A Long Time Coming, Cal’s Hugo Gonzalez Wins 400 IM With NCAA Record of 3:32.88

2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships

Men’s 400 Individual Medley – Finals

  • NCAA Record: Chase Kalisz, Georgia – 3:33.42 (2017)
  • NCAA Meet Record: Chase Kalisz, Georgia – 3:33.42 (2017)
  • American Record: Chase Kalisz, Georgia – 3:33.42 (2017)
  • US Open Record: Chase Kalisz, Georgia – 3:33.42 (2017)
  • Pool Record: Carson Foster, Texas – 3:33.79 (2022)

Podium:

  1. Hugo Gonzalez, SR California – 3:32.88N
  2. Leon Marchand, FR ASU – 3:34.08
  3. Carson Foster, SO Texas – 3:35.69
  4. Bobby Finke, SR Florida – 3:36.83
  5. Jake Foster, JR Texas – 3:38.24
  6. Brooks Fail, 5Y Arizona – 3:38.55
  7. David Johnston, SO Texas – 3:40.05
  8. Sean Grieshop, 5Y California – 3:40.12

Cal senior Hugo Gonzalez became the first swimmer in history to break the 3:33 barrier in the 400-yard individual medley on Friday night in Atlanta. He dominated the final from start to finish and took down the NCAA, meet, U.S. Open, and pool records with his 3:32.88 winning time.

It has been a long road for Gonzalez. He spent his freshman season at Auburn, where he set school records in the 200 back (1:39.05), 200 IM (1:40.67) and 400 IM (3:35.76). He won the 400 IM, with what was then the third-fastest time in history, at 2018 SECs and was named SEC Freshman of the Year. At NCAAs that year, he swam a 3:46.19 in prelims and placed 30th.

Gonzalez announced he would be transferring to Virginia Tech for his sophomore year, following Sergio Lopez who had taken over as head coach. However, a couple of weeks into the 2018-19 school year, he left Virginia Tech to train at home in Spain. In December 2018 he announced he would be joining the Cal team mid-season in January. However, because he had been enrolled as a full-time student at VT before he left for Spain, the NCAA deemed him ineligible until the fall of 2020.

At 2021 NCAAs, Gonzalez added 3.6 seconds in prelims to finish 10th with 3:41.91. He won the B final with a pool record 3:36.73, a time that would have won the A final by .17 (Bobby Finke won in 3:36.90).

This is the race Gonzalez had in him all alone. He has tightened up the middle of his race significantly, and although his freestyle was a full second slower than last year, his butterfly was 1.5 seconds faster, which more than made up for the finish.

Compared to Chase Kalisz, who had owned the NCAA, American, and U.S. Open record since 2017, Gonzalez was out 1.3 seconds faster on the fly, swam a comparable backstroke leg, and gave up .8 on the second half (.3 on the breast and .5 on the free).

Comparative running times:

  Kalisz, 2017 NCAAs Gonzalez, 2021 NCAAs Gonzalez, 2022 NCAAs
Fly 23.31 23.36 22.38
Fly 49.78 (26.47) 50.13 (26.77) 48.47 (26.09)
Back 1:17.16 (27.38) 1:18.05 (27.92) 1:15.66 (27.19)
Back 1:43.68 (26.52) 1:45.07 (27.02) 1:42.31 (26.65)
Breast 2:12.56 (28.88) 2:15.45 (30.38) 2:11.37 (29.06)
Breast 2:42.29 (29.73) 2:46.05 (30.60) 2:41.21 (29.84)
Free 3:08.26 (25.97) 3:12.12 (26.07) 3:07.42 (26.21)
Free 3:33.42 (25.16) 3:36.73 (24.61) 3:32.88 (25.46)

 

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Sarcastic
1 year ago

Got to watch him swim and train at Auburn – good dude, hard worker. Glad he finally got this win – it’s been a long time coming!

AJNM13
1 year ago

What a mark!!! Incredible pace, specially during the first 300y. He deserved an individual victory

Horninco
1 year ago

Monster swim

Good job Hugo

JimSwim22
1 year ago

What did he split on his 3:35 as a freshmen?

Jackd
1 year ago

So glad he could end his cal career like this. Such a well respected dude

HJones
Reply to  Jackd
1 year ago

I could be wrong, but I THINK he has a 5Y if he wants to come back.

Ledecky forever
Reply to  Jackd
1 year ago

He still have one more year eligibility.

The worm
1 year ago

Mad respect to Hugo

PFA
1 year ago

Well deserved for Hugo congrats

BearlyBreathing
1 year ago

Congratulations Hugo. It definitely has been a long time coming but it was worth the wait.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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