McKeown and McKeon Making Their Mark

16 April 2021

After taking home gold in the Women’s 50m Backstroke on Thursday morning, young USC Spartan, Kaylee McKeown, has backed up her performance on day three to claim her first 100m backstroke Australian title at the 2021 Australian Swimming Championships.
Cheered on by family in the stands at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, the 19-year-old ‘hit the pedal’ in the final 15 metres to post a time of 58.60, pipping Australian Dolphin and 11-time winner of the event Emily Seebohm (Griffith Uni), who snared silver in 59.22. Seebohm’s Griffith Uni training partner, Jessica Unicomb, followed for bronze in 1:01.32.
Tearing down the pool and going stroke for stroke, it was Dolphins Emma McKeon (Griffith Uni) and Cate Campbell (Knox Pymble) fighting it out in the Women’s 100m Freestyle final. Clocking 52.49 and 52.85, respectively, their times put them well in the top ranked world swims of 2021. For McKeon, the victory marked her first Australian 100m freestyle title. Campbell powered to the wall for silver and Madi Wilson (Marion) rounded out the podium in 53.56.
Speaking post-race McKeon said the times she was clocking gave her confidence.
“I’ve always mainly trained for the 200, and now I’ve come down to 100, so to be getting those times, that gives me a lot of confidence. The more 52s I swim the more confident I get,” McKeon said.
18-year-old Thomas Neill (Rackley) threw down a 7:51.65 to claim his first national title ahead of Dolphins Jack McLoughlin (Chandler) (7:59.33) and Nick Sloman (Noosa) (8:00.68).  

The 2019 World Junior Championship silver medallist was elated with his performance.

“It's really nice. You know, this is this meet is a stepping stone for all of us, heading towards June and trials, but it's nice confidence wise to put a good time and a good race together,” Neill said.
“Racing these bigger boys and others, a lot more competition. There's no age brackets, no excuses now. It's just about getting up, not being afraid and trying to give it to them.”
With a world-class time of 2:07.20 it was UWA West Coast’s Brianna Throssell who powered home in the final 50m to claim victory as the new Australian champion in the Women’s 200m Butterfly. With a slick time, the West Australian is now ranked third in the world in 2021– valuable momentum ahead of Olympic trials in June. Young gun Elizabeth Dekkers (Newmarket Racers) followed close behind in 2:07.82 for silver, adding to her medal haul from last week’s 2021 Australian Age Swimming Championships where she set a new Australian and All Comers record in the 16-year-old age group. Meg Bailey (Hunter) – who nabbed silver in the 400m individual medley – followed in 2:09.72 to take bronze and add another medal to her tally.
Going back-to-back-to-back and moving at a phenomenal pace, it was the Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers (Marion) who charged home to triumph in the Men’s 100m Freestyle. Clocking a time of 48.04, the South Australian holds the second fastest time this year, bettered only by Hungarian Kristoff Milak who posted a 48:00 at their National Championships in March. Australian Dolphins Jack Cartwright (St Peters Western) and Louis Townsend (Rackley) placed second and third respectively in 48.81 and 49.10.
Backing up her impressive performance in the 100m breaststroke race yesterday, Southport’s Chelsea Hodges blitzed home in the Women’s 50m Breaststroke to claim gold and her second Australian title. The 19-year-old touched the wall in 30.20 to break the All Comers record previously set in 2011 by Australian Dolphin Leiston Pickett. Silver was claimed by Tessa Wallace (USC Spartans) (31.22) and bronze by Abbey Harkin (St Peters Western) (31.43).
In the corresponding men’s event it was a fight to the finish between Australian Dolphins Matthew Wilson (SOPAC) and Jake Packard (USC Spartans). With 0.21 separating them come the final touch, it was Wilson (27.55) who pulled ahead in the final meters to claim gold, with Packard (27.76) taking silver. Starplex’s James McKechnie followed close behind in 28.00 to claim bronze.
It was a fight to the finish in the Men’s 200m Butterfly as Victorian Bowen Gough (Nunawading) claimed his first national title. After receiving the silver in 2019, Gough – in a cool 1:57.08 – out touched Nunawading teammate Matt Temple who claimed silver in 1:57.92. TSS Aquatic’s David Morgan clocked 1:58.87 for bronze.
Hometown favourite Tristan Hollard (Southport Olympic) swam to victory in the Men’s 100m Backstroke to claim his first Australian title. Taking gold in a time of 54.83, the local touched ahead of Australian Dolphin Brad Woodward (Mingara) and young gun Thomas Hauck (All Saints GC) who claimed silver and bronze in 55.34 and 55.69, respectively.
It was a gruelling 1500m race for the women this morning, with TSS Aquatic’s Madeleine Gough taking the crown in 16:00.18. Holding strong the entire race Gough was pushed along by future Olympian and Open Water specialist Kareena Lee (Noosa) and teammate Kiah Melverton who claimed silver and bronze in 16:08.28 and 16:12.43 respectively.
For all age and relay results click here.

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