Published: Jul 7, 2012 05:00:23 PM
One point gives Australia Trans-Tasman victory
As the 2012 Trans-Tasman tour came to an end, Australia Green had an unassailable lead. But the battle for second place bragging rights came down to one point.
Team New Zealand and Australia Gold had seesawed positions across the entire series, but in the end it took a Trans-Tasman record and some gutsy swims to rank Australia Gold in second place, leaving New Zealand to settle for third position as the meet wrapped up in Melbourne.
With less than three points separating Australia Gold and New Zealand halfway through this morning’s session Jesse King secured a vital win for the Gold team in the men’s 100m breaststroke. King hit the wall first in 1:03.95 relegating Ben Walsh (1:05.02) and George Schroder (1:05.45) both from New Zealand to second and third place respectively.
In a desperate last effort for points the Australia Gold women’s 4x100m medley relay team stormed home to victory, holding off a fast-finishing Green team to take first place and set a new Trans-Tasman meet record. The Gold Team set the new standard at 4:09.52 and lifted their team to second place on the leader board.
Australia Green’s Jacob Hansford put in a good chase against New Zealand’s freestyle king Matthew Hutchins (1:50.73). Hansford came home strong in the last 25m to touch just 0.23 of a second off Hutchins to take second place in 1:50.90. Australia Gold’s Jake Hodgetts was second in 1:53.83.
In the men’s 200m IM Hutchins pulled out a stunning victory for New Zealand when he hit the wall in 2:04.59 to beat Australia Gold’s Liam Cunneen (2:04.93) at the wall. The Green team’s Nicholas Groenewald picked up the points for third in 2:05.62.
Hutchins barely had time to draw a breath before he was back in the water for the 800m freestyle. The 17-year-old had nothing left in the tank but finished a commendable fifth in 8:25.18.
Distance freestyler Hayden Rea (8:14.68) capitalised on an exhausted Hutchins to take the win in the men’s 800m freestyle. New Zealand swimmer Carter Edgecombe (8:17.18) picked up the pace to take second while Australia Gold’s Hayden Hinds-Sydenham (8:14.68) was third.
Dual Australian Age Champion Jemma Schlicht proved her dominance in the 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly, winning the events across all the meets at Canberra, Wagga Wagga and Melbourne. Schlicht stopped the clock at 55.72 in the women’s 100m freestyle relegating Megan Gianotti to second and 13-year-old Shayna Jack to third in 56.58.
Once again Gianotti had to settle for second behind Schlicht when she was out-touched by just over 0.4 of a second. The Gold Team’s Lucia Lassman was third in 1:01.14.
The men’s 100m backstroke saw six-time Australian Age Champion Nicholas Groenewald (57.08) steal victory from New Zealand’s Julian Weir (57.33) and Australia Green’s Matthew Meinema (57.76). The top three finishers all stopped the clock within one second of each other.
Australian Age Champion in this event Lauren Rettie broke Rima Williams’ (2:12.66) stranglehold on the women’s 200m backstroke, taking first place in 2:12.52 and extending the Green Team’s lead. Amy Forrester was just behind in 2:13.57 to take third.
After breaking her first record for the meet in the women’s 800m freestyle yesterday Alanna Bowles did her part for the Green Team, swimming and winning both the women’s 400m freestyle and 400m IM, within half an hour of each other.
Bowles blitzed the field in the women’s 400m freestyle, finishing nearly three seconds ahead of her closest rival Brittany McEvoy (4:17.87). Australia Gold swimmer Emma Reid was third in 4:20.02.
Similarly in the 400m IM, Bowles (4:47.92) took first place by almost three seconds from her teammate Eliza Ham (4:50.20). Third place went to Meg Bailey in 4:51.27.
In the women’s 200m breaststroke it was Karlene Pircher who secured another vital win for the Gold Team. Pircher, who has been unstoppable in the breaststroke events across all meets, took first place in 2:28.71, almost six seconds clear of Jenna Strauch (2:34.52) in second place. Kiwi swimmer Emily McGill took third in 2:34.95.
Australian Age Champion in this event Mitchell Pratt was too strong in the men’s 200m butterfly, stopping the clock at 2:00.80. Jacob Hansford held on for second in 2:04.58 while Joachim Bardrum hit the wall third in a time of 2:04.62.
The men’s 4x100m freestyle relay came down to the touch with Australia Green stealing the win in 3:24.34 just in front of New Zealand in 3:24.55.
Australia Green took a commanding lead early in the mixed 10x50m freestyle relay and never looked back. Despite putting up a strong chase, Australia Gold and New Zealand couldn’t match the consistent clean changeovers and fast pace of the Green team.
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