OLDER, WISER, FASTER

By STEVE SPINKS sport@northernstar.com.au HE MAY be a veteran of the pool but former Ballina Indoor swimmer Adam Pine can still show the young pups a thing or two.

The 32-year-old turned back the clock yesterday at the national championships and Olympic qualifiers in Sydney.

He swam a personal best 52.44 seconds in the heats of the 100m butterfly in the morning session to qualify fastest for the semi-finals, then improved on that by clocking 52.14s in his semi last night.

He finished second behind Andrew Lauterstein, who won in 52.05s. Lauterstein kept Pine out of the Australian team for the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

The 100m butterfly final is tonight and Pine needs to finish in the top two and swim an A qualifying time to be selected for his third Olympic Games.

It was an amazing performance from the ironman of Australian swimming.

Pine broke into his first Australian team for the Pan Pacific Games in 1993.

Fifteen years, four Commonwealth Games, two Olympics and numerous world championships later, and Pine is still improving.

But it's never been easy for the Canberra-based swimmer. He is a terrifically hard worker and has improved while holding down a full-time job and helping raise his two children.

Pine was wearing the controversial new LZR suit that has helped deliver 13 of the past 14 world records around the world in the past six weeks.

Newton into final Meanwhile, former clubmate Jonathon Newton, who now swims with Sydney University, also qualified for the semi-finals last night.

Newton was second seed behind Eamon Sullivan in the 50m freestyle after swimming 22.46s.

He qualified fourth fastest for the final, clocking 22.48s behind Sullivan, who regained the world record with a blistering 21.41s.

Newton, 27, needs to swim 22.35s and finish second in the final tonight to qualify for the Olympic team.

For the younger FNC brigade, it's been an encouraging meet.

Lennox Head's Keatyn Simpson, 16, finished 25th in the 200m breaststroke after earlier just missing a spot in the 100m semi-final.

She still has the 50m breaststroke to swim.

Former Ballina swimmer Kacey Pilgrim has qualified fifth fastest for the semi-finals of the women's 50m butterfly after recording a blistering 27.79s.

Earlier, she finished 20th in the 100m freestyle with an impressive 57.15s.

Another former Ballina swimmer, Kate Johnson, finished 10th in the 200m butterfly with a time that would have earned her sixth spot in the final.

She has also qualified for the semi-finals of the 50m butterfly.

And Lennox Head's Jacqueline Freney looks to have qualified for the Australian Paralympic team after claiming silver in the women's 50m freestyle and fourth in the 100m freestyle for swimmers with a disability.



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