Queensland’s Class of 2021 Thriving On The Spirit And Competitiveness Of Three Of The State’s Olympic Golden Girls

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QUEENSLAND SWIMMING'S CLASS OF '21: The future of Australia's Olympic Teams came together on the Gold Coast in honour of the competitive spirit of three of the State's greats, Jodie Henry, Libby Trickett and Alice Mills. Photo Courtesy: Trudee Stafford (Swimming Queensland).

Queensland’s Class of 2021 Thriving On The Spirit And Competitiveness Of Three Of The State’s Olympic Golden Girls

Over 70 of Australia’s finest young State and National Age swimmers have drawn on the competitive spirit and drive of three Olympic and World Championship golden girls as Swimming Queensland plots the pathway to the next three Olympic Games.

A decade long journey that will see today’s juniors follow one of the most successful grass roots swimming programs in the world to Paris, Los Angeles and ultimately their home Games in Brisbane in 2032.

Provided Swimming Queensland continues to receive the funds through the Queensland Academy of Sport to continue these ground-breaking development programs – that is producing tomorrow’s champions today.


Australian swimmers dominated the Tokyo Games with Queenslanders Emma McKeon, Ariarne Titmus, Kaylee McKeown and Zac Stubblety-Cook reigning in 10 gold medals between them in another extraordinary showing from Queensland’s Medal Factory.

And they were joined by Queensland youngsters like Mollie O’Callaghan, Meg Harris, Thomas Neill and Chelsea Hodges who were among the emerging young Queenslanders who were very much the unsung heroes of Australia’s greatest swimming performance at any single Olympics.

Over the past six Olympics (from Sydney to Tokyo), 54 Queensland swimmers have won a total of 151 Olympic medals.

And in an amazing show of strength, Queensland swimmers won half of Australia’s gold medals in Tokyo.

A generation that already has its eyes on being part of the next decade of dominance.

Swimming Queensland’s junior stars of 2021 converged on the Gold Coast last week for the unique two-day Short Course State Tri-Meet, vying for the Tilly Cup.

A Teams based, points scoring meet where athletes were selected onto specific Teams and Events that best suit the overall performance requirements of the Team and raced over non-traditional “ off distances” and new concepts for a team based meet for 14/15 Years and 16/18 Years (Distances ranging from 50 to 75m, 150s, 250s, 300s, 600s and 900m as well as a focus on relays including a 12x25m).

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WINNING SMILES: Australia’s triumphant women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team from Athens 2004 (L-R) Jodie Henry, Libby Trickett, Petria Thomas and Alice Mills. Photo Courtesy: Courier Mail.

The Queensland Junior Squad lined up at All Saints Anglican School over the four sessions and were divided into three teams named in honour of Athens Olympic gold medal relay swimmers, Queensland girls Jodie Henry, Libby Trickett and Alice Mills who formed the basis of a resurgence of Australian female freestylers in the early to mid 2000s.

With Henry, Trickett and Mills the Dolphins women’s teams surged to the top of world swimming adding the 4x100m freestyle world title in 2005 with Trickett in the winning team in 2007 while Henry won three gold medals in Athens and Trickett her own individual Olympic gold in Beijing and Mills an individual world silver in 2003.

The brainchild of Swimming Queensland Coaching Director Drew McGregor the Tilly Cup meet – dubbed Qld v Qld v Qld has progressed from a dual meet between Team Henry and Team Trickett in 2020 to include Team Mills in 2021.

McGregor said the original concept of the Queensland Dual meet was to show that through hard racing with a competitor in your own State, an athlete can go on to become world class.

“This is why the two original teams were named after Jodie Henry and Libby Trickett, because it was through their competitive rivalry, they both pushed each other to Olympic Gold,” said McGregor.

“However, in this story there was also a third athlete that was part of this rivalry, Alice Mills and going into the 2004 Olympics Games, all three girls were ranked in the Top 10 in the world in the 100m freestyle (and it’s a similar story today with Australia fielding four in the top ten and six of the top 15).


HANDS ON: Members of Team Trickett under the guidance of coaches like 2008 Olympian Ash Delaney were loud and proud at All Saints. Photo Courtesy: Trudee Stafford (Swimming Queensland).

