World Champions, Olympians joined by “Sons And Daughters” For Queensland Short Course Championships

World Champions and Olympians joined by “Sons And Daughters” As Record Entries Line Up For Queensland State Short Course Championships

The who’s who of Queensland swimming, including individual world champions Emily Seebohm (Griffith University), Ariarne Titmus (St Peters Western) and Mitch Larkin (St Peters Western)) will line up with a record number of competitors at this weekend’s 2020 McDonald’s Queensland Short Course Championships at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre.


SMILE OF A CHAMPION: Three-tme World Champion and triple Olympian Emily Seebohm entered in five events in Brisbane. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr/Swimming Australia.

Seebohm (2008, 2012, 2016 Olympic Games) and Larkin (2012, 2016) will also be two of a host of Olympians, amongst 1405 entries from 126 clubs over the three-day timed finals meet staged under strict COVID-19 guidelines.

They will be joined by fellow Olympians Emma McKeon (2016) and David McKeon 2012, 2016 (Griffith University), Jack McLoughlin (Chandler), Jacob Hansford 2016 (St Peters Western), David Morgan 2016 (TSS Aquatic), Thomas Fraser Holmes 2012, 2016 (Griffith University), Taylor McKeown 2016 (Griffith University), Tessa Wallace 2012 (Pelican Waters), Chelsea Gubecka 2016 (Yeronga Park), Leah Neale (USC Spartans) and the first swimmer named on the Tokyo Olympic Team, Kareena Lee (Noosa).

The 2020 meet sees an increase on the number of entries from 2019 with swimmers and coaches lining up for the chance to race in a Queensland State Championship – the start of the 2020-21 racing season – with the Queensland State Long Course Championships (December 12-18) the major target to close what has been the non-Olympic 2020, on a positive note.


HAPPY CHAPPY: World champion Mitch Larkin will be on show at there QLD SC Championships. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia).

Larkin will line up in his specialist 100 and 200m backstroke and both 200 and 400IMs – with St Peters Western club mates Clyde Lewis in the 50 butterfly and 200m freestyle with returning freestyler Jack Cartwright back in harness from shoulder issues in the 50 and 100m butterfly and the 100m freestyle.

While Seebohm will face former training partner and world short course record holder Minna Atherton (Moreton Bay) over 100 and 200m backstroke alongside former NCAA star Jess Unicomb, Seebohm’s club mate at Griffith, under coach Michael Bohl. 

And there is also an exciting class of Next Generation “sons and daughters” of Olympians, joining the McKeons (father Ron McKeon, 1980 and 1984) with:

  • Kai Taylor (St Peters Western) – The 17-year-old son of triple Olympian Hayley Lewis (1992, 1996, 2000) – entered in the 50, 100, 200 and 400m freestyle.
  • William Stockwell (Rackleys) – The 25-year-old son of Mark Stockwell (1984) and Tracy Caulkins (1984) in the 50 and 100m freestyle
  • Joseph van der Zant – The 13-year-old son of Rob van der Zant (2000) – also his coach – entered in the 50 and 100m breaststroke, 100m freestyle and IM and the 200IM.
  • Lani Pallister (Cotton Tree) – The 18-year-old daughter of her coach Janelle Elford (1988) – who will race in 11 events – the freestyles from 50-1500m as well as the 50, 100 and 200m butterfly and 100m IM
  • Max Pine (Miami) – The 17-year-old son of Adam Pine (2000, 2004) in the 50 and 100m freestyles and 100 and 200m butterflys and;
  • Flynn Baildon (Griffith University) – The 20-year-old son of Andrew Baildon (1988) in the 100m freestyle.

And amongst various events for each of them – there is one common race for all – the blue ribband 100m freestyle in their age groups and open races.


MOTHER AND DAUGHTER COMBO: Janelle Elford, 1988 Olympic swimmer for Australia, and daughter Lani Pallister, World Junior Champion – Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr, Swimming Australia

But for Pallister, the 100m freestyle is just one of those 11 events with the triple Fina World Junior Champion over 400, 800 and 1500m entered in her pet events with reigning world champion for long course and short course, Titmus entered in just her 400m – the race where she toppled US Olympic champion Katie Ledecky in Gwangju in 2019.

The women’s 400m freestyle will have an all-star line up; with Pallister and Titmus joining TSS Aquatic trio Maddy Gough, Kiah Melverton and Moesha Johnson; and open water stars Lee (Noosa) and Gubecka (Yeronga Park) with Rio relay silver medallist Neale (USC Spartans).

Pallister, Gough, Melverton, Johnson, Lee and Gubecka will all line up in the 800m with all bar Gubecka in the 1500m – the newly added Olympic event for Tokyo.

The men’s middle distance and distance events will also see Commonwealth Games gold medallist McLaughlin in the 200 and 400m freestyle; Bond’s Alex Graham and Elijah Winnington (now under Dean Boxall), Fina World Junior silver medalllst Thomas Neill (100, 200, 400 and 800m freestyle) joined by new Rackley’s club mate Sam Short (200, 400, 800 and 1500m) after Short’s impressive showings at the recent Brisbane Championships, with Tokyo open water aspirants Nick Sloman (Noosa), Kai Edwards (TSS Aquatic) and Bailey Armstrong (Kawana Waters) with Josh Parrish (TSS Aquatic) and emerging ag grouper Thomas Hauck (All Saints) sprinkled through the middle and distance freestyle events.

McLoughlin’s Chandler training partner, world class breaststroker Zac Stubblety-Cook will also be in action in the 100 and 200m breaststroke events as he builds up for what will be a most exciting 12 months in a career that could well see him join the Olympians club.

The meet will also have an international flavour, with entries from New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea and South Africa – made up of swimmers – who are all connected to inter-state/international clubs but living and training in Queensland.

The meet gets under way on Friday with the first of six sessions starting at 8:30am QLD time.


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