NSW National Flippers Tour South Australian Open Championships

25 January 2024
Written by: Jon Shaw -Swimming NSW Coaching Director

Day 1: 

After arriving on Thursday, the team settled in quickly and went to the competition pool for an easy swim to ready themselves for the first day of competition.  

The heats format saw most of the team make it through to the finals. Swimming 8 lanes in the heats then switching to 10 lanes for the finals created some great opportunities for our swimmers. To compete in January after the festive season is always challenging but the team certainly performed well. Following is an overview of the first night of finals… 

The first event of the finals was the W 4x50m Medley Relay with the NSW team of Tameeka Johnson (Back – 29.73), Jaimie De Lutiis (Breast – 32.71), Lillie McPherson (Fly – 27.58) and Olivia Wunsch (Free – 24.76) winning GOLD in a new SA All Commers Record…great way to start the finals! Next it was the boys turn in the M 4x50m Free Relay and they did not let the team down coming away with the teams second GOLD medal. The Team of Marcus Da Silva (23.28), Tane Bidois (22.50), Oscar Kreutzberger (24.39) and Jamie Mooney (23.49) put in an impressive performance taking a massive 4.25 secs off their entry time! Their total time of 1:33.66 was just outside the SA All Commers Record! 

SA Flippers Camp

The last 2 events on the finals program were the 4x100m Relays where the NSW teams were victorious again. In the W 4x100m Free Relay the team of Jaimie De Lutiis (56.67), Lillie McPherson (57.27), Sydney Brown (57.76) and Olivia Wunsch (54.98) took the GOLD in 3:46.68. The boys swam the 4x100m Medley relay with the team of Alexander Foreman (56.66), Samuel Higgs (1:06.85), Caleb Dryer (56.19) and Marcus Da Silva (49.53) winning the GOLD in a time of 3:49.23. 

In other events where NSW swimmers medalled: 


400m Freestyle 

  1. Thomas Hauck (All Saints, QLD) 3:57.93 

  1. Kyle Chalmers (Marion, SA) 3:59.04) 

  1. Marcus Da Silva (NSW Flippers) 3:59.77 

50m Backstroke 

  1. Will Sharp (Nunawading, VIC) 26.35 

  1. Tane Bidios (NSW Flippers) 26.48 

  1. Noah Pronk (Immanuel College Piranhas, SA) 27.53 


200m Butterfly 

  1. Kayla Hardy (Cruiz, NSW) 2:11.65) 

  1. Brittany Castelluzzo (Tea Tree Gully, SA) 2:13.35 

  1. Bella Grant (NSW Flippers) 2:13.43 

Overall, there were some very good performances for this time of year with many of the NSW swimmers improving in the finals. This is a great opportunity for our NSW Flippers Squad with many having to compete under load. The team focus is on commitment to each event whilst holding technique and working towards executing their race plans. 

Day 2: 

Another great day of heats and finals for the NSW Mighty Blues Flippers with some outstanding performances! 

In the first individual event of the night Marcus Da Silva swam a great race in the M 100m Freestyle to finish a close 4th. His time of 49.45 equalled the 17yrs NSW State Record held by Ian Thorpe (established in 2000). By the end of the day Marcus had posted three 100m Freestyle swims under 50 secs…Congratulations to Marcus and Coach Bec Wheatley. 

In the W 100m Backstroke Bella Grant won Silver in a time of 1:03.23. In the W 200m Freestyle Jaimie De Lutiis picked up the Silver medal in 1:59.85. In the W 50m Butterfly Olivia Wunsch won Gold in 27.09 with Bella Grant picking up the Bronze in 27.92 

SA Flippers Camp
SA Flippers Tour










Once again, the NSW relays stood up and took 2 Gold & 1 Silver…the winning performances were by the W 4x50m Freestyle relay. Leading off with Olivia Wunsch (25.06), then Jaimie De Lutiis (25.86), Lillie McPherson (26.03) and Sydney Brown (26.16) the winning time of 1:43.11 established a new SA All Commers Record!  

At the back end of the meet the M 4x100m Freestyle Relay took the Silver with Marcus Da Silva (49.59), Jamie Mooney (50.64), Sam Higgs (53.28) and Tane Bidois (51.20). In the W 4x100m Medley Relay the NSW team took the Gold in 4:10.53. Leading off was Bella Grant (Bk – 1:03.11), Jaimie De Lutiis (Breast – 1:12.17), Jess Cole (Fly – 1:00.88) and Olivia Wunsch (Free – 54.37). 

Looking forward to the last day of racing knowing that the NSW Team will leave nothing in the tank… 

Day 3:

The third and final day of competition was filled with more impressive performances by the NSW National Flippers Team. 

The first A final in the evening for the team was the M 200m Freestyle where Jamie Mooney picked up the silver medal. Swimming a new PB of 1:50.87 this event will certainly feature in his future plans…he eclipsed his previous PB by 1.14 secs. Next up was the W 200m IM final where Jaimie De Lutiis and Olivia Wunsch picked up the silver and bronze medals respectively behind Cruiz swimmer Kayla Hardy. Two events later Olivia backed up for the W 100m Butterfly winning the silver medal in 1:00.17 with her teammate Jessica Cole coming in third in 1:00.37. 











In the M 400m IM Samuel Higgs won the silver medal in a time of 4:30.01. He executed his race plan that included matching his fly and free splits in a great swim for this time of the year. The W 200m Backstroke saw Bella Grant win the gold in 2:14.41 following her coaches race plan by descending her last three 50’s. Her splits were 31.86/34.58/34.10/33.87.  











The last individual race of the meet saw Marcus Da Silva take on Kyle Chalmers in unfamiliar territory for both of them…swimming the 800m! In a very tactical race, it was always going to come down to the last 100m…until Marcus made his move at the 150m mark! He built into a last 100 split of 57.64 Marcus won the gold in 8:23.89 with Kyle coming in second. 

SA Flippers Camp

Within 2 minutes Marcus then jumped up and led off the mixed 4x50m Free relay in 23.66…part of the winning team combining with Tane Bidois (22.37), Jaimie De Lutiis (26.42) and the fast-finishing Olivia Wunsch (24.86). NSW put three teams in the last event with the B team securing the silver medal and the C team coming in 5th. The B team was Jamie Mooney (23.99), Alexander Foreman (23.83), Sydney Brown (26.15) and Lillie McPherson (25.97). The C team was Caleb Dryer (24.62), Oscar Kreutzberger (24.82), Bella Grant (26.63 and Jessica Cole (26.93).…a fantastic way to finish off the meet. 

SA Flippers Tour

The final medal tally for the meet was: 

Individual: 3 Gold, 7 Silver & 5 Bronze 

Relays: 7 Gold, 2 Silver 

Combined Total: 10 Gold, 9 Silver & 5 Bronze 

2 South Australia All Commers Records, 1 NSW State Record (equalled) 

Congratulations to all team members…the brief was to show commitment to each race, and you nailed it…a great beginning to 2024! 

To the coaching team of Ben Tuxford (Trinity Grammar), Michaela Pattinson (Carlile), Justin Rothwell (Manly), Laura Brindley (Cruiz), Mitch Brown (Albury) and Gio Postiglione (Knox Pymble) a big thank you for support and guidance to all the swimmers…they came away better for the experience. To Leigh Nugent (SA NSW Technical Lead) …your guidance and leadership for our NSW swimmers and coaches is always valued and appreciated…thank you! 

As I always say..it’s the people within the team that make the team…this was exceptional! 

That’s it for the SA Open…we look forward to the upcoming challenges of 2024…bring it on! 


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