Night Two - 2024 NSW Sydney Open & UniSport Nationals

10 May 2024
Written by: Ian Hanson OAM

SYDNEY OPEN: Hometown Hero Will Yang, Visiting Japanese Star Daiya Seto and Impressive QLD Teen Ella Ramsay The Standouts On Night Two

SOPAC’s “Mr Consistency” Will Yang, Japanese great Daiya Seto and Brisbane teenager Ella Ramsay were the stand-out performers on night two of the Sydney Open UniSport Nationals at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

Twenty-five-year-old Yang maintained his consistency streak that started in January at the Victorian States and followed on to the NSW Championships and last month’s Australian Open with a series of promising 100m freestyle performances that will see him push for Paris at next month’s Trials. 

Yang added another solid swim to win the men’s 100m freestyle in 48.47 (after his 48.45 heat swim in the morning) defeating fellow Birmingham Games relay gold medallist and 2024 Games hopeful Flynn Southam (Bond, QLD) 48.97 and Carter Swift (NZL) 49.18.

Japan’s 29-year-old four-times world champion Seto added the 200m butterfly to his 200IM win from night one, again out-touching fellow world champion, New Zealand’s “Mr Swimming” Lewis Clareburt and Australia’s Bowen Gough (Griffith University Swim Club, QLD) – Seto in 1:55.45, just ahead of Clareburt (1:55.64) with Gough touching in 1:58.39.

While Ramsay (Chandler, QLD) the daughter of Sydney 2000 Olympian Heath Ramsay, also notched a rare double.

The 19-year-old has continued her outstanding 2024 form, adding the 100m breaststroke (1:06.87pb) to her opening night victory in the 400m freestyle (4:11.69) – as she prepares her assault on the 200 and 400 IMs at next month’s Olympic Trials in Brisbane (June 10-15).

Ramsay produced her first sub 1:07 performance in the breaststroke to score a comfortable win over fellow Queenslanders Hayley MacKinder (Griffith University Swim Club, QLD) 1:09.7 and Tilly King (Bond, QLD) 1:10.23.

Olympic selection for Ella, will see the Ramsays join the McKeons (Ron 1980, 1984 and daughter Emma 2016, 2020) ) and the Nays (Robbie 1972 and daughter Meagen 2008, 2012) as father-daughters to swim for Australia at an Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, triple Olympic freestyle sprinter Cameron McEvoy (Somerville House, QLD) returned to the pool for another display of his sizzling speed in a 50m freestyle Time Trial.

The opening night 50m free winner and 2023 world champion appeared alongside his 16-year-old protégé  Josh Conias, backing up to clock 21.94 and 22.37 respectively compared to their opening night times of 21.91 and 22.35 – Conias again just missing the world best time for a 16-year-old (22.22, held by Romania’s David Popovici) and Kyle Chalmers Australian 16 years record of 22.33.

And after two bronze medal swims on night one, South Australia’s Brittany Castellluzzo (Tea Tree Gully, SA) broke through for her first win of the meet, taking out the women’s 200m freestyle final in 1:58.89 ahead of 50m freestyle winner Olivia Wunsch (Carlile, NSW) 1:59.38 and dual Olympian Leah Neale (Chandler, QLD) 1:59.52.

And there was also another step forward for four-time Olympian and “Supermum” Emily Seebohm (St Margaret’s, QLD), winning the 100m backstroke in 1:00.73, as she, along with Cate Campbell attempt to become five-time Olympians in Brisbane next month.

Seebohm, who is on the comeback trail after giving birth to son Samson last September, has re-ignited her brilliant career under former coach Matt Brown as she prepares for a fifth Olympic Trials, beating Layla Day (Bond, QLD) 1:01.52 and Gemma Cooney (Brisbane Grammar, QLD) 1:01.63.

The women’s 50m butterfly final saw Japan’s two-time Olympian and recent Paris qualifier 

Rikako Ikee score an impressive victory, clocking 25.58 to finish head of Josephine Crimmins (Somerville House, QLD) 26.57 and 2016 Olympic silver medallist over 200mm butterfly, Madeline Groves (Commercial, QLD) 26.91.

And in the Multi-Class finals, two of Australia’s Paralympic mainstays dual Lakeisha Patterson (University of QLD) and Brenden Hall (USC Spartans, QLD) showed they are still well and truly in the hunt for Paris.

Patterson, a dual Paralympian and dual 400m freestyle gold medallist in Rio and Tokyo won her pet event in 4:43.31 ahead of Poppy Wilson (Yeronga Park, QLD) 4:47.61 and Ella Jones (Kincumber Pacific Dolphins, NSW) 5:10.38.

While 30-year-old Hall (4:20.10) -a three-time Paralympian who made his debut with 400m freestyle gold in London 2012 took the Multi-Class win over Liam Schluter (USC Spartans, QLD) 4:07.59 and William Bradshaw (Southern Sydney Swim Club, NSW) 4:56.54.

There was also an impressive double to Tokyo Paralympian Keira Stephens (Southport, QLD) who won the Multi-Class 50m freestyle in 29.11 and the 100m breaststroke in 1:17.70.

The 50m free ahead of world champions and Paris hopeful Alexa Leary (St Hilda’s QLD) 27.68 and Katja Dedekind (Yeronga Park, QLD) 28.38 and her specialist 100m breaststroke ahead of Ashley Van Rijswijk (Wagga Wagga, NSW) 1:20.70 and Imogen Nolan (Ivanhoe, VIC) 1:17.32.

And in the men’s 50m freestyle, it was Tokyo trio Tom Gallagher (Somerset, QLD) 23.63, Rowan Crothers (Yeronga Park, QLD) 24.16 and Ricky Betar (USC Spartans , QLD) 24.71 who put on a show as they look towards the Para Trials next month.

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