Sydney University Swimming Club (SUSC) has 17 athletes competing at the 2012 Australian Olympic Swimming Championships in Adelaide, including 13-year-old Angelique Barrett, who is competing against the likes of Olympians Libby Trickett and Jessica Shipper and Alistaire Pickles.
Sydney University Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holders Stephen Parkes and Sam McConnell will be striving for a spot on the Olympic shadow team as will disability swimmers Prue Watts, Katrina Porter, Sarah Hilt and Sarah Rose, who are pushing for berths on the Paralympic shadow squad.
Day 1 heats
The opening day of the trials saw 11 SUSC competitors in action with outstanding results. Stephen Parkes was the first in action in the 400m individual medley heat. He finished 3rd overall in 4.22.62 (a seven- second personal best) and goes into tonight finals as one of the firm favourites.
Emma Gray and Angelique Barrett swam in the 100m butterfly heats, finishing 19th and 92nd respectively, while Meagan Ramsay swam in the 400m individual medley heats, finishing 20th.
Disability swimmer Katrina Porter swam the 100m backstroke, finishing 4th and earning a berth in the final for a spot on the Paralympic team. Sarah Hilt also swam well in finishing 17th.
Brendan Micallef and Alistaire Pickles swam in the 100m breaststroke and produced personal best times to finish 27th and 37th.
Paige Burland swam a fantastic race in the 200m breaststroke, finishing 28th overall in a personal best time. She was also the fastest 14-year-old in the event.
The day finished on a high note with Sam McConnell progressing through to the semi -finals in the 50m butterfly in 13th place and Tim Halliday producing a personal best time to finish 20th.
Finals Day 1
Katrina Porter was first to swim in the multi-class 100m backstroke, producing a time that was 0.5sec faster than her heat swim to finish 5th. This places Katrina in priority 2 for the Paralympic shadow squad which will be announced at the end of the meet.
Sam McConnell lined up in the 50m butterfly semi-final, but couldn’t reproduce his heat time to finish 15th overall.
Stephen Parkes swam in the final of the 400m individual medley and finished 5th in the smart time of 4min 25.49sec.
The last event of the night was the 4 x 100m freestyle relay and the team of Christine Kidd, Angelique Barrett, Meagan Ramsay and Paige Burland did the club proud by finishing 11th.
Heats Day 2
Only two University swimmers were in action on Day 2. Paige Burland swam in the 100m backstroke producing a very smart time and finished 2nd overall in the 14-year-old age group.
Multi-class swimmer Prue Watt swam a fantastic 28.22sec a personal best time in the 50m butterfly, to earn a finals berth. More importantly, she swam a Priority 1 time for the event and will more than likely be picked as part of the Paralympic team to compete at London in August.
Day 2 Finals
Prue Watts was the sole individual performer finishing 8th in a smart time of 28.34sec.
Sam McConnell Tim Halliday Brendan Micallef and Timothy Halliday swam in the 4 x 100m freestyle relay with the boys finishing 9th.
Day 3 Heats
Multi -class swimmers Prue Watts and Sarah Rose swam first today with both swimmers producing personal best times. Prue cruised into the final tonight but showing great team spirit gave up her spot for Sarah Rose who will be swimming to post a time for consideration on the Paralympic team.
Stephen Parkes swam a great race to finish 13th and making the semi-finals of the 200m butterfly. Parkes has withdrawn from the semi-final to concentrate on his pet event, the 200m individual medley.
Meagan Ramsay swam in the 200m individual medley and Katrina Porter in the multi-class 400m freestyle. Katrina finished 8th in the heats and progressed through to the finals.
Day 3 Finals
Multi -class swimmer Sarah Rose, who made a comeback to swimming 12 weeks ago after a serious back injury, kept her out of the sport for 12 months swam a incredible race finishing 8th with a further personal best time. Sarah took off 3sec over the two swims and posted a priority 3 time and is now in the race to be named in the Paralympics Shadow squad.
Day 4 Heats
The men’s 100m freestyle was the first event of the morning and Timothy Halliday and Sam McConnell started the session of well. Tim was slightly off his best time and Sam produced a time that was equal to best.
In the 200m breaststroke Alistaire Pickles and Brendan Micallef both performed well, producing personal best times to finish 24th and 25th respectively.
The multi-class 100m breaststroke was the final event of the morning with Prue Watt, Katrina Porter, Sarah Hilt and newest member of the team Yong Cho competing. All swimmers produced personal best times with Prue progressing through to the final in 2nd place.
