Coach: Nic Bideau
Instagram: @stewy_mac3State: Tasmania
1500m: 3:34.82 (Tubingen GER, 16 Jun 2018)
3000m: 7:34.79 (Rabat MAR, 13 Jul 2018),
5000m: 13:19.96 (Gold Coast AUS, 15 Feb 2018),
10,000m: 28:05.37 (Oslo AUS, 7 Jun 2018),
3000m steeplechase: 8:34.25 (Goteborg SWE, 10 Jun 2017)
Stewart McSweyn grew up on Tasmania’s small but picturesque, King Island, population less than 2000, located in the Bass Strait. He went to school at King Island District School and ran around his family’s beef and sheep farm.
He boarded at Ballarat Clarendon College from Year 7 and ran for the strong Eureka Athletics Club. In his late teens, he moved his 3000m PB to 8:23 and in 2013 ran the junior race at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. In his first year as a senior athlete (2015), he competed in the 5000m at the World University Games and won bronze in the Australian Road Running Championships.
In early 2016, he joined the Melbourne Track Club and what followed was a remarkable year. He kicked off with a couple of 5000m PBs and launched his steeplechase career with five consecutive PBs from five starts, closing the season with an impressive best of 8:34.45. That same year he won the national cross -country title, only the fourth Tasmanian to win the title and the first since Dave Chettle in 1977. He closed the year with a Zatopek debut of 28:29.65 for second place.
It launched him into 2017 where in January he was second in the world cross country trial and in March placed 53rd in the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. After a 5000m PB of 13:34 in February, he compiled three terrific performances in Europe in June and July. He ran 3000m (7:47) and 3000m steeplechase (8:34.25) PBs and then surprised with a World Championships qualifier and massive 5000m PB of 14 seconds, running 13:19.98 in Dublin in July. Unfortunately, he slipped to fourth fastest Australian and missed selection in the 5000m. However, his 8:34 steeplechase time was sufficient to receive an IAAF roll -down place for the IAAF World Championships, where he placed 14th in his heat.
For the 2017/18 domestic season he targeted a rare treble, the 5000m, 10,000m and steeplechase. At the Zatopek 10,000m he was a surprise winner over Pat Tiernan in a time of 28:37.28 to secure selection for the Commonwealth Games team. In February at the National Championships he placed third in a classic 5000m race in a PB 13:19.96 and three days later was also third in the steeplechase. He was named in the 5000m and 10,000m for the Commonwealth Games. He had a terrific Games placing 5th in the 5000m and 11th in the 10,000m - the first Australian in both events.
Mid-year he travelled to Europe where he set a series of PBs. On Jun 7 at the Oslo DL he took 53 seconds off his PB clocking 28:05.37, making him the #24 Australian all-time. The next week over 1500m he ran 3:34.82 (Jun 16), a five second PB and moving him to #10 Australian all-time. On July 13 he was 3rd in the Rabat DL 3000m in a 13 second PB time of 7:34.79, moving to #2 Australian all-time behind Craig Mottram. Competing on July 21 at the London DL, in a tactical 5000m he placed 12th in 13:20.21 - just outside his PB.
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