Noosa’s Nick Sloman and TSS Aquatic’s Moesha Johnson have been crowned Australian Champs in the Men’s and Women’s 5km Open events respectively, on the final day of the 2021 Australian Open Water Swimming Championships in Coolum.
Both backing up from their 10km races yesterday, the duo pulled off their race plans among a packed field at the Oz Ski Resort, with 92 males and 80 females swimming around the course at once all battling for 5km Australian titles in the 16, 17, 18, 19-year and Open categories.
Johnson unleashed on her opponents early to claim a lead which she never looked like losing, posting a time of 59:07.44 to beat out teammate and young gun Bianca Crisp in 1:01:15.96 and Jessica Mouatt from Nudgee College who clocked 1:01:16.41.
“At the first turn I was out the front and thought I’d see how the next straight went and if I could break away from the girls. If not, I’d just practice my pack swimming and by the second buoy I had a bit of a lead, so I just started building the race from there,” Johnson said post- race.
“It was way easier than yesterday, I did the 10km and that was a lot more of a grind, but today I kind of just cruised through the first two laps and then built from there.”
After fighting it out in the Men’s 10km Open on day one, Sloman and TSS Aquatic’s Kai Edwards swapped positions on the podium on Sunday, as Sloman hit the finish line first in 56:01.72, roughly eleven seconds faster than Edwards in 56:12.76. Kawana Waters’ Bailey Armstrong received the bronze in 56:41.30.
Speaking after the race, Sloman said he put into practise the lessons he learnt from yesterday’s race against Edwards.
“It’s always a risk pushing that early but obviously knowing what Kai is capable of after yesterday I had to change the strategy up, so I went early and it paid off,” Sloman said.
“It is very hard to back up after doing the 10km yesterday, but you’ve just got to make sure that you recover, save the legs and keep hydrated.”
In the Men’s and Women’s 5km Open Multi-Class event Belgravia teammates and Aussie Dolphins, Brenden Hall and Lakeisha Patterson took the Australian titles. Hall posted a time of 1:00:29.36 to beat out TNGV’s Joshua Alford (1:04:57.87) and Melbourne Vicentre’s Ben Morrison (1:09:16.81).
In a stunning end to the Girls 14-year 5km race – in which only .14 of a second separated first and second come the final touch – Warringah Aquatic’s Zara Kasprowicz scraped through to claim the gold in 1:06:34.41 ahead of Revesby Workers’ Rafaela Kopellou who clocked 1:06:34.55. Goodlife’s Daisy Quinn placed third in 1:06:55.75.
Samuel Thorpe from St Peters Western and Samuel Higgs from Warringah Aquatic went head-to-head as they battled it out for gold and silver in the Boys 15-year 5km race. Thorpe managed to get the upper hand at the finish line to edge out Higgs for the Australian title – 1:02:08.80 to 1:02:10.98. Higgs’ teammate Alexander Smith rounded out the podium, scoring bronze in 1:03:16.13.
Thomas Raymond from Nudgee College backed up his performance after competing in the 7.5km event on Saturday to prevail in the Boys 18-year 5km event. Recording a time of 56:44:00, the MLC Flippers product beat out Ruben Rees from Miami (57:23.73) and Noosa’s Kilian Carrel (59:52.41).
Finella Gibbs-Beal from Noosa added to her medal tally on Sunday, taking home the Girls 17-year 5km event in 1:01:19.78. Jacqueline Davison-McGovern from Yeronga Park snared the silver in 1:02:54.12 and Bianca Walton from Auburn collected the bronze in 1:03:38.11
More Race Results:
Boys 14-year 5km
Gold – Daniel Carter, Castle Hill RSL (1:05:36.01)
Silver – Jaxson Smith, Revesby Workers (1:05:38.04)
Bronze – Thomas Dreverman, South Shore (1:08:35.84)
Girls 15-year 5km
Gold – Taryn Roberts, Rockingham (1:05:43.45)
Silver – Hayley Andrejic, Townsville Tourist (1:06:49.30)
Bronze – Rubie Turner, Peel Aquatic (1:09:21.68)
Boys 16-year 5km
Gold – Charlie Gray, Revesby Workers (1:00:12.89)
Silver – Kai Robertson, Revesby Workers (1:00:32.92)
Bronze – Dougal Richmond, Yeronga Park (1:00:33.03)
Girls 16-year 5km
Gold – Abbey Connor, Revesby Workers (1:01:29.34)
Silver – Charlotte Brown, Windsor (1:07:13.43)
Bronze – Alexis Barnett, St Peters Western (1:07:27.77)
Boys 17-year 5km
Gold – Robert Thorpe, St Peters Western (56:41.33)
Silver – Kaiden Richings, Bunbury (57:29.64)
Bronze – Euan Liney, Knox Pymble (59:53.37)
Girls 18-year 5km
Gold – Sara Tazaki, Miami (1:02:49.06)
Silver – Piper Sanderson, Belgravia (1:04:15.21)
Bronze – Cassandra Fayers, Hunter (1:04:50.97)
Boys 19-year 5km
Gold – Kyle Lee, North Coast (56:38.23)
2nd Place – William Thorley, Hong Kong (57:11.39)
Silver (Second Australian) – Nicholas Middleton, Revesby Workers (57:42.57)
Bronze – Logan Kaye, Manly (1:00:34.92)
Girls 19-year 5km
Gold – Ella Wassing, Kawana Waters (1:03:38.05)
Silver – Brianna Donato, TSS Aquatic (1:04:33.82)
Bronze – Lexi Harrison, Narrabeen (1:04:39.22)
To view race results, click here.