Young guns from MLC Aquatic steal the show and the Australian titles
(extract from IAN HANSON - OCEANIA CORRESPONDENT for Swimming World)
Gabi Peiniger produced two outstanding back-to-back individual performances on the final night of the Championships and both within 10 minutes of each other.
She then finished off with a winning MLC Aquatic medley relay team which is testament not only to her ability but also what she can bring to the sport in the future.
First up for the 17-year-old was the 200m individual medley and the winner of the 100m butterfly the previous night wasted no time setting a cracking pace. Peiniger went for broke with a 26.73 opening butterfly leg before a backstroke split of 31.12, breaststroke (37.30) and freestyle (31.21) for a combined personal best time of 2:06.36 – becoming the third fastest ever Australian.
Only triple Olympian and one of Australia’s greatest all-rounders Emily Seebohm (2:05.46) and five-time Olympic medallist from 2012, Alicia Coutts (2:05.63) have swum faster – becoming the fastest ever 17-year-old over short course 200IM.
But with hardly enough time to catch her breath and squeeze in a swim down and a few encouraging words from coach Nick Veliades, the teen machine was back behind the blocks for the 200m freestyle.
Lining up against the in-form middle distance freestyler at the meet in World Championship finalist Kiah Melverton (TSS Aquatic) who had already won the 400 and 800m freestyle before securing the 1500m crown yesterday morning.
A rare sweep of the 200, 400, 800 and 1500m freestyle awaited Melverton, but the girl from MLC wasn’t going to hand her the fourth title on a platter.
Peiniger pushed Melverton all the way to the finish – Melverton taking her slice of history in 1:57.75 with Peiniger winning the silver, storming home to clock 1:57.06 with the ever-present Elyse Woods (Melbourne Vicentre, VIC) third in 1:58.06.
The girl who was a relay alternate in Australia’s two silver medal winning relays at the World’s in Budapest wasn’t done with these SC Nationals and neither were her MLC Aquatic team mates.
David Schlicht won the 400IM in his second all time fastest time followed shortly after with silver in the 100IM and then
The foursome of Olivia Lefoe, Phoebe Ricker, Bethany Dalgleish and Peiniger combined to win the 4x100m medley relay – beating big brothers Nunawading and Australian pointscore champions TSS Aquatic to finish the three-day meet on a high.
Veliades is a young developing coach, ear marked and identified as a future High Performance coach and guided by the likes of coaching generals, Leigh Nugent, Rohan Taylor, Wayne Lawes, Ron McKeon and Glenn Beringen.
LOOKING SCHLICHT: MLC Aquatic’s David Schlicht’s slick turns made the difference in his gold medal swim in the 400IM. Photo Courtesy: Delly Carr (Swimming Australia) he then backed it up for silver in the 100IM.