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Adelaide unearths next crop of Aussie swimming hopefuls

April 14, 2013
Kyle Chalmers (photo :

Kyle Chalmers (photo :

Australia’s next generation of swimming stars have given the spectators at the 2013 Georgina Hope Swimmers Foundation Australian Age Championships a sneak peek into the depth of talent across the sport as it moves forward on the journey to Rio and beyond.

Over the course of the meet, a total of eight Australian Age records were broken, with three of these records now belonging to South Australian local, 14-year-old Kyle Chalmers in the 100m butterfly and the 50 and 100m freestyle.

The talented teen also took a total of five titles, a tally matched by 15-year-old Alanna Bowles and 13-year-old Andrew Ryan.

Four-time Australian Age Champion Alexander Graham and triple Australian Age Champion Taylor McKeown provided the standout performances in the 17/18 years age group, clocking internationally competitive times from their respective races.

Graham’s 1:47.70 from the 200m freestyle would have seen him sneak onto the Olympic team for a relay swim, while McKeown’s 2:25.90 in the 200m breaststroke would have placed her eighth in the London Olympic final.

With just 12 days until the EnergyAustralia Swimming Championships, the age group swimmers have provided a solid start to the swimming year and have set the standard for the open swimmers.

In a first for the meet, the Georgina Hope Swimmers Foundation Australian Age Championships will now continue with the Multi Class competition.

The finals kicked off this afternoon with a trifecta of personal bests with London Paralympic Gold medallist Maddison Elliot clocking 5:08:31 to take the gold in the girls 11-15 years 400m freestyle Multi Class.

Elliott was followed closely by Queenslander Rakiya Thomas who also recorded a best time, knocking eight seconds off her previous best to touch the wall in 5:09.13. Finally Amy Cook from New South Wales set her personal best at 5:24.23 to take home the bronze medal.

In other events…

Boy’s 17/18 years 100m Freestyle

Victorian sprint sensation Alexander Graham (49.43) sustained his speed over the two laps of the boy’s 17/18 years 100m freestyle, just hanging on long enough to hold off a fast-finishing Luke Percy (49.71) and Regan Leong (50.28) for the gold. Graham’s final title tally sits at three with the St Kevin’s swimmer posting promising times across eight days of competition.

Girl’s 17/18 years 100m Freestyle

The girl’s 17/18 years 100m freestyle saw London Olympian Yolane Kukla and rising star Alexandra Purcell put in a fierce fight for first in the final. With the duo almost stroke for stroke at the turn, Kukla dug deep to eventually power past Purcell and hit the wall ahead in 55.34. The Southport swimmer was then relegated to silver in 55.77 with Kotuku Ngawati picking up the bronze in 56.18.

Girl’s 17/18 years 200m Butterfly

Silver medallist from the 100m butterfly Christina Licciardi (2:15.57) will step up to the top of the podium and be crowned the girl’s 17/18 years 200m butterfly Australian Age champion for 2013. Licciardi was quick off the blocks and held a half a body length lead for the majority of the race with Tianni Gilmour gaining speed in the final 50 to touch in second, stopping the clock at 2:16.90. The bronze medal went to Jessica Beveridge in a time of 2:19.13.

Boy’s 17/18 years 200m Butterfly

It was a Victorian one-two in the final of the boy’s 17/18 years 200m butterfly as Tigersharks swimmer Mitchell Pratt powered ahead to take the gold convincingly ahead of fellow statesman,  Warrnambool swimmer Isaac Jones (2:00.16). Pratt hit the wall in a an impressive 1:57.66, touching over two seconds clear of Jones and  Atlantis swimmer Jacob Hansford (2:00.76).

