Mc siblings hungry for golden nuggets at Victorian State Champs
Night two of the Victorian State Swimming Championships at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre tonight could well be a tale of Queensland sibblings the McKeowns and the McKeons.
Last night saw 16-year-old Kaylee McKeown (USC Spartans) edged out world champion Emily Seebohm (Brisbane Grammar) in a thrilling 200m backstroke final – the world junior record holder out-touching the three time Olympian by 0.04.
This morning saw Seebohm strike back to top the younger McKeown in the red-hot heats of the 100m backstroke – Seebohm topping the qualifiers in 1:00.25 to McKeown’s 1:01.17 – setting the scene for a major highlight tonight.
The older of the McKeown girls – 24-year-old Rio Olympic silver medal winning relay swimmer Taylor – then showed she wasn’t going to let little sister Kaylee take all the kudos, clocking the fastest qualifying time in the women’s 200m breaststroke in 2:27.29.
But it was the way she swam the race that caught the eye – negative splitting the race – going through the first 100m in 1:14.22 coming home in the second 100m in 1:13.07.
She will face fellow Olympians Georgia Bohl (Griffith University) who won her heat in 2:30.65 and Tessa Wallace (Pelican waters) hers in 2:32.93 and last night’s 100m winner Jessica Hansen, one of four Nunawading girls in the final next on 2:34.35.
And then there’s the Griffith University McKeon’s – with Australia’s leading medal winner from the Rio Olympics and Hungary World Championships Emma McKeon – last night’s winner of the 50m butterfly and 100m freestyle – the fastest qualifier for tonight’s 100m butterfly.
Her big brother David McKeon, third behind Olympic champions Mack Horton and Gregorio Paltrinieri in last night’s 400m freestyle will contest both the 200 and 800m freestyle finals in what will be busy day for him.
Tonight will also see the continued comebacks of two London Olympians – Jayden Hadler (St Peters Western) who is the fastest qualifier in the 200m individual medley and Yolane Kukla (Somerset) who is second fastest qualifier (25.99) behind two-time Olympic relay gold medallist Brittany Elmslie (Brisbane Grammar) 25.90.
In other highlights this morning Hungary World Championships find Jack Cartwright (SPW) powered home over the final 50m to post the fastest heat swim of the day in the men’s 200m freestyle of 1:49.57 with last night’s 100m freestyle winner Kyle Chalmers (Marion) another heat winner posting the second fastest time of 1:50.84 in what could well develop into a re-match of last night’s final.
Others in the final are Rio Olympian Dan Smith (Griffith University) 1:50.98 and Sydney Olympic Aquatic Centre pair Jamie Parker and Rio Olympian Jacob Hansford 1:51.42.
And worth noting is the appearance of 15-year-old Queensland Age star Thomas Hauck (All Saints) who swam the 10th fastest time of the day of 1:53.25 to take the final lane.
The men’s 100 breaststroke with Jake Packard (USC Spartans) the fastest qualifier in 1:00.98 and the 200 backstroke with 2015 World Champion and Rio silver medallist Mitch Larkin (SPW) the top qualifier on 2:01.83 will also be worth watching.
It was also exciting to see one of Victoria’s most popular Paralympians, S9 category swimmer Tim Diskin back firing – taking the top spot in the 50m freestyle (25.78) and second spot in the 100m breaststroke (1:14.35) in the spirited Multi-Class events.