After Huge College Season, Aurora Roghair Drops 18 Seconds in the 1500 Meter Free in Irvine

2024 Southern California Invitational

  • May 15-18, 2024
  • Irvine, California
  • Long Course Meters (50m), Prelims/Finals
  • Results on Meet Mobile: 2024 CA Southern California Invitational

Irvine Novaquatics is one of many clubs across the country hosting big meets this weekend in an almost informal regional system of final tuneups ahead of next month’s Olympic Trials.

This rendition featured just a handful of swimmers swimming timed finals of 1500 frees on Wednesday, but one in particular is worth keeping an eye on: Stanford junior Aurora Roghair.

She had a huge breakout collegiate season in short course  and has carried that over into the long course pool with a 16:19.79 in the 1500 free. That swim is an 18.93 second improvement over her previous best time that was done at last summer’s US National Championship meet.

The time now ranks her as the 8th-best American in the event so far in the 2023-2024 season.

US Rankings, Women’s 1500 Meter Free, 2023-2024 Season

  1. Katie Ledecky – 15:38.81
  2. Katie Grimes – 15:57.31
  3. Kate Hurst – 16:09.37
  4. Paige Madden – 16:09.93
  5. Rachel Stege – 16:13.59
  6. Leah Smith – 16:15.45
  7. Kayla Han – 16:19.07
  8. Aurora Roghair – 16:19.79

The 1500 free will be a tough event to crack at this summer’s Olympic Trials, with the defending Olympic champion Katie Ledecky still well-ahead of the world in this event and 18-year-old Katie Grimes swimming 15:57 in her last outing in April out of the best-in-class Sandpipers distance program.

The drop in the 1500 follows a 20.4 second season-long improvement in the 1650 yard freestyle that placed her 2nd at the NCAA Championships in March.

Roghair didn’t swim this race at the San Antonio Pro Swim Series, her only other long course outing of the season, but at that meet she did go best times in the 200 free (1:59.04) and 800 free (8:35.42) to put herself into conversations for finals and possible National Team spots at the Olympic Trials.

14-year-old Chloe Teger was 2nd in the women’s race in 17:06.67, about 13 seconds shy of her personal best.

The men’s race was won by another Stanford junior Gabe Machado. He swam 15:50.11, about 10 seconds shy of his personal best from last July’s USA Swimming Pro Championships.

When the meat of the meet gets going on Thursday morning, big names like Abbey WeitzeilAmy Tang, Tori Huske, Andi Murez, Kayla Sanchez, Jack Alexy, Destin Lasco, Justin Ress, Brooks Curry, Henry McFadden, Kaitlyn Dobler, Michael Andrew, Daniel Roy, Ron Polonsky, Rachel Klinker, Gabe Jett, Trenton Julian, Dare Rose, and Sean Grieshop are expected to join the fray.

While most of the events have fairly-small fields, those fields are pretty full, especially with swimmers from the varsity programs at Cal and Stanford.

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30 days ago

She has been crushing it under the radar to a lot. The Stanford staff is crushing it with her

1 month ago

Alexy, Weitzel, Huske, Murphy are scheduled to compete today.

Iowa Coach
1 month ago

Way to go, Aurora! Iowa Flyers (IFLY) alum doing big things!

1 month ago

Where’s relay names user at??

Greg P
Reply to  RMS
1 month ago

He’s a chicken

1 month ago

Most improved swimmer in the NCAA

1 month ago

Just to rile everyone up, replace Meehan with Katie Robinson.

1 month ago

Isn’t Kate Hurst a senior in high school?

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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