Bird Soars to Victory

10 April 2021

At her first Australian Age Swimming Championships, Bond’s Mikayla Bird soared to victory in the Girls 13-years 200m Butterfly to capture her second title of the meet in an impressive time of 2:18.01.

After being crowned the 100m fly champ in her age group on night four at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, Bird didn’t leave anything to chance to secure the double, pulling away from her competitors with 25 metres to go. Rafaela Kopellou from Revesby Workers scored silver in 2:22.11 and touching for bronze in lane two was Bianca Rayward (St Hilda’s Aquatics, QLD) in 2:25.29. 

An elated Bird said she was delighted to achieve a new personal best on her debut national appearance.

“I was just trying to build into the last 50m, I knew that’s where it would all come down to for the win, so I made sure I was going really fast on the last 50m,” she said.

“It was a little PB, just off my goal time, so I’m happy – I’m really excited that Age is on, it’s my first one so it feels amazing.”

Capitalising on the momentum he’s created during the championships, Flynn Southam claimed yet another Age title, taking home the Boys 15-years 100m Backstroke on Saturday night. Clocking 55.90 – just shy of the Age record of 55.83 – the Bond athlete beat out Knox Pymble’s Kai Lilienthal (59.39) and Kincumber Pacific’s Alexander Foreman (1:00.00) who finished second and third, respectively.

Relay madness at Age 2021
The night was once again capped off with high-energy relays!

Rocky City’s Taryn Roberts continued her impressive form on night six, capturing her third gold medal of the meet – this time in the Girls 14-years 1500m Freestyle. Swimming from lane four, Roberts was the only athlete to swim sub 17 minutes, clocking 16:47.57 in the gruelling first event of the night. Rackley’s Hannah Allen secured silver in 17:12.81 while Aspen Stewart from Somerville House took home bronze in 17:47.33. Later in the evening, Roberts also took home gold in the 100m breaststroke for her age group, making it a total of four gold medals so far.

Going head-to-head in lanes four and five, Matilda Smith (The Hobart Aquatic) and Ella Ramsay fought it out in the Girls 16-years 200m Breaststroke. Gliding through the water, all eyes were on the duo as they let loose in the last 30 metres, pressing for the title. With Ramsay edging Smith out in the 100m breast, it was Smith this time who managed to pull away and nab the gold by around one second – 2:29.01 to 2:29.99. Kalyce Pressler from Silver City placed third to cap off the podium in 2:33.46.

Speaking after the race, Smith couldn’t wipe the smile from her face.

“I’m very excited, very, very happy with that,” she exclaimed.

“I was working on keeping my length and my stroke for at least three quarters of the race and then building into it for that last bit. I couldn’t really see anyone except for at the turns, but I just like to focus on my own race.”

In the tightest of finishes, Hannah Casey (MCA, QLD) pushed herself all the way to the wall in the Girls 14-years 50m Freestyle to claim her third gold medal of the meet. In a thrilling finish Casey only beat Carlile’s Oliva Wunsch by one one hundredths of a second – 25.80 to 25.81. Inez Miller (St Hildas, WA) snuck in to bag bronze from lane six in 26.34.

In the corresponding event for the Boys, it was Brisbane Grammar’s Rocco Zikarsky – who stands at an imposing 215cm tall – taking out the win in an eye-catching time of 24.18. James Gauci (SOPAC) touched for second in 24.32 while Marcus Da Silva (City of Sydney) placed third in 24.45.

Rocco cuts an imposing figure on pool deck.

Capping off the evening with a Saturday night zinger, Nudgee College athlete, Tiana Kritzinger, powered home in the Girls 16-years 1500m to claim the title in 16:36.20. Southside Aquatics’ Bailey Day snared silver in 16:57.89 while Griffith University’s Georgie Roper received bronze in 16:58.10.

The night concluded with a host of speedy relay events, access the results here.

The action continues tomorrow at 9am (local time). You can catch every race live from the Gold Coast Swimming & Aquatic Centre on Amazon Prime Video or via SwimTV.

More results from night six:

Girls 13-years 1500m Freestyle

Gold – Sophie Lambourne, St Peters Western, 17:56.49

Silver – Daisy Quinn, Goodlife, 18:02.61

Bronze – Rafaela Kopellou, Revesby Workers, 18:30.04


Boys 17-years 100m Butterfly

Gold – James Bayliss, Nudgee College, 53.99

Silver – Thomas Nankervis, St Peters Western, 54.09

Bronze – Harrison Turner, Nudgee College, 54.18

Bronze – Joseph Hamson, Knox Pymble, 54.18


Girls 16-years 200m Freestyle

Gold – Ella Ramsay, St Peters Western, 2:00.77

Silver – Madeleine Hardy, Trinity Grammar, NSW, 2:01.25

Bronze – Jamie Perkins, Cotton Tree, 2:01.35


Boys 16-years 200m Freestyle

Gold – Jesse Coleman, Bond, 1:51.56

Silver – Thomas Connellan, Nudgee College, 1:52.25  

Bronze – Hugh Dolle, St Peters Western, 1:52.37


Girls 15-years 100m Backstroke

Gold – Semra Olowoniyi, St Peters Western, 1:03.11

Silver – Claveria Johnson-Tiumalu, St Peters Western, 1:03.27   

Bronze – Sienna Shepherd, Firbank Aquastars, 1:04.07  


Boys 17-years 200m Individual Medley

Gold – Joshua Collett, Knox Pymble, 2:02.36 

Silver – Elliot Webber, St Peters Western, 2:05.44

Bronze – Lachlan Walker, Alstonville, 2:05.54


Boys 16-years 200m Breaststroke

Gold – William Petric, Nunawading, 2:13.96

Silver – Haig Buckingham, SOPAC, 2:16.84

Bronze – Alistair Gorgijovski, Wests Illawarra, 2:19.52


Girls 15-years 400m Individual Medley

Gold – Julia Kater, St Hilda’s Aquatic, 4:54.66

Silver – Sophie Martin, Brisbane Grammar, 4:56.58

Bronze – Bella Grant, Trinity Grammar, NSW, 5:03.14


Boys 15-years 400m Individual Medley

Gold – Joshua Kerr, Manly, 4:37.77

Silver – Clancy Luscombe, Marion, 4:40.68

Bronze – Mitchell Stewart, Surrey Park, 4:41.27


Girls 13-years 100m Freestyle

Gold – Ainsley Trotter, St Peters Western, 58.43

Silver – Zoe Ammundsen, Rackley, 58.70

Bronze – Hannah Morton, Warringah Aquatic, 58.84


Girls 14-years 100m Breaststroke

Gold – Taryn Roberts, Rocky City, 1:12.03

Silver – Alannah Torrance, MLC Aquatic, Vic, 1:13.74 

Bronze – Alisha Walters, Northcote, 1:14.26   


Boys 14-years 100m Breaststroke

Gold – Bailey Screen, Willoughby, 1:06.37

Silver – Waylon Hayashi, Ginninderra, 1:07.87

Bronze – Harry Wright, Noosa, 1:07.93


Girls 15-years 1500m Freestyle

Gold – Amelia Weber, St Peters Western, 16:49.39

Silver – Abbey Connor, Revesby Workers, 17:39.60

Bronze – Sienna Deurloo, Toowoomba Grammar, 17:44.17

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