After The Fall, Big Riders Campbell, McEvoy & Seebohm Leap Back On At NSW Titles

Cate Campbell, of Australia, by Patrick B. Kraemer

Having fallen off a horse, the rider must at some point brave the sadle once more. Heartening, then, to see the results of the NSW State Titles which got underway in Sydney: Cate Campbell, 53.15, and Cameron McEvoy, 48.13, 100m free; Emily Seebohm, on 2:08.77 in the 200m backstroke. There was also the rider who rode to Olympic gold in Rio as bigger tips fell with each passing hurdle last year: Mack Horton kept his pride with a 3:49.54 win over David McKeon in the 400m freestyle

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My read:

M400FR: Nothing to take notice of

W200BK: Potential for a major changing of the guard in this event with Hocking retiring, Wilson seemingly concentrating on shorter distances and Seebohm’s future beyond next year’s nonsense on the GC open to speculation. Whittaker was the big mover over both Olympic distances at last year’s Nationals and it’s pleasing that this momentum seems to be sustained …. and there is another “player” alongside the expected Atherton/McKeown Jr ascension.

M200FLY: Nothingburger from an AUS perspective

M50BRS: No progression in times from the heats but Wilson’s matching 27.76s a potentially pleasing indicator that a significant drop in his 100 may be on the cards, either here or at Nats.

W100BRS: Not going to enter into the morality of whether Efimova should (or should not) be swimming here but rather am looking at this through the lens of what are the intl “benchmarks” that AUS female breaststokers need to be hitting.

DIrty her history may be but her times are NOT complete anomalies as regards her international (and assumed clean) competitors. 1.07mids at this point from the AUS competitors are presentable but Efimova provided an indicator that they have another level or two to bridge. Bohl esp needs to show she can bounce back from a disastrous Rio.

M100FR: With Chalmers’ withdrawal, McEvoy had zero competition. Am not expecting any significant difference in a months time. Whilst both McEvoy and a fit/healthy Chalmers should be faster, the remainder of this event remains incredibly shallow and the prospects of M4X100 debatable given the non-presence of any other reliable sub49 men. Perhaps Cartwright can progress but the rest seem to be familiar old faces.

As for McEvoy, a challenging year or two ahead. Rio was a significant disappointment and he is also nearing University graduation. Given his academic bent, WILL he continue a serious competitive swimming career beyond 2018 ?

W800FS: Ashwood significantly slower than “in season” 2016 but whether this is of particular significance is another matter. Will be interesting to see her 400. Pleasing swim from Melverton and whilst she will need to be significantly quicker at Nationals, she is certainly in the frame for the 2nd spot that Cook has vacated

W400IM: Nothing of significance time-wise. Only potential interest is whether McKeown Sr may be looking at this event at Nationals but a significant time drop would be needed.

W100FR: The first serious AUS hit-outs for this year. C1’s time clearly the stand-out but, for mine, I’m still unsure of her future. Rio meltdown or not, I’m not sure her perennially fragile physique can withstand another Olympic cycle. A faster time at Nationals looks on the cards; Worlds ….

C2’s 2016 woes were primarily physical but are they completely over ? Will be interesting to see how much quicker she may be at Trials and whether McKeon may seriously challenge for the 2nd individual swim.

Good in-season time for McKeon, will be interesting to see her marks in her other/prime events.

Pleasing 54.11 from Jack; perhaps an indicator of a new member of the sub54 club in the near future ? Certainly pleasing to see a potential reinforcement for a relay that should remain strong but face major international pressure over the next year or so. Elmslie should be faster at Nationals.

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