Day 4 Finals
Prue Watt produced a magnificent swim in the final of the multi-class 100m breaststroke finishing in a personal best time, but more importantly her time places her No.1 in the world and has secured her a place on the Paralympic team for London.
Day 5 Heats
Stephen Parkes swam a great race in the heats of the 200IM to progress through to the semi-finals ranked 9th, where he will look to improve on this position. Brendan Micallef also produced a creditable swim.
Emma Gray swam the 100 freestyle and was narrowly outside her best time. In the multi class 100 freestyle, Sarah Hilt and Katrina Porter produced personal best times. Sarah Rose and Prue Watt also swam a great race.
Day 5 Finals
Stephen Parkes swam brilliantly in the semi final of the 200 IM to progress through to tomorrow nights finals. Parkes time of 2.01.32 places him 5th and was also a personal best time.
Day 6 Heats
Four Sydney Uni swimmers have progressed through to semi-finals and finals.
Katrina Porter qualified 5th fastest for tonight’s finals of the multiclass 50m backstroke and looks towards a faster swim this evening. Sarah Hilt swam a great race to produce a 3 second personal best time.
Prue Watts starts 3rd favourite for tonight’s final of the multiclass 200 individual medley after a 3 second personal best in the heats. Team mate Sarah Rose produced a 10 second personal best in her heat of the IM.
Sam McConnell raced alongside Olympians Geoff Huegill and Matt Target in the heats of the 100 butterfly and was able to produce a personal best time to progress through to the semi finals in 16th place.
In the 50m breast stroke new comer Matt Kan was able to get over his nerves and produced a personal best, while teammates Alistaire Pickles and Brendan Micallef put in solid performances.
Emma Gray was last to swim today and was impressive in the heats of the 50 butterfly, finishing 13th, and will swim the semi-final tonight. 13 year old Angelique Barrett – swimming in her first open nationals – was very impressive in her swim touching in a personal best time.
Day 6 Finals
Katrina Porter was first to take to pool in the finals session and improved on her time from the morning heats placing 5th.
Prue Watts continued her good form; however she was slightly off from the morning heats and finished a creditable 5th.
Sam McConnell swam a further personal best time swimming under the 54 second barrier for the first time. McConnell finished 15th in the semi-finals with a time of 53.96.
Stephen Parkes lined up for the 200 IM, and swam the race of his life, producing a personal best time, and narrowly missing the Olympic team by .9 second to finish 5th. This great performance gives Parkes a NSWIS scholarship.
Emma Gray finished 13th in the 50 fly, also swimming faster than her heat time, finishing in 27.83.
Day 7 Heats
Multi class swimmer Pure Watt was first to swim and she produced a personal best time to progress through to tomorrow night’s finals. Yong Co also swam a solid race.
Watt backed up swimming the heats of the 100 butterfly to also progress her through to the final. Team mate Sarah Rose also raced the 100 fly, producing a 4 second PB to join Watt in the finals.
Tim Halliday swam a good 50m backstroke as did Christine Kidd in the 50m breaststroke.
Mutli class swimmer Sarah Hilt was last to swim in the 200 free and gave it her all to finish the race in 3.33.78 – a 5 second personal best.
Day 7 Finals
Prue Watt improved on her heat time by 4 seconds to claim a silver medal in the final of the 100 butterfly. Sarah Rose achieved a further 2 second personal best to finish 4th.
Two-time Paralympian Prue Watt provided a stunning finale to the 2012 Australian Swimming Championships tonight in Adelaide, by setting a new S13 50 metre freestyle world record at the South Australian Aquatic & Leisure Centre.
In the closing event for Paralympic hopefuls at the week-long London 2012 selection trials, Watt blitzed what was a hot field to claim yet another national title in a new world mark of 37.89 seconds.
It was a performance that thrilled Australian Paralympic Swim Team Head Coach Brendan Keogh, who has made no secret that his squad is aiming big at the London Paralympic Games beginning August 29.
The women’s 4 x 100 medley relay of Paige Burland, Meagan Ramsay, Emma Gray and Christine Kidd swam well to finish 10th, while the Men’s team of Stephen Parkes, Brendan Micalef, Sam McConnell and Tim Halliday finished a creditable 8th.
The Trials finished on an extremely high note with Watt, Katrina Porter and Sarah Rose being chosen for the Shadow Squad for the Paralympics to be held in London in August.
“This is a fantastic result for Sydney Uni,” said Coach Vanessa Smith.
“Having three swimmers picked for the team shows that we are one of the strongest clubs in multiclass swimming.
12 months ago we did not have a High Performance Disability Squad, and to come so far in such a short time is remarkable.”