Luke Hobson is an American middle-distance freestyler and two-time NCAA champion. He represents the Texas Longhorns in the NCAA.
Hobson was ranked 19th in SwimSwam’s Way to Early Rankings for the high school class of 2021 as a range-y freestyler, boasting a 20.84 50, 44.98 100, 1:38.63 200, 4:27.20 500, 9:13.41 1000, and 15:33.09 1650 as a sophomore.
Hobson committed to the University of Texas in November of 2019, joining a loaded class that included Anthony Grimm and Tim Connery.
Hobson continued to improve over the next year, most notably his 200 dropped 2.52 seconds to go 1:36.11, his 500 dropped 6.15 seconds to go 4:21.05, and his 1000 dropped 11.05 seconds to go 9:02.36. These improvements helped him rank #15 in SwimSwam’s junior year re-rank of the class of 2021 and move all the way up to #10 in the senior year re-rank of the Class of 2021.
After dropping a 1:31.34 200 free relay split on the opening night of the Minnesota Invite, he clocked a 4:12.12 500 free to break Michael Phelps’ 17-year-old 500 free 17-18 NAG record in prelims. He then shattered his own National Age Group Record, from prelims, and became the youngest swimmer to go sub-4:10 in the 500 free with a 4:09.72. He also posted a 1:33.18 200 free. Hobson then swam a 14:40.15 1650 to win another event and post the then 2nd fastest time in the NCAA.
At the Texas vs. TCU dual meet, Hobson saw a speedy 8:48.09 to out touch his teammate David Johnston’s 8:48.28. The swim moved Hobson to #6 all-time in the 17-18 NAG rankings and #1 in the NCAA for the season. Hobson and Johnston dueled it out again in the 1000 free at the Texas vs. SMU dual meet. Hobson led Johnston by 0.02s at the halfway point, 4:20.68 to 4:20.70. In the end, Hobson held on to win, 8:43.66 to 8:43.96. His 8:43.66 broke the 17-18 NAG record.
The 2022 NCAA Men’s Championships were far more electric for Hobson. In his very first swim, he split a blazing 1:30.84 200 free split on the Texas 800 free relay team which smashed the NCAA record by nearly 1.5 seconds. Hobson kept the ball rolling with a 4:10.38 to qualify 4th out of prelims in the 500 free. In the final, Hobson broke his own 17-18 NAG Record in a time of 4:08.42 en route to a third-place finish overall. While he was able to set a new personal best in the prelims of the 200 free in 1:32.31, Hobson placed 16th in the finals with a 1:33.66, well off both his prelims and relay split times. Hobson was able to crack the top 16 again with his 14:52.40 1650 to place 16th. Hobson finished the meet with a respectable 18 points to help the Longhorns place 2nd behind the Cal Golden Bears.
Hobson put up a time of 1:32.50 to win the event for the white team and take out Drew Kibler‘s meet record of 1:33.97 at the Sam Kendricks Memorial Orange & White Classic intrasquad. Hobson was only 0.19 seconds off his own best time in the 200 freestyle of 1:32.31 from the 2022 NCAA Championships and nearly eight seconds quicker than he was at this meet last year, showing incredible form early in the season.
Hobson remained the model of consistency with the times he posted at the Highly anticipated Texas vs. UVA dual meet. In the 200 free Hobson touched first in a time of 1:32.74 and 4:17.91 in the 500 free, about 2 seconds off his season-best mark of 4:15.88 from the SMU classic. Hobson also split 42.52 on the Texas ‘B’ 400 free relay and 19.87 on the Texas ‘A’ 200 free relay.
Hobson dropped another 1:32 200 free on night 1 of the Minnesota Invite, leading off the Texas ‘A’ 800 free relay in 1:32.73.
Hobson shined at the NC State vs. Texas dual meet. He posted a new personal best of 1:31.89 in the 200 free; he also blazed a 42.02 100 free split after slowly convincing Eddie Reese to put him in the 100 free over the mile and a 4:13.82 500 free. He followed up his 100 free split with a 42.58 flat start time against SMU just a few days later.
After another subdued Big 12 Championships, Hobson entered the 2023 NCAA Championships in the position to score in multiple events. Hobson more morthan lived up to this expectation. On the very first night, he swam a massive 1:29.63 200 free, leading off the Texas 800 free relay to a new NCAA Record. The swim made him just the fifth man ever under 1:30 with a flat start and tied Blake Pieroni for 4th fastest in history.
After a relatively sleepy 500 free prelims, the fireworks were back for Hobson as he hacked over a second off his best time in 4:07.37 to take the win with his teammate Johnston finishing 2nd behind him. The swim made him #5 in history and the fastest ever Longhorn in perhaps the most storied event in Texas history. He followed up his win by demonstrating his sprinting chops by splitting 18.65 anchor on the Texas 7th-place 200 free relay.
While he was nearly a second off of his best time he set on night 1, Hobson won his second national title of the meet in the 200 free. Hobson won in 1:30.43, three-tenths ahead of a surging Gabriel Jett after hanging back at the start of the race. Hobson wrapped up the night with a stron 41.48 100 free split to anchor the Texas 400 medley relay to an 8th-place finish.
On the final day, Hobson broke 42 for the first time ever in the 100 free prelims in 41.99 but found himself the odd man out with a 17th-place finish. Nevertheless, Hobson returned that night to split a 41.43 100 free split and help the Texas 400 free relay to 5th place.
2021 St. George Sectionals (St. George, Utah)
Hobson clocked his first-ever Olympic Trials cut in the 400 free, shaving almost 2 seconds off his prior best time with a 3:56.08 in the LCM time trials. In the SCY portion of the meet, he crushed a 4:16.56 500 free to slash 4.49 seconds off his previous best. Hobson maintained his undefeated streak for the meet, winning both the