“Then all three went on to win gold as part of the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay and so the third team for this year’s meet was named Team Mills, after Alice.”

The meet followed a two training pre-camp at Bond University with the 72 swimmers joined by 20 of Queensland’s emerging coaches led by appointed Head Coaches, Bond coach Kyle Samuelson (Head Coach of Team Trickett), Richard Sleight from St Peters Western (Team Henry) and Ben Allen (Churchie) & Michaela Pattinson, ex-Nudgee/now Carlile in Sydney ( Team Mills).

And in a 2021 version of the Henry/Tricckett/Mills competitive push also started to emerge in the 14-15 years girls sprint freestyle events with Hannah Casey (Team Henry/Marist College Ashgrove), Milla Jansen (Team Mills/Bond Swimming) and Indiana King (Team Trickett/Rackley) producing some exciting head-to-head racing.

Fifteen-year-old Casey took the honours in all three sprint freestyle events over 50, 75 and 150m – winning the 50m in 25.21, from 14-year-old Jansen (25.43) and 15-year-old King (26.17).

The new age trio also battled it out in the 75m with Casey taking the honours in anther thrilling finish 40.63 to Jansen’s 40.78 followed by King 41.31 and in the 150m it was Casey again in 1:27.48, Jansen 1:27.63 and King 1:31.63.

(King is the daughter of Sydney 2000 Olympian and former world records holder over 200m breaststroke Rebecca Brown and former National team swimmer Zane King – both on the Rackley Swimming coaching staff.

DOWN TO THE WIRE: While Thomas Hauck (Team Jodie Henry) rested on the lane ropes after an impressive win in the “off event” over 900m freestyle at All Saints on the Gold Coast, he had a bird’s eye view of the battle royal for second and third. Benjamin Goedemans (Team Libby Trickett) out-touched Thomas Raymond (Team Alice Mills). Video Courtesy: Hanson Media.,

The passionate McGregor said to see 72 kids and 20 coaches perform at such a high level “was unbelieveable.”

“I can’t thank the coaches enough, passion’s a big thing in this game but you have to implement it and without the support of the coaches nothing gets done,” said McGregor.

“I can be passionate but everyone has to be on the train and here everyone is; that’s the best thing about it, everyone has jumped on board and given their all.

“We had a 91 percent PB rate and they have just come off Queensland State Titles.

Silver cap, Matthew Magnussen (Nudgee College) : Maroon cap, James Bayliss (Nudgee College) : White cap, Lewis Treggiden (Bond)

REST ASSURED: These boys are in the best of hands. Silver cap, Matthew Magnussen (Team Trickett/Nudgee College); Maroon cap, James Bayliss (Team Mills/Nudgee College) and White cap, Lewis Treggiden (Team Henry/Bond Swimming). Photo Courtesy: Trudee Stafford (Swimming Queensland).

“This kind of meet it takes swimming back to the simple things and that’s pure racing, it’s about what you do in your body for yourself and your team.. that’s the best.

“We’ve got 72 kids here all at the same level all getting exposure in a teams based competition which is certainly cost effective.

“It takes the pressure off your own performance and it helps develop all the skills and doing it for my team.

“Things like learning how to travel and this is how I become a team mate, that’s what we need to develop; we need strategies to put this in place for the younger ages.

“It’s all about going to the Olympics. I have to build on the foundations they can build on to make elite swimmers, trying to implement strategies they need to succeed at international level.

“They all have the talent to go to the Olympics but do they have the drive, the dedication and the opportunities….?

“They are all the things we don’t know yet; they all have the capabilities and the skills, that’s unbelieveable.”

Olympians Ashley Delaney (2008) and Janelle Elford/Pallister (1988) who are now valued members of the Queensland Teams coaching staff agree the program provides a perfect pathway.

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WINNER WINNER: Chicken dinner for Team Trickett, victorious in the Tilly Cup 2021. Photo Courtesy: Trudee Stafford (Swimming Queensland).

