Swimming Australia’s distance girls led by Ariarne Titmus and Kiah Melverton will be back behind the blocks one final time for tonight’s 800M freestyle final at the Pan Pacific Championship Trials in Adelaide.
Both girls will spearhead the Australian Dolphins into next month’s Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, Japan and have been in great form through the first three days of these Trials.
The pre-selected Melverton (TSS Aquatic) and Titmus (St Peters Western) won the 1500m freestyle and 400m freestyles respectively and with a host of youngsters including another 1500m qualifier in Maddy Gough will dish up a mouthwatering finale to the event.
This morning saw 15-year-old, St Peters Western swimmer Jenna Forrester clock the fastest time of the day 8:53.51.
Meanwhile, tonight’s women’s 200m backstroke may be missing the Australian and Commonwealth record holder in Emily Seebohm but her Brisbane Grammar training partner, the talented teenager Minna Atherton will lead the field into the final.
Atherton stopped the clock in 2:12.71 this morning to swim from lane four tonight, searching for selection and a time under the 2:07.64 required for an automatic ticket to Tokyo.
But it’s not just the clock that Atherton will need to worry about, joining her in the final is 100m backstroke winner Kaylee McKeown (USC Spartans) in 2:13.18, Melbourne Vicentre’s Sian Whittaker (2:14.44) and Hayley Baker 2:15.43 – all capable of something special tonight.
In other events this morning…
Men’s 200m Backstroke
The top four qualifiers for the men’s 200m backstroke will all be in with a shot at the top tonight as Jorden Merrilees (1:58.58, Melbourne Vicentre), Bradley Woodward (1:58.78, Mingara Aquatic), Tristan Hollard (1:59.17, Southport Olympic) and Mitch Larkin (1:59.77, SPW) battle for bragging rights.
For Merrilees, Woodward and Hollard this is their individual shot at selection with the trio all aiming for the tough qualifying time of 1:56.11 tonight.
Larkin has already secured his place on the Pan Pacs team but won’t go down without a challenge tonight.
Women’s 50m Freestyle
With a personal best time just 0.11 of a second outside the current world record, Cate Campbell (Chandler) will go into the final of the one lap splash and dash, 50m freestyle as the red-hot favourite tonight.
Campbell, Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Australian and Commonwealth record holder, went 24.54 in the heats this morning and after practising a no-breath-50, anything is possible tonight.
Her training partner Shayna Jack (Chandler) will join her in the final, with her time of 24.67 the only other sub 25-second swim in the field with Holly Barratt (Rockingham) rounding out the top three in 25.61.
Men’s 50m Freestyle
In the corresponding men’s event less than half a second separates the top ten with Somerset’s James Roberts leading the pack in 22.42 followed closely by TSS Aquatics rising star Grayson Bell (22.55) and 2017 World Championship representative from Rackley, Louis Townsend (22.59) and Gold Coast duo Blake Jones (Somerset) and Matthew Davis (Palm Beach Currumbin) equal fourth after the heats.
Roberts and Jones will be hoping to get some words of wisdom from coach Ash Callus, who is the current Commonwealth and Australian record holder in the event (21.19) and dip under the 22 second barrier for the 21.77 required for Pan Pacs selection.
But with the field so close there will be no room for errors tonight.
Women’s 100m Butterfly Multi Class
Nunawading swimmer Madeleine Scott will be tough to beat tonight when she swims from lane four in the women’s 100m butterfly Multi Class final.
Scott’s time of 1:10.16 for 861 points was too good for Taylor Corry (1:10.68, 759pts) and Paige Leonhardt (1:08.91, 750pts).
Men’s 100m Butterfly Multi Class
Commonwealth Games representative Mitch Kilduff (SLC Aquadot) put together a stunning 100m butterfly Multi Class heat to move through as the top qualifier for the final tonight with a time of 59.46 (947pts).
Kilduff will be followed into the final by Dan Fox (1:00.64, 893pts) and Timothy Hodge (1:03.02, 817pts).
Women’s 200m Breaststroke
It appears Jess Hansen (2:29.03) has found her mojo with the Nunawading swimmer, who has already secured her spot on the team in the 100m breaststroke, continuing her run of success as the fastest from the 200m breaststroke this morning.
The fight for first place will be on tonight with USC Spartans Taylor McKeown sure to step up tonight after qualifying third in 2:29.35 as well as Bond University’s Jenna Strauch who was second in 2:29.09 and Griffith University’s fourth fastest in 2:29.84.
Men’s 200m Breaststroke
With a place on the team already, SPOAC’s Matthew Wilson will use the final of the 200m breaststroke to perfect his race plan ahead of the Pan Pacs this August. Wilson will be the favourite tonight with a time of 2:10.24 the best of the bunch this morning.
Wilson’s Commonwealth Games teammate Zac Stubblety-Cook was ranked second after the heats in 2:11.32 with Alex Milligan (UWA West Coast) rounding out the top three in 2:13.12.
Men’s 100m Freestyle Multi Class
Swimming in his pet event, the 2017 Para Swimmer of the Year, Rowan Crothers, will move through as the one to beat in the men’s 100m freestyle Multi Class tonight after clocking a 53.00 for 884 points in the heats.
Crothers was too quick for USC Spartans swimmer Daniel Fox (53.79, 844pts), who will be hot on his heels tonight with UQ Swim Club’s Jack Ireland (54.82, 797pts) rounding out the top three qualifiers.
Women’s 100m Freestyle Multi Class
After taking out the title in the backstroke earlier in the meet, Ellie Cole (USC Spartans) will tonight switch over to her front and be on the hunt for the women’s Multi Class 100m freestyle crown.
Cole’s time of 1:04.81 (830pts) was enough to hold off Traralgon swimmer Emily Beecroft (1:05.46, 806pts) with Ashleigh McConnell (Melbourne Vicentre) also in the mix with a 1:05.68 form the heats for 798 points.
A team of around 30 pool swimmers are expected to join the already selected open water team for the 2018 Pan Pacs in Tokyo from August 9-14, when the team is announced tonight.
Swimming Australia will also announce its Para Team to be led by a host of its Rio Paralympic stars as well as a Development Team that will race in the Para Pan Pacs in Cairns – also between August 9-14.
Finals will commence at 6:30pm with tickets available online now from just $5 at www.swimming.org.au.