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Swimmers out to make a splash at Aussie Titles

Hannah Casey
Hancock Prospecting Swimming Excellence Scholarship recipient Hannah Casey 

There’s diving in at the deep end and then there’s what Hannah Casey will face when she steps onto the blocks at the Gold Coast Aquatics Centre next week.

The hottest 100m women’s freestyle field ever assembled awaits the 18-year-old at her first Australian Open National Championships for the Bull Sharks.

Many experts are predicting the final will be as quick as the race for the Gold medal at the Paris Olympics later in the year.

Olympic champion Emma McKeon headlines an all-star cast that includes some of the fastest Australian 100m freestylers of all time.

World Champions Cate and Bronte Campbell and Shayna Jack, young gun Mollie O’Callaghan and Meg Harris will all be aiming to make a statement ahead of the Olympic trials in June.

However, according to Bond Swimming Head Coach Chris Mooney, teenager Casey, the 2024 Hancock Prospecting Swimming Excellence Scholarship holder, and Bull Sharks teammate Mila Jensen, will suit-up with bold plans to cause a boilover.  

“We’ve challenged the girls to go out there and earn a lane in the final, and from there anything can happen,” he said.

“It’s a tough field, probably the best ever assembled, and we’re not shying away from that. 

“The big guns are going to hang on as long as they possibly can, that’s why they are champions, and we’ve said to Hannah and Mila it’s up to them to start applying the pressure, don’t just sit around and wait for them to fade away.’’

Casey was a teammate of Jensen’s on junior Australian sides coached by Mooney and Bond Director of Swimming Kyle Samuelson and she had no hesitation making the move down from Brisbane to study Exercise and Sports Science.  

“I was very fortunate to receive the Hancock Prospecting scholarship and I’d always heard it was a great program at Bond,” she said.

“I’ve been on Aussie junior teams with Chris and Kyle and they are amazing coaches.”

The challenge facing fellow Hancock Prospecting Scholarship holder Jesse Coleman is just as daunting, although far more familiar.

Jesse Coleman
Hancock Prospecting Swimming Excellence Scholarship recipient Jesse Coleman. 

Coleman is a genuine chance to claim one of the two butterfly spots on the Dolphins Olympic team and one of his greatest rivals churns out the laps each day beside him in the Bond University pool.

Ben Armbruster is the reigning Australian champion in the 50m butterfly after clocking 23.05, an all-comers record and the fastest time by an Australian outside of the now banned super suits.

The sports management student also demonstrated he had broadened his range with personal bests in the 100m.

Coleman is the current holder of the 17-year-old and 18-year-old 100m butterfly records at 52.70 seconds and 52.03 seconds respectively – breaking records that had stood for a decade.

The Bull Sharks teammates will face stiff opposition from Matt Temple, Kyle Chalmers and David Morgan.

Coleman has been in the Bond program for several years and leapt at the scholarship offer to study Construction Management and Quantity Surveying.

“It’s a great scholarship and a terrific opportunity and I’m really grateful to have received it,” he said.

“The main goal is Olympic trials and I’m really knuckling down into training and hoping that’s where I’ll be.”


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