Adelaide Alive on Night One


In a stunning display of racing, rising star of the pool Elijah Winnington claimed his first national title, hometown hero Kyle Chalmers showed his talents extend beyond freestyle and Liam Schluter (S14) smashed his own world record on the opening night of 2019 Hancock Prospecting Australian Swimming Championships.

In a personal best time of 3:44.68, Winnington took home the gold in the Men’s 400m Freestyle, beating out Jack McLoughlin (Chandler) and Joshua Parrish (TSS Aquatics) who touched in 3:48.96 and 3:49.06, respectively.

In front of a home crowd at the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre, Olympic champion Chalmers recorded a victory in the Men’s 100m Butterfly in a personal best time of 52.07. Trying his hand at a new event, the Marion-based swimmer edged out Nunawading teammates Matthew Temple (52.16) and Bowen Gough (52.78).

Taking out the Men’s 400m Freestyle Multi-Class national title for the eighth time was Paralympic champion Brenden Hall (S9) (Lawnton), who in a time of 4:16.89, also qualified for a spot on the Australian team to compete at the World Para Swimming Championships. Fellow Queenslander Liam Schluter (S14) from Kawana Waters claimed silver – smashing his own world-record time in the process – while North Sydney’s Matt Levy came third to receive the bronze. Recording a time of 4:49.78, Levy also qualified for the world para champs team, as did fourth-placed Timothy Hodge (S9) with a time of 4:23.61.

The corresponding race for the women’s event saw Lawton’s Monique Murphy (S10) hold off teammate Lakeisha ‘Lucky’ Patterson (S9) and Knox Pymble’s Ellie Cole (S9) to win the 400m freestyle multi-class gold. The trio were in close quarters for the majority of the race and all qualified for the World Para Championship team.

It was gold, silver and bronze in the Women’s 100m Freestyle for three members of Australia’s world-record breaking 4x100m freestyle relay team, as Cate Campbell (Knox Pymble) came out on top and claimed yet another national title coming home in 52.35. Griffith University’s Emma McKeon (52.84) was hot on Campbell’s heels and touched in the silver position, while Shayna Jack – swimming for the first time at nationals for her new club St Peters Western – took home the bronze in 53.20.

Coming off a five-gold-medal haul at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Larkin (53.51) added another achievement to his list, taking home the top honour in the Men’s 100m Backstroke. A product of St Peters Western, Larkin led the pack at the 50m-turn, taking the title narrowly ahead of William Yang (Ravenswood) and Tristian Hollard (Southport Olympic), who claimed silver (53.59) and bronze (54.02), respectively.

A nail-biting finish to the Women’s 100m Breaststroke saw a trio of Dolphins take the trifecta, with St Peter Western’s Abbey Harkin (1:07.02) taking the gold – and her first national title – ahead of Nunawading’s Jess Hansen (1:07.45) and Bond’s Jenna Strauch (1:07.79).

Rio Paralympian Tiffany Thomas Kane (SB7) (Monte) finished on top in the Women’s 50m Breaststroke Multi-Class event to be awarded the national title ahead of Fraser Coast’s Keira Stephens (SB9) and Ashley Van Rijswijk (SB11) from Wagga Wagga.

A stellar performance by Carina Leagues CJ’s’ Jake Michel (SB14) in the Men’s 50m Breaststroke Multi-Class afforded him the top honour, beating out Blake Cochrane (SB7) from USC Spartans and Ahmed Kelly (SB3) from Melbourne Vicentre. Recording a time of 1:00.35, Grant ‘Scooter’ Patterson also secured a spot on the Aussie team travelling to the World Para Swimming Championships later this year.

It was no pain, no gain in the Women’s 800m Freestyle event, with world record holder Ariarne Titmus leading the pack from the get-go. Touching the wall in 8:18.61, the St Peters Western swimmer took the gold in front of fellow Queenslanders and TSS Aquatics teammates, Kiah Melverton (8:27.72) and Maddie Gough (8:28.43).

Showcasing their skills in a new Olympic event, St Peters Western won the Mixed 4x100m Medley Relay (Larkin, Harkin, Clyde Lewis and Jack), with TSS Aquatics (Cameron McEvoy, Cooper van der laan, Kiah Melverton and Alice Stuart) claiming silver and UWA West Coast (Jemima Horwood, Zac Incerti, Brianna Throssell and Alex Milligan) receiving the bronze.

Day two action from the SA Aquatic & Leisure Centre kicks off with heats at 10:00am, while finals begin at 5:30pm.