Girl’s 15 years 200m Individual Medley

Surrey Park swimmer Sian Whittaker (2:17.70) was too strong in the final of the girl’s 15 years 200m individual medley, storming ahead in the backstroke and breaststroke legs to take an unassailable lead into the wall for the title. East Brisbane’s Taylor Green (2:19.31) turned on the speed for the final freestyle lap to steal the silver from five-time Australian Age champion Alanna Bowles (2:19.34) by 0.03 of a second.

Boy’s 15 years 200m Individual Medley

Dual Australian Age Champion Nicholas Groenewald will add a third title to his collection for his win in the final of the boy’s 15 years 200m individual medley. Groenewald held on to an early lead to take the title ahead of the 400m individual medley champion Mitchell Davenport-Wright (2:07.87) in a time of 2:07.03. While Callum Sherington (2:08.21) will add a third bronze medal to his meet haul.

Girls 16 years 800m Freestyle

TSS Aquatics swimmer Kiah Melverton proved she was worthy of a gold medal in the girls 16 year olds 800m freestyle when she finished the race with an impressive 25m lead touching the wall in 8.42.50. If a 25m win wasn’t enough the 16 year old also smashed her personal best time by eight seconds. Touching the wall in 8.56.80 to collect the silver medal was Nunawading swimming Eliza Ham and Kate Laidlaw (9.01.25) collected the bronze.

Girl’s 14 years 200m Freestyle

Chandler sprinter Shayna Jack shaved nearly four seconds off her seed time to take out the final of the girl’s 14 years 200m freestyle in 2:00.99. Jack was just off the 2006 Australian Age record of 2:00.51 and will finish the meet with a trio of titles in the sprint freestyle events. The silver medal went to Tamsin Cook in 2:03.59 with Chelsea Gubecka completing the podium in 2:04.89.

Boy’s 14 years 200m Freestyle

Hometown hero Kyle Chalmers was streets ahead in the final of the boy’s 14 years 200m freestyle, flying into first at the 50m turn and increasing his lead all the way to the wall to stop the clock at 1:53.48 and pick up his fifth title for the meet.  Gold medallist from the 200m individual medley Matthew Wilson (1:56.22) was second with Jacob Taylor (1:57.76) rounding out the top three.

Girls 12/13 years 100m Backstroke

The girl’s 12/13 years 100m backstroke was a close race from start to finish but 12-year-old Brisbane Grammar swimmer Minna Atherton was the best on the night, sprinting to the wall in an impressive time of 1:03:86. Just over half a second off the Australian Age record set by Olympian Yolane Kukla in2009, Atherton is a swimmer to keep an eye on. Chandler swimmer Kayla Hoey was just behind with a time of 1:05:32 while dual silver medallist from the meet Chloe Ireland picked up the bronze in 1:06:78.

Boys 12-13 100m  Backstroke

With four gold medals already to his name Andrew Ryan (1:01:82) is looking in fine form for the future following another outstanding swim in the boys 12/13 years 100m backstroke making it gold medal number five. Central Brisbane swimmer Benjamin Carlyon was hot on Ryan’s heels finishing less than a second behind in 1:02:59. South Australian local Jacob Desmond took the bronze in 1:02:70.

Girl’s 16 years 200m Backstroke

St Peters Western swimmer Gabrielle Wilson (2:15.83) picked up the pace in the final 50m to take the title in the girl’s 16 years 200m backstroke. Caitlyn Richardson (2:17.35) was the next to the wall picking up the silver ahead of bronze medallist Sabrina Kwok in 2:18.12.

Boy’s 16 years 200m Backstroke

After taking the bronze medal in the boys 16 100m backstroke Matthew Pender was in search of the elusive gold in the boy’s 16 years 200m backstroke final. Stopping the clock at 2:04:38 Pendertook top spot and his first title of the meet. It was a came down to the touch for second and third with Sebastian Cummins (2:04.38) hitting the wall just 0.10 ahead of Cameron Tysoe (2:05.40) who had to settle for bronze.

