Queensland Swimming's "action man" Ashley Anderson tonight won his fourth gold medal in four nights when he added the 200 metres backstroke to his increasing medal tally at the 2000 Tip Top Australian Age Swimming Championships in Perth.
Anderson clocked a smart time of 2:06.55, just outside William Guthrie's 1997 Australian Age record of 2:05.37 - his 15th National Age gold medal in three years.
It followed the 15-year-old Central Queensland Aquajet boy's gold medal swims in the 50 and 100 metres freestyle and 200 metres individual medley earlier in the meet.
Joining Anderson on the multiple gold medal dais was Campbelltown's Jim Piper who took his gold medal collection to three with a comfortable win in the 200 metres breaststroke in a time of 2:17.78, from Western Australian Jared Church (2:21.23) and Mark Riley (Qld) in 2:24.30.
Piper has already won the 17-18 years 100 metres breaststroke (1:04.94) and the 400 metres individual medley (4:26.93) as he prepares for next month's 2000 Telstra Selection Trials in Sydney.
There were several eye-catching swims, in particular Queensland's Jodie Henry who was the first Australian home in the 16 years 100 metres freestyle behind New Zealand's Monique Robins.
Robins clocked 56.90 and the Shannon Rollason coached Henry, just a touch behind in 56.91 - the 10th fastest time ever by an Australian- edging 1992 and 1996 Olympian Lise Mackie out of 10th position.
There were also some outstanding performances in the womens 200 metres freestyle with SLC Aquadot's Katie Krywulycz producing a personal best time of 2:02.30 from Miami's Kate Canning (2:02.77) and Amanda Pascoe (2:03.44)- supporting National head coach Don Talbot's view that the depth of these championships is the best he has ever seen at an Australian Age Group level.
Krywulycz, from the Doug Frost stable at the Sutherland Leisure Centre, upset Canning who had earlier in the week won the 800 metres and last night the 100m.
Her time suggests she too will be competitive at next month's Olympic Trials - adding further competition to an ever increasing band of talented 200m freestylers.
NSW north coast sprinter Scott Sabotic from Kingscliff lived up to his reputation as "the bolter from the bush" with his win in the 17-18 years 100 metres freestyle in a personal best time of 51.98.
Sabotic, coached by National sprint coach Greg Salter, won the corresponding 16 years 100m freestyle in Hobart last year from lane one.
Tonight Sabotic caused another upset, this time, snatching the gold from the favourites in the middle lanes, to win his second National title, this time from lane eight.
This morning's heats saw just half a second separate the top eight qualifiers and in fact just 0.66 separated the top qualifier Brad Herring (52.23) from New Zealand and second reserve Josh Krogh (52.89) from the Redcliffe Leagues Lawnton Club.
Tonight's silver medal actaully went to the swimmer in lane one, Jason Cram (52.04) from the Illawarra Red Devils, who is coached by 1978 and 1982 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and 1980 Olympic bronze medallist Ron McKeon.
The bronze went to Victorian Nathan Taylor (Haileybury Waterlions) who clocked 52.05, with fastest qualifier Herring relegated to fourth in 52.28.
In the 16 years final, it was Brothers Qld sprinter Raymond McDonald, who took 0.72 off his personal best to win gold in a faster time than the older boys, in 51.78.
There was also another solid swim from Kincumber Pacific Dolphin (Central Coast NSW) backstroker Kelly Tucker who clocked 2:16.30 to win the 200m backstroke in the 15 years age group.
Day 4 Finals Highlights: