19-strong swim team ready to suit up at World University Games in Taipei

Commonwealth Games gold medallists Leiston Pickett and Ben Treffers will lead a 19-strong Australian swim team into the 2017 Summer Universiade at the National Taiwan Sport University Arena in Taipei on Sunday.

Treffers, who is completing an honours degree in business at the Australian National University, also owns a Universiade gold medal after taking victory in his pet 50m backstroke event in Kazan, Russia in 2013.

He relocated to the Gold Coast in January to train at Somerset under Sydney 2000 Olympic 4x100m relay gold medallist Ashley Callus – who is one of five coaches on the Uniroos team.

The 25-year-old, who stood atop of the podium after taking gold in the 50m backstroke at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games only just missed selection for the Dolphins team for the recent world championships in Budapest and sees the Universiade as the perfect opportunity to build towards next year’s Commonwealth Games in what is now his hometown.

“My experience in Kazan, with the whole Russian team being there, prepared me well to know what to expect here," Treffers said.

"It’s more of a developing team, quite a young team for us here, but they are really going to get their eyes opened,” Treffers said.

Whilst entry lists are hard to come by and haven’t yet been released, Treffers says from who he has already seen around the village, he expects some intense competition.

“I’ve seen already in the dining hall Olympic medallists and people who raced at the world championships so the level of competition is going to be incredible and it'll provide me with the opportunity to race at the international level and a stepping stone for next year's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast,” Treffers said.

Fellow Gold Coaster Leiston Pickett (Griffith University - Bachelor of Commerce), who won the 50m breaststroke in both Delhi and Glasgow, will make her World University Games debut. After battling injury and a limited preparation Pickett missed the world championships team, but now gets her chance to build toward a three-peat of Commonwealth Games victories.

“I’ve had a pretty good preparation after the trials and this has been my target event for 2017 so I’m ready to go,” Pickett said.

“Although it’s not world championships, it’s my world championships so I’ll treat it exactly the same and get up there and do my best.”

Coached by World University Games team coach Glenn Baker at Southport Olympic, Pickett is one of four swimmers on the team from Griffith University.

She will be joined by fellow Griffith students, distance swimmers Kai Edwards and Josh Parrish (TSS Aquatics) and Budapest world championship team member Kiah Melverton, a dual bronze medallist from the Universiade in 2015.

Melverton and her world championships open water team mate Kareena Lee (University of Sunshine Coast - Bachelor of Primary Education) will provide the Australian women’s team with a solid middle distance/distance freestyle pair.

Another budding freestyler on the team is 21-year-old Will Stockwell (Commercial/University of Queensland) who was third to Olympians Cam McEvoy and James Roberts in the 50m freestyle at this year's nationals and will also look to improve his 100m as well.

If there is such thing as swimming pedigree Stockwell definitely has it, with two Olympians as parents and his mother one of the best ever to dive into a pool.

The 21-year-old who studies a Bachelor of Business Management majoring in Business Economics is the son of Tracy Caulkins, a powerhouse of world swimming in the 1980s who won three Olympic gold medals for the USA at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. Over the course of her career Tracey was a five-time world champion, broke five world records and equalled one, set 63 American records and racked up 48 national titles.

Caulkins met fellow Olympian and now husband Mark Stockwell at the 1984 Games where the Australian won two silver medals in the 100m and 4x100m freestyle, and a bronze in the 4x100m medley relay.

If that resume is not enough of a target for Stockwell then he only has to look at his aunty Amy’s performance for the USA at the World University Games of three gold medals in swimming at the 1979 competition in Mexico City.

Backstroker Sian Whittaker is another one to watch. The first-year primary education student at Deakin University trains with Craig Jackson as part of the strong Melbourne Vicentre squad. She will line up in the 50m, 100m, and 200m backstroke, plus the relays, with the 200m on the opening day her pet event.

“I had a bit of a disappointing trials so I’m not coming in with specific expectations, other than improving every race,” Whittaker said.

Uniroos swim team head coach Rohan Taylor said the Summer Universiade is the perfect environment for the developing a young group to learn more about what it takes to be successful at a major championship event.

“Any environment where you have a multi-sport event and the athletes living and competing in that space is a great experience and a great environment for their learning,” Taylor said.