Girl’s 15 years 100m Butterfly

Victorian Jemma Schlicht collected a trio of titles over the week with her latest gold coming in the final of the girl’s 15 years 100m butterfly. Schlicht was the only finalist under one minute hitting the wall in 59:39. Lizzie Gannon (1:01.10) and Rabea Tzenetos (1:01.12) had a tight tussle for second and third with Gannon getting to the wall just 0.02 seconds ahead to steal the silver.

Boy’s 15 years 100m Butterfly

Perth City’s Damian Fyfe picked up his sixth medal of the championships when he came out on top in the boy’s 15 years 100m butterfly battle. Fyfe successfully defended his 2012 title, flying ahead of silver medallist Dominic Richardson (56.05) and South Africa’s Kyle Van Niekerk (56.44). Sprint freestyle swimmer Vincent Dai was the next best stopping the clock in 56.44.

Girl’s 14 years 200m Breaststroke

Dual bronze medallist from the 100 and 200m backstroke Calypso Sheridan skiped silver and went straight to gold in the final of the girl’s 14 years 200m breaststroke in a time of 2:36.30. Gold medallist from the 100m breaststroke Kiera Bates put in a strong chase, but couldn’t quite catch Sheridan, hitting the wall in 2:38.81 to take the silver with Sofia Cicchitti (2:38.90) a touch behind for the bronze.

Boy’s 14 years 200m Breaststroke

Queensland’s Zac Stubblety-Cook  collected his second title for the meet in the final of the boy’s 14 years 200m breaststroke. Stubblety-Cook’s time of 2:21.81 was less than a second off the Australian Age record and just ahead of Springwood swimmer Matthew Wilson who sprinted past eventual bronze medallist Alan Gibson (2:25.71) to steal the silver in a time of 2:22.33.

Girl’s 12/13 years 400m Individual Medley

After winning the bronze medal in the girls 12/13 years 400m freestyle last night Sarah Johnson dropped nearly seven seconds from her heat swim to collect the gold with a time of 5:05.52. Hitting the wall for second place was Paris Vasta in 5:06.95 with Laura Taylor rounding out the top three in a time of 5:07.08.

Boy’s 12/13 years 400m Individual Medley

Victorianyoungster Nicholas Galileos picked up his first gold medal of the meet in the boys 12/13 years 400m individual medley, hitting the wall in a time of 4:52.14. Ethan Dorrian finished with the silver medal in 4:53.55 with Nathan Robinson (4:54.66) third.

Boys 16 years 1500m Freestyle

Local South Australian swimmer Ethan Owens (15:46.30) used the vocal home crowd to push ahead in the final of the boy’s 16 years 1500m freestyle to take the gold ten seconds clear of the rest of the field. Lachlan Colquhoun (15:57.27) picked up his third medal with Queenslander Hayden Rea taking the bronze a second back in 15:58.27.

Multi Class finals…

Boys 11-15 400 LC Metre Freestyle Multi Class

Queenslander Rowan Crothers is one to watch, after taking home the gold medal in the boys 11-15 400m freestyle Multi Class race in a time of 4:24.03. Coming in behind Crothers was Murray Harrison (4:22.91) and Logan Powell (4:56.61) taking the silver and bronze respectively.

Girls 16-18 400 LC Metre Freestyle Multi Class

Maintaining a fast pace throughout the race Zohe Hughes took home the gold medal in the girls 16-18 years 400m freestyle Multi Class race in 5:20:44. Claire Pearson (5:58:28) and Sandy Freeman (6:04.11) battled behind with Pearson eventually securing the silver ahead of Freeman.

Boys 16-18 400 LC Metre Freestyle Multi Class

Sixteen-year-old Joshua Alford is making a move in Multi Class swimming after he grabbing the gold medal in the boys 16-18 400m freestyle Multi Class race in a time of 4:51:07. Victorian Timothy Disken (4:40:26) finished second with New South Wales swimmer Aaron Cannon (5:08:68) third.

For full results and information visit


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