Jack McLoughlin burst on to the scene at the 2016 Australian Swimming Championships where he obliterated his best time in the 1,500 meter freestyle to qualify for the Rio Olympics. McLoughlin had not always been a long distance swimmer. When his long-time coach, Matt Brown, at Nudgee College left, McLoughlin moved to Chandler swimming team under Vince Raleigh. It was Raleigh who suggested his focus switch from middle distance to the longer event.
McLoughlin swam mainly the middle distance freestyle events as a junior. At the 2013 Australian Youth Olympics he won gold in the 200 meter freestyle relay. At the 2015 World University Championships, McLoughlin won silver in the 400 meter freestyle and came 5th in the 1,500 meter freestyle.
2016 Australian Championships
McLoughlin punched his ticket to Rio when he dropped 24 seconds in the 1,500 meter freestyle to finish second and jump to fourth in the Australian record books (14:48.60) in the event.
Before the trials, McLoughlin created a metronome which he would use in training to pace his stroke rate for the race. But he also used it outside the pool, listening to it as he slept and in his room. By the time he was racing at the trials, the beep beep beep played subconsciously in his mind the whole way, pacing him to a place on his first Olympic team.
2016 Rio Olympic Games
In Rio, McLoughlin swam the prelims of the 1500, touching at 14:56.02, finishing 9th just outside of the final heat.
2017 World Championships
McLoughlin represented Australia at the 2017 World Champs, placing 11th in the 1500 (15:01.55) and 13th in the 800 (7:53.51).
2018 Commonwealth Games
McLoughlin had a breakout meet, winning his first individual international medals in both the 1500 and 400 freestyles. in the 1500, he picked up gold in a personal best of 14:47.09, while in the 400 he earned silver behind countryman Mack Horton in another best of 3:45.21.
2018 Pan Pacific Championships
McLoughlin kept the medal momentum rolling, as he earned yet another on the first day of pan pacs, touching in 4th overall in the 1500 (14:55.92). Since he was bested by 3 Americans, #3 Robert Finke was bumped by McLoughlin for the bronze. McLoughlin continued his meet on day 3 by winning the 400 free, beating out Aussie teammate Mack Horton (3:44.31) for the gold in 3:44.20. He finished off his pan pacs performance with a bronze in the men’s 800, touching for third in a time of 7:47.31.