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F-Teamers Dive in at VIC LC Champs

20 February 2020

Brendon Smith
Brendon swam a time of 4.19.48 to take home the Gold medal in the 400IM

Last weekend saw top swimmers from around the country dive into the Victorian Open Long Course Championships held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre across three days. We managed to catch up with three of our F-Teamers to find out how they felt about their preparation and to hear what lessons they took away from the weekend. Brendon Smith, Jack McLoughlin, Daniel Hunter and our newest F-Teamer Nathan Foote all battled it out in a bid to improve their times and get into the zone for a busy few months of racing ahead.

Brendon Smith


Nunawading Swimming Club


400m Freestyle
200m Individual Medley
100m Freestyle
100m Butterfly
400m Individual Medley

How was your training in the lead up to State Opens?

This competition for us falls in a heavy training block so the aim for me this meet was to race as fast as possible. This was so that I could see where I?m sitting at this point in the season.

How did you feel whilst racing this weekend?

Overall, I was happy with my results as it was a solid weekend of racing.

What's one lesson you took from this weekend that you'll learn from and improve on in training?

What I learnt from the weekend is that it doesn't matter how I'm feeling, whether it be good or bad, I just have to race and give it my all.

Brendon had an enormous schedule heading into State Opens. To kick it off was the 400m Free where he moved through to gain 3rd place into the finals. Later that morning he smashed out a solid PB in the 100m Free dropping 0.16 of a second and placing him 16th and 6th seed into the B finals. However, Brendon pulled out of the 100m Free to help prepare him as best he could for the 400m Free. It paid off with Brendon shaving 3 seconds off his heat time and placing him 4th just outside his PB in the 400 Free behind Aussie champions Mack Horton and Jack McLoughlin.

Day 2 in the 200IM final saw Smith smash out a solid 2:02.99 just outside his PB to claim the Silver medal. On the last night of racing Brendon swam an incredible 4:19.48 in the 400IM to win Gold.

Nathan Foote
It?s thumbs up and big smiles for newest F-Teamer Nathan Foote after a solid weekend of racing

Nathan Foote


Northcote Swimming and Lifesaving Club


100m Freestyle
50m Backstroke
100m Backstroke
200m Backstroke

How was your training preparation in the lead up to State Opens?

My preparation leading into State opens was fairly tough. We didn't taper into the meet as we are targeting Nationals and Olympic trials in a couple months. We used state opens sort of like a training weekend, just making sure we knew our race plans and how to execute the races properly.

How did you feel whilst racing this weekend?

I actually felt pretty good considering where we are at in the season. I felt powerful and was nailing the skills that I've been training. Although I was a little on the slower side, I'm still really happy with how it all went.

What was one lesson you took from this weekend that you'll learn from and improve on in training?

The main lesson to take away from this weekend would probably be the importance of recovery. It's needed both during training to ensure you can always train at your best and it's also needed during competitions to give yourself the best chance of smashing out some good times.

Our newest member of the F-Team had a ripper weekend dropping his PB in the 100m Free from 54.63 to 52.10 to place himself 14th and 4th seed into the B final. After a short turn around, Nathan put himself on the line in the 50m Back to ensure himself 6th placing into the A final. In the finals on Day 1 for Nathan, he maintained all his positions from the heats sessions and crazily managed to swim the exact same time in the heats as he did in the finals in the 50 Back with a time of 26.67.

On Day 2 Nathan competed in the 200m Back where the heats saw him place a comfortable 4th into the A final for that evening. He then went on to drop time in the finals, however with his competition also gunning for medal placings, Nathan placed 5th with a time of 2:04.80, just outside his PB time.

The final day saw Nathan compete in the 100m Back where he was seeded 12th going into the heats. After a very impressive heats performance, he moved up to 8th and into the A final for that evening. Nathan swam exceptionally well in the final with a time of 57.33 which enabled him to move up to 7th place in the 100m Back.

Daniel Hunter
Daniel Hunter wears the Futurismo Training Jammers

Daniel Hunter


Howick Pakuranga (NZ)


50 Freestyle
100 Freestyle
200 Freestyle

Hunter's first event of the Victorian State Open Championships was the 100m Free, where he dashed his way to 11th place to put him first seed into the B final, only missing out on the A final by 0.1 of a second. In the finals session he convincingly won the B final heat in a time of 51.16.

On Day 2, Hunter competed in the 200m Free where he was seeded 5th going into the race. After the heats, Hunter moved his way up in rankings, placing 4th going into the finals that evening. An incredible performance in the A finals by Hunter ensured that he maintained his seed position of 5th in a time of 1:51.69.

Hunter?s last but not least important event, the 50m Free was on the last day of the meet where he was ranked 2nd going into the morning heats session. Following the heats session, Hunter was ranked 6th going into the A final that afternoon, where he improved on his heats position, moving himself up to 4th position in a wicked fast time of 23.23.

Jack McLoughlin
Olympian and Commonwealth Games swimmer Jack McLoughlin in Concordia Funky Trunks

Queensland F-Teamer Jack McLoughlin added the Victorian Open Champs to his race schedule in the lead up to Olympic Trials. It was a great opportunity for him to race against and be pushed by his Australian teammate Mack Horton. In the final of the 400m Free Jack beat Mack to the wall by 1.16 seconds to win Gold. The next morning Jack returned to the pool with an impressive Gold medal swim in the 800m Free final finishing with a time of 7:56.96 ahead of visiting Kiwi swimmer Zac Reid and Olympian Mack Horton respectively.

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