Commonwealth Games relay gold medallists Jack Cartwright and former world record holder Cate Campbell both showed today that they are eager for a piece of the action in this year’s Pan Pacific Championships in Japan with solid 100m freestyle heat swims in Adelaide this morning.
In the men’s it was Cartwright who clocked 48.56 seconds –at the Hancock Prospecting Pan Pac Trials at the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre – to grab the fastest time of the 10-man final by over half-a-second.
While the women’s 100m freestyle at the Hancock Prospecting pan Pacific Championship Trials, saw the impressive Campbell lead the field into the final tonight after cruising through the heats in an impressive 53.38 – despite having pre-qualifying at the Games on the Gold Coast.
Campbell will be minus her sprint sister and Commonwealth Games champion Bronte, who is taking a break due to an ongoing shoulder injury but will have both Emma McKeon (54.07, Griffith University) and her training partner Shayna Jack (54.32, Chandler) alongside her tonight.
Nineteen-year-old, Cartwright, originally from Gladstone, but who is now firmly entrenched under coach Dean Boxall at St Peters Western in Brisbane – was a man on a mission.
Unlike Olympic and Commonwealth champion Kyle Chalmers, Cartwright doesn’t have the luxury of pre-qualifying.
He has to clock under the Swimming Australia selection time of 48.31 – seemingly well within his grasp judging by his swim this morning
“I had to come to Trials and pull something out to make the team,” said Cartwright.
“Things are on track and I’m confident in the training I’ve done under Dean that I can get the job done.”
Cartwright leads the final field of 10 tonight, ahead of Olympic relay bronze medallist James Roberts (Somerset) 49.21 and last night’s third placegetter from the 200m final Alexander Graham (Bond) 49.25.
Backing up from last night’s 200m, Chalmers (Marion) 50.20 and Graham’s training partner and 200m winner Elijah Winnington (Bond) 50.23 scraped into the final in ninth and 10th respectively and will swim from lanes 1 and 9 respectively in what will add to the theatre of swimming’s blue ribband event
The other qualifiers in what is sure to be another tooth-and-nail fight are: Daniel Smith (Griffith) 49.40; Louis Townsend (Rackley) 49.49; Blake Jones (Somerset) 49.91; Max Carleton (50.00) and Travis Mahoney (Marion) 50.06.
Meanwhile just under half a second separates Brisbane Grammar duo Emily Seebohm (1:00.54) and Minna Atherton (1:00.63) along with USC Spartans Kaylee McKeown (1:00.93) after the women’s 100m backstroke heats this morning.
Seebohm is the fastest in the field with a personal best of 58.23 and with her place on the team confirmed she will be racing purely for practise but won’t want to go down without a fight.
For Atherton and McKeown all eyes will be on the clock and the Pan Pacs qualifying time of 59.82. Joining them in the race against time will be Hayley Baker (Canberra, 1:01.35), Sian Whittaker (Melbourne Vicentre, 1:01.44) and Madison Wilson (Marion, 1:01.96), also all capable of a sub-1-minute 100.
In the men’s 100m backstroke, Commonwealth Games medallists Mitch Larkin (SPW) and Bradley Woodward (Mingara Aquatic) are the top two qualifiers with Larkin – fresh from his 400IM win last night, clocking 53.84 and Woodward 54.13.
While in the 200m butterfly it was 21-year-old Nicholas Brown (UWA West Coast) in 1:58.50 who heads the qualifiers ahead of Theo Benehoutsos (Melbourne Vicentre) 1:58.72, Olympian David Morgan (TSS Aquatics) 1:59.29 and Brodie Cook (Helensvale) 1:59.37.
In the women’s 200m butterfly, Commonwealth Games silver medallist Laura Taylor (TSS Aquatics) has progressed as the fastest Australian through to the final tonight in 2:13.92, with Korea’s Sehyeon An taking lane four in 2:11.10.
Taylor has already secured her place on the Pan Pacs Team so the pressure will be off tonight, but the Gold Coaster will no doubt be looking to lower her time from the heats and see how fast she can go in-season.
USC Spartans swimmer Tianni Gilmour was third fastest in 2:14.75 and will need to go almost seven seconds faster tonight with 2:07.82 the time to beat for team selection.
Meanwhile in the Multi-Class events Commonwealth Games star Lakeisha Patterson backed up this morning to qualify in top spot for the final of the Women’s 50m Multi Class freestyle after taking the title in the women’s 400m freestyle last night.
Patterson who trains at Lawnton under coach Harley Connolly, managed to just hold on to the win with her time of 31.53 (838pts) ahead of Yeronga Park’s Paige Leonhardt (29.18, 825pts) and Keira Stephens (Fraser Coast) in 29.25 (819pts).
A host of Paralympians will be hot on their heels tonight with Katja Dedekind, Rachael Watson and Jasmine Greenwood all moving through to the top ten.
Yeronga Park swimmer Paige Leonhardt is off to a flying start in her Para Pan Pacs campaign, after winning the bronze in the 50fly last night and qualifying in top spot for the 100m Breaststroke Multi Class after the heats this morning.
Leonhardt’s time of 1:22.33 gave her a total of 719pts to just get the better of Keira Stephens (Fraser Coast) who went 1:22.39 for 718pts. It will be anyone’s for the taking tonight with 39-year-old Paralympian Tanya Huebner making an impressive comeback for third place in 1:46.13 for 716pts.
Paralympic legend Ellie Cole will be looking to add the women’s 100m backstroke Multi Class crown to her collection tonight after taking the top spot from the heats this morning with a 1:12.05 (828pts).
A Paralympic gold medallist in this event, Cole leads training partner Katja Dedekind who qualified in 1:12.19 (794pts), Taylor Corry (1:11.63, 715pts) and Katherine Downie (1:13.70, 714pts).
Dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist Tim Disken was as quick as a flash in the heats of the men’s 50m Multi Class freestyle this morning, topping the qualifiers with a speedy 25.78 for an impressive 926 points. Disken will be difficult to beat tonight but chasing him down will be the 2017 Para Swimmer of the Year Rowan Crothers (Yeronga Park, 24.15, 882pts) and USC Spartans swimmer Daniel Fox in 24.99 (813).
In the 100m breaststroke it was new-comer Jake Michel (Carina Leagues) who will progress as the favourite for tonight’s final after clocking a 1:08.89 (893pts) from the heats this morning. Darcy Gilson (Singleton) will move through in second with his time of 1:11.72 (791pts) with Ahmed Kelly (Melbourne Vicentre) rounding out the top three in 1:53.55 (778).
Finals will commence at 6:30pm with tickets available online now from just $5 at www.swimming.org.au.