“This is a pretty inexperienced team and this, for most, is their first multi-sport experience. The Games is continuing to grow to a very high standard competition and a lot of countries are taking it seriously.”

“Many countries, like us, use this competition as exposure for their athletes to a higher standard of competition, so these guys will get a great experience."

“Those that become familiar with it and understand it will benefit for the Gold Coast and Tokyo.”

The honour roll of Australian Universiade gold medal winners in swimming includes Olympic champions Cate Campbell, Alice Mills, Mark Kerry and Jon Sieben and Olympic medalists Rob Woodhouse and Justin Lemberg.

In Gwangju two years ago, the swim team went home with two gold, two silver and seven bronze medals.

2017 World University Games Swimming Team

   

Men (8)

Age

Club

State

Tertiary Institution

     

Nicholas Brown

21

Western Sprint

WA

University of Western Australia

Kai Edwards

18

TSS Aquatics

QLD

Griffith University

Brayden McCarthy

19

Bond

QLD

Brisbane Tafe

Alex Milligan

19

UWA West Coast

WA

University of Western Australia

Josh Parrish

19

TSS Aquatics

QLD

Griffith University

Ollie Signorini

20

Carlile

NSW

University of Technology Sydney

Will Stockwell

21

Commercial

QLD

University of QLD

Benjamin Treffers

25

Somerset

QLD

Australian National University

         

Women (10)

Age

Club

State

Tertiary Institution

Meg Bailey

20

Hunter

NSW

Ohio State

Hayley Baker

21

Melbourne Vicentre

VIC

The University of Melbourne

Gemma Cooney

17

Brisbane Grammar

QLD

University of QLD

Abbey Harkin

18

St Peters Western

QLD

Griffith University

Kareena Lee

23

Mountain Creek

QLD

University of Sunshine Coast

Kiah Melverton

20

TSS Aquatics

QLD

Griffith University

Leiston Pickett

25

Southport

QLD

Griffith University

Laura Taylor

17

TSS Aquatics

QLD

Bond

Emily Washer

20

Carlile

NSW

University of New South Wales

Sian Whittaker

19

Melbourne Vicentre

VIC

Deakin

 

Bachelor of Commerc

Australian Swim Team Universiade Medallists

Athlete

Event

Year

Gold (20)

 

 

Mark Kerry

100m Backstroke

1979 – Mexico

Susie Woodhouse

100m Butterfly

1983 – Edmonton

Susie Woodhouse

200m Butterfly

1983 – Edmonton

Jon Sieben

100m Butterfly

1985 – Kobe

Justin Lemberg

400m Freestyle

1985 – Kobe

Rob Woodhouse

400m Individual Medley

1987 - Zagreb

Martin Roberts

100m Butterfly

1993 – Buffalo

Martin Roberts

200m Butterfly

1993 – Buffalo

Nathan Rickard

50m Freestyle

1997 - Sicily

Adam Pine

100m Butterfly

1999 – Palma De Mallorca

Adam Pine
Robert Wyllie
Richard Upton
Stephen Goudie

4x100 Men’s Freestyle Relay

1999 – Palma De Mallorca

Burl Reid

50m Butterfly

2001 – Beijing

Cate Campbell
Marieke Guehrer
Alice Mills
Jessica Morrison

4x100m Freestyle Relay

2011 – Shenzen

David McKeon

400m freestyle

2011 – Shenzen

Ryan Napoleon

400m Freestyle

2013 – Kazan

Ben Treffers

50m Backstroke

2013 – Kazan

Justin James

200m Individual Medley

2013 – Kazan

Madison Wilson

200m Backstroke

2013 – Kazan

Justin James

200m Individual Medley

2015 – Gwangju

Holly Barratt

50m backstroke

2015 – Gwangju

 

 

Silver (26)

 

 

