Published: Jul 6, 2012 05:41:01 PM Updated: Jul 7, 2012 05:01:33 PM
Australia Green swimmer Alanna Bowles has re-written the record books for the women’s 800m freestyle on the penultimate day of competition at Haileybury College in Melbourne.
The 14-year-old, on her first Trans-Tasman team, swam a personal best time to erase the record that has stood since 2003. Originally set by Stephanie Williams at 8:36.00, Bowles’ time of 8:35.71 was just enough to etch her name in the record books.
The Rocky City swimmer was nearly six seconds faster than second placed Chelsea Gubecka in 8:41.59 and nearly 14 seconds ahead of third placed Emma Reid in 8:49.30.
Australia Green’s Eliza Ham had a stellar day in the pool, taking out both the women’s 200m freestyle and the 200m IM, scoring some essential points for her team which currently sits at the top of the leader board with one meet to go.
The women’s 200m freestyle saw Ham hit the wall first in 2:02.60 ahead of New Zealand swimmer Georgia Marris in 2:03.60 and Taylor Green from Australia Gold in 2:03.39.
The women’s 200m IM came down to the touch with Ham (2:15.21) taking first place by 0.12 of a second in front of Australia Gold swimmer Meg Bailey (2:15.33). New Zealand continued their climb up the score board with Kiwi swimmer Emily McGill picking up the points for third in 2:17.37.
Team New Zealand’s Matthew Hutchins (50.79) has carried on his unbeaten spell in the men’s 100m freestyle after taking first place ahead of Australia Green’s Alex Press (51.27) and fellow Kiwi swimmer Kyle Barnes (51.29).
In the men’s 200m breaststroke New Zealand persisted with their assault on the score board when they finished first and second with George Schroder (2:17.76) and Ben Walsh (2:18.47) hitting the wall ahead of Australia Gold’s Jesse King (2:20.05).
It was a Green team showdown in the men’s 200m backstroke with teammates Mitchell Pratt (2:00.45) and Nicholas Groenewald (2:00.57) in a fight for first place.
Silver medallist from this event at the 2012 Australian Age Championships, Pratt, touched slightly ahead for the win, relegating Groenewald to second place. New Zealand took third when Bayley Main stopped the clock at 2:04.00.
Kiwi swimmer Rima Williams proved she is fighting fit again, after taking out the women’s 100m backstroke in 1:01.79. Australia Green teammates Lauren Rettie and Lucy Soden (1:02.38) battled it out for second and third with Rettie just getting the better of Soden to finish in a time of 1:02.21.
After taking out the 100m freestyle earlier today, Hutchins was back in the water for the 400m freestyle less than an hour later. The kiwi cruised to victory in 3:55.38, nearly four seconds ahead of his closest rival Hayden Rea in 3:59.51. The Green team’s Jacob Hansford hit the wall in 3:59.70.
Following on from her breaststroke wins in Canberra and Wagga Wagga Karlene Pircher had a battle on her hands in the women’s 200m breaststroke. Swimming for Australia Gold, Pircher managed to hold off Green Team swimmer Jenna Strauch who put in a good chase but had to settle for second in 1:10.76. New Zealand’s Emily McGill rounded out the top three in 1:12.02.
Following on from his win in the backstroke earlier today, Mitchell Pratt (55.66) backed up to take first place in the men’s 100m butterfly. With the top three swimmers all hitting the wall within one second of each other, Pratt stole the win from his Gold team rivals Nick Robertson (55.92) and Edward Marks (56.65).
Backing up after her record breaking 800m freestyle swim, Alanna Bowles (2:13.81) was straight back in the water for the women’s 200m butterfly. Bowles managed to touch third behind Megan Gianotti and Jemma Schlicht (2:13.47).
Gianotti’s winning time of 2:10.61 was just off the 2:10.38 Trans-Tasman record set in 2010 by Megan Mackay.
The men’s 400m IM saw Julian Layton (4:23.88) seal the win for New Zealand with Joachim Bardrum (4:24.63) from Australia Gold in second and Australia Green’s Kazamir Boskovic (4:26.71) hitting the wall in third.
Team New Zealand scored their final points for the day when they took out the men’s 4x100m medley relay. While the women from Australia Gold were victorious in the 4x100m freestyle relay, giving their team a much needed points boost.
Although Team Green go in to the final day of competition on top, they’ll have to keep a close eye on the fast finishing New Zealanders and also Australia Gold as they desperately fight back from third place.
Point score as of 6/07/12:
Australia Green – 627
New Zealand – 551
Australia Gold - 536
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