“Having the three teams even strengthens the State even more and they come together as a team and they are also learning at the same time and the coaches are learning at the same time too,” said Delaney, Head Coach at the St Andrews program on the Sunshine Coast

“It’s the way Drew McGregor and Swimming Queensland has put the meet together, the passion that he has in bringing the swimmers and the coaches together and this is why I think it’s so special.

“Its the team first aspect that makes it so important…that’s why they get the results.”

Pallister, now coaching alongside legendary Olympic coach Michael Bohl at the Griffith University program on the Gold Coast says it’s an opportunity for Queensland’s Junior swimmers to take a step up to the next level.


“It’s more about racing for your team than the individual and that takes a lot of pressure off racing as an individual. You’ve got to get in and race for your team.

“It’s a really good opportunity for these guys to stop being so individually orientated and really getting into that team spirit.

RELAY CULTURE CLUB: The 16-18 years 12×25 Mixed Freestyle Relay, the last event of Swimming Queensland’s innovative two-day three-way QLD Junior swim meet between 72 of Queensland’s leading junior swimmers divided into three teams named after three Queensland Olympic freestyle sprint legends Jodie Henry, Libby Trickett and Alice Mills. Video Courtesy: Hanson Media.

“You can lift for a team; you see it in relays everyone swims faster in relays because it’s a team so I think it’s a great opportunity for these young guys to learn from a very early age.

“That it’s all about team spirit…you get up and you go for it….and those guys that stepped up in Tokyo in the relays were doing it for Australia not for themselves.

“Out of Covid has come some really good things and this is one of them…and two teams have gone to three because we wanted to create the competition for more athletes….”

In the end it was Team Trickett (879.50) who took out the Tilly Cup in a gripping finish from Team Henry (862.50) with Team Mills third (862) after Trickett (405) won the Women’s Pointscore from Henry (395) and Mills (392) while Mills (401) scraped home in the Men’s Pointscore from Trickett (400.50) and Henry (390.50).



TEAM TRICKETT TRIUMPHS IN TILLY CUP The champion QLD Junior Pointscore Trophy is named after Tilly the Platypus mascot for Swimming Queensland. The 2021 Tilly Cup has been won by Team Libby Trickett from Team Jodie Henry and Team Alice Mills. Video Courtesy: Hanson Media.


Haylee Reid (Griffith University)

IM IN: Haylee Reid (Team Mills/Bond Swimming) a study of concentration in the 200 IM. Photo Courtesy: Trudee Stafford (Swimming Queensland).

Jaclyn Barclay (St Peters Western)

TEAM TRICKETT MVP: Fourteen-yuear-old Jaclyn Barclay (St Peters Western) produced a stunning clean sweep for Team Trickett with six wins and 30pts in the 50, 75 and 150m backstroke treble and part of three winning relays. Photo Courtesy: Trudee Stafford (Swimming Queensland).

Flynn Southam (Bond)

IN LIKE FLYNN: Bond Uni’s newly crowned Qld State Open 100m freestyle champ, Flynn Southam was a stand out for Team Mills winning the boys 15-16 years 50m freestyle in 22.67; the 75m freestyle in 35.95 and the 150m freestyle in 1:18.32 and playing a vital role in four relays. Photo Courtesy: Trudee Stafford (Swimming Queensland).

Kyle Samuelson, Richard Sleight, Ben Allen & Michaela Pattinson

AT THE HELM: Tilly Cup Head Coaches Kyle Samuelson (Team Trickett/Bond), Richard Sleight(Team Henry/St Peters Western), Ben Allen & Michaela Pattinson (Team Mills/Nudgee College). Photo Courtesy: Trudee Stafford (Swimming Queensland).

Team Henry best

TEAM HENRY: Photo Courtesy: Trudee Stafford (Swimming Queensland).

Team Mills formal;

TEAM MILLS: Photo Courtesy: Trudee Stafford (Swimming Queensland).

Team Trickett formal

TEAM TRICKETT: Photo Courtesy: Trudee Stafford (Swimming Queensland).

QvQvQ pooldeck cheers 1

CELEBRATING COMPETITIVE SPIRIT: Queensland’s “generation next” bringing passion to the pool deck in honour of three of Queensland’s greats, Jodie Henry, Libby Trickett and Alice Mills. Photo Courtesy: Hanson Media

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