Susie Woodhouse

200m Butterfly

1981 – Bucharest

Australia

4x200m Women’s Freestyle

1983 – Edmonton

Rob Woodhouse

400m Individual Medley

1985 – Kobe

Michelle Pearson
Jenny Messenger
Rebecca Whitehead
Michelle Ford

4x200m Women's Relay

1985 – Kobe

Rob Woodhouse

200m Individual Medley

1987 – Zagreb

Nadine Neumann

200m Breaststroke

1995 – Fukuoka

Helen Denman

100m Breaststroke

1995 – Fukuoka

Elli Overton

200m Individual Medley

1997 - Sicily

Elli Overton
Melanie Dodd
Anna Windsor
Sarah Windsor

4x200m Women's Freestyle Relay

1997 - Sicily

Jeff English
Brett Hawke
Todd Pearson
Nathan Rickard

4x200m Men's Freestyle Relay

1997 - Sicily

Julia Ham

100m Butterfly

1999 – Palma De Mallorca

Burl Reid

 100m Butterfly

1999 – Palma De Mallorca

Brooke Hanson

200m Breaststroke

1999 – Palma De Mallorca

Jade Edmistone

50m Breaststroke

2003 - Daegu

Kate Corkran

100m Butterfly

2003 - Daegu

Michelle Englesman

50m Freestyle

2003 - Daegu

Patrick Murphy
Andrew Mewing
Ben Denner
Andrew Dyson

4x100m Freestyle Relay

2003 - Daegu

Jonathon Newton

50m Freestyle

2007 – Bangkok

Sarah Katsoulis

50m Breaststroke

2007 – Bangkok

Sarah Katsoulis

100m Breaststroke

2007 – Bangkok

Cameron Prosser

100m Freestyle

2009 – Belgrade

Marieke Guehrer

50m Butterfly

2011 – Shenzhen

Ben Treffers

100m Backstroke

2013 – Kazan

Daniel Armanart
Jayden Hadler
Justin James
Andrew Abood

Men’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay

2013 – Kazan

Jack McLoughlin

400m freestyle

2015 – Gwangju

Jacob Hansford
Travis Mahoney
Jack McLoughlin
Justin James
(Nick Brown and Jared Gillard swam in the heats)

Men’s 4x200m freestyle

2015 – Gwangju

 

 

 

Bronze (31)

 

 

Christine Barnestone

100m Breaststroke

1967 – Tokyo

Robyn Farrell

100m Breaststroke

1973 – Moscow

Graeme Brewer

400m Freestyle

1979 – Mexico

Michelle Ford

200m Butterfly

1983 – Edmonton

Peter Evans

100m Breaststroke

1983 – Edmonton

Michelle Pearson
Julie West
Jenny Messenger
Rebecca Whitehead

4x100m Women's Relay

1985 – Kobe

Brent Harding

400m Individual Medley

1991 – Sheffield

Niecia Freeman

100m Backstroke

1991 - Sheffield

Chloe Flutter

800m Freestyle

1995 - Fukuoka

Nadine Neumann

100m Breaststroke

1995 - Fukuoka

Elli Overton

400m Individual Medley

1997 – Sicily

Elli Overton
Melanie Dodd
Anna Windsor
Sarah Windsor

4x100m Women's Freestyle Relay

1997 - Sicily

Brooke Hanson

100m Breaststroke

1999 – Palma De Mallorca

Kate Corkran

50m Butterfly

2003 - Daegu

Adam Lucas

200m Individual Medley

2003 - Daegu

Alice Mills

100m Freestyle

2007 – Bangkok

Nick Ffrost
Kristopher Taylor
David McKeon
Mitchell Dixon
Luke Kerswell

4x100m Freestyle Relay

2011 – Shenzhen

Alice Mills

100m Butterfly

2011 – Shenzhen

Grace Loh

50m Backstroke

2011 – Shenzhen

Cate Campbell

50m Freestyle

2011 – Shenzhen

Madison Wilson

50m Backstroke

2013 – Kazan

Madison Wilson

100m Backstroke

2013 – Kazan

Hayley White

200m Backstroke

2013 – Kazan

Shane Asbury
George O’Brien
Justin James
Ryan Napoleon

Men’s 4x200m Relay

2013 – Kazan

Jacob Hansford

200m freestyle

2015 – Gwangju

Ami Matsuo

100m freestyle

2015 – Gwangju

Kiah Melverton

1500m freestyle

2015 – Gwangju

Ellen Fullerton

200m Individual Medley

2015 – Gwangju

Holly Barratt

50m Butterfly

2015 – Gwangju

Holly Barratt

50m freestyle

2015 – Gwangju

Kiah Melverton

800m freestyle

2015 – Gwangju

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