Aussie Teen Sam Short Hits 7:38.97 SCM 800 Free Age Record


Amidst the World Record from Kaylee McKeown and national records from the likes of Matt Wilson, the younger set came on strong during the first rounds of events at the 2020 Swimming Australia Virtual National Championships.

As a reminder, due to the coronavirus pandemic, for the first time in history, the Australian Short Course Swimming Championships are taking place virtually. Contested as 4 sessions of timed finals, the virtual competition spans Brisbane (Chandler), Sydney (Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre), Hobart (Hobart Aquatic Centre), Perth (HBF Stadium) and Melbourne (MSAC subject to COVID restrictions).

17-year-old Sam Short busted out the 800m free swim of his life, registering a time of 7:38.97 to take the short course national title.

Rackley’s Short recently wreaked havoc on the age rankings just this past September, rocketing up the lists across the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles at the Vorgee Brisbane Short Course Meet.

At that meet, as a 16-year-old, Short’s 800m free time checked in at 7:43.85, a then-lifetime best, positioning the Rackley swimmer as Australia’s far and away fastest ever at that age.

Now 17, Short’s time of 7:38.97 beat out 400m free World Junior Record holder Thomas Neill, as well as seasoned star Jack McLoughlin. The pair finished with the silver and gold with respective times of 7:39.04 and 7:39.52, all competing at the Brisbane location of these virtual championships.

Short’s 7:38.97 takes the teen to an entirely new level, not only taking over the Aussie age record for 17-year-olds from Jordan Harrison’s 7:43.10 from 2012, but Short now ranks as Australia’s 4th fastest performer all-time.

For their part, Neill and McLoughlin now, too, sit among the top performers ever, with Neill ranked 5th. McLoughlin’s time here was just off his lifetime best of 7:39.31, which positions him as the 6th fastest Aussie all-time.

Aussie Men’s All-Time SCM 800 Freestyle Performers

  1. Grant Hackett, 7:23.42 2008
  2. Kieren Perkins, 7:34.90 1993
  3. Daniel Kowalski, 7:38.37 1995
  4. Sam Short, 7:38.97 2020
  5. Thomas Neill, 7:39.04 2020
  6. Jack McLoughlin, 7:39.31 2018

Below is the split breakdown among these top 3 finishers.

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

He’s in elite company here, young Short.

1 year ago

Thomas Neill is still ranked ahead of Short with 7:36.10 (only 0.10s off the WJR) from the QLD SC Champs earlier this year. Short has a really good chance to take the WJR down next year.

1 year ago

Did Thorpe or Hackett just not swim this event at this age? Hard to imagine they wouldn’t have held the records here…

Reply to  Joe
1 year ago

They didn’t . Probably short course season clashed with a big long course meet overseas.

Reply to  Joe
1 year ago

Thorpe didn’t race the 800 very much. He doesn’t appear in the long course 800 age rankings before 18 yo when he broke the WR and only in the short course at 14 and 15 yo.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

Read More »