Marion, SA) clocking the second fastest back end 50 of 27.47 to post a personal best of 53.47.

Bronte Campbell (Knox-Pymble, NSW) split 28.67 to fade on the swim home to clock 54.11 for fourth with St Peters Western 19 year-old Meg Harris fifth in 54.88.

Earlier McKeon won the 50m butterfly title in 25.97 from Seebohm (26.83) and Alexandria Perkins (USC Spartans) 26.96 and later in the day McKeon snuck in a sizzling 57.09 split in there 100m butterfly in Griffith Uni’s 4x100km medley relay win.

In other events:

Bombo Quarry Landscape

FOCUSED: Kyle Chalmers back in the fast lane. Photo Courtesy: Nina Beilby

Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers (Marion, SA) had no trouble in defending his 100m freestyle title in 48.50 from emerging NSW boy William Yang Loretto Normanhurst, NSW) 49.31 (who later won the 50m backstroke in 25.23) with Jack Cartwright (St Peters Western) 49.59 third, Alex Graham (Bond University) 49.69 fourth, Mitch Larkin (St Peters Western) 49.99 fifth, Elijah Winnington (St Peters Western) sixth 50.18 and Cam McEvoy seventh 50.28.

While former World Junior record holder and current world #1 Winnington (St Peters Western) had earlier showed why he will be very much in the Olympic mix with his stunning morning finals time of 3:44.83 – leaving Olympic champion Mack Horton (Melbourne Vicentre) in second place in 3:50.70 and his Rio team mate Jacob Hansford (St Peters Western) third in 3:52.72.

There women’s 800m freestyle was a thrilling affair between a trio of TSS Aquatic training partners  before Kia Melverton (8:29.31 edged back in front from Maddy Gough (8:29.97) who had challenged late and last weekend’s 5km National champion Moesha Johnson (8:34.49) who was third.

In the men’s 200m butterfly it was local boy Alex Quach (Auburn, NSW), who trains at the SOPAC Hub under coach Adam Kable, who clocked under two minutes for the first time to take the gruelling event in 1:59.35 from fastest qualifier Charles Cox (St Peters Western, QLD) 2:00.01 and Rio Olympian David Morgan (TSS Aquatic, QLD) 2:00.37.

State Open NSW 2021

MAKING A SPLASH: Rio Olympian Georgia Bohl in the breaststroke mix. Photo Courtesy: Nina Beilby (Swimming NSW).

The women’s 100m breaststroke saw a blanket finish with just 0.70 separating the top five with former Newcastle girl and fastest qualifier Abbey Harkin (St Peters Western, QLD) pushing hard towards the wall to take the win in 1:07.37, just 0.04 ahead of Jenna Strauch (Bond University, QLD) 1:07.41 and now Canbverra-based Jess Hansen (Cruiz SC) under Olympic coach Shannon Rollason 1:07.76 followed by Rio Olympian Georgia Bohl (Griffith University) 1:07.99 and London Olympian Tessa Wallace (USC Spartans) 1:08.17 – an Olympic spot and a medley relay position and Olympic medal awaits one of these girls – who’s going to put their hand up?

The men’s 50m breaststroke went to Blue Mountains boy, SOPAC local Matt Wilson (27.93) and the women’s 400IM to Hunter’s Meg Bailey in 4:40.96.

The day two evening heats session saw:

TSS trio, Melverton, Gough and Johnson back in the water in the 400m freestyle heats with Melverton the top qualifier in 4:09.40  in a final that will also feature world junior champion Lani Pallister.

The in-form William Yang (23.56) is the only swimmer under 24 seconds in the 50m butterfly while Emma McKeon will be chasing her third title – heading the qualifiers home in the 100m butterfly in 59.36.

McKeon also featuring in the women’s 50m freestyle final, clocking 24.85, the third fastest time behind behind Cate Campbell (24.39) and Madi Wilson (24.78)

Day three finals will also feature one of the real premier events, the men’s 200m freestyle with Alex Graham (Bond University) the fastest qualifier in 1:48.92 ahead of Jack Cartwright (1:49.29), Kyle Chalmers and Elijah Winnington both clocking 1:49.63 – with Mack Horton (1:52.49) missing the final.

Bombo Quarry Landscape

JUST FOR STARTERS: Three-time world champion Emily Seebohm gets away in the 200m backstroke final. Photo Courtesy: Nina Beilby (Swimming NSW).

While Kaylee McKeown again looked in her own world clocking 59.26 to head the 100m backstroke qualifiers from 2015 Kazan World Championship medallists Madi Wilson (1:00.25) and Emily Seebohm (1:00.91)

And Matt Wilson will be chasing his second title in the men’s 100m breaststroke, clocking 1:01.06.


Wilson finished ahead of Daniel Cave (Melbourne Vicente) 1:02.12 and James McKechnie (St Peters Western) 1:02.88 while the women’s 200m breaststroke will again feature the fastest five from the 1090m final with Bond’s Jenna Strauch heading the qualifiers in 2:27.11.While former world champion and dual. Olympian Mitch Larkin (St Peters Western) is the only swimmer under two minutes, clocking 1:59.18 in the 200m backstroke preliminaries before backing up to lead the field into the 200IM final in 2:04.20 from 19-year-old Se-Bom Lee (Carlile) 2:04.76 and Marco Soesanto (Surrey Park, VIC), which will be a tough double.