Stroke of brilliance ... just for the record

SWIMMING 

WHILE Australia was cleaning up in the pool in Glasgow, so to was Tamworth’s Mikaela Short in Melbourne.

WHILE Australia was cleaning up in the pool in Glasgow, so to was Tamworth’s Mikaela Short in Melbourne.

WHILE Australia was cleaning up in the pool in Glasgow, so to was Tamworth’s Mikaela Short in Melbourne.

The St Edward’s superfish swam her way to a swag of medals and into the record books at the School Sport Australia Championships.

Already a multiple state champion, Short is now a national champion after winning the 11yrs girls 100m backstroke champion in record breaking time.

Her time of 1.10.78min eclipsed the old mark of 1.11.46min and was about a nine second personal best.

It was all unbeknown to Short.

“I didn’t realise it was a record until mum came down and said it was,” Short said.

After qualifying third fastest through to the final with a heat swim just outside the record she was second at the turn but powered home over the final 50m to beat her Queensland rival to the wall.

The Tamworth City swimmer had a busy program.

She also competed in the 50m and 100m butterfly, 50m backstroke, 100m freestyle and 200m individual medley and swam a leg in both the freestyle and medley relays for a return of a silver and four bronze.

The silver came in the 50m butterfly, which she also finished second in at the nationals last year – to the same girl.

She was the fastest qualifier through to the finals with a heat swim of 30.83secs but couldn’t quite match that in the final, touching in 31.08secs.

Both swims were a personal best with her previous best 32.52 seconds.

She swam that in the heats at the State Championships, where she picked up bronze. Butterfly was her preferred stroke until this year.

“I only found out I was good at it (backstroke) this year,” she said.

“I was swimming in a 100m backstroke. I looked up to see where I was coming and everyone was a body length behind.”

She’s quickly taken to it, winning the 50m at the State Championships.

She could only go in that as there was no 100m event available.

Short added to her gold and silver with bronze in the 50 backstroke, 100 butterfly and two relays.

In the backstroke she was only a fingertip off silver.

“The second place was 33.17. I was 33.20m,” she said.

She also finalled in both the medley and freestyle finishing fourth in both.

With such a congested program and in several instances only 30 minutes between races, she hadn’t set out to make the freestyle final.

She swam the heat in training mode but was still quick enough to sneak into the final.

“I was in the shower and mum came in and said you came 10th, you’re in the final,” she said.

She did pick up the pace in the final clocking 1.05.85min to just miss the medals. 

Short said her goal going into Melbourne was “to get a gold for an individual event and have fun”.

She did that and more.

“After I got one medal I was like that’s good. After a got the next medal that was even better.

“When I got the third medal that was when I knew I was going really well,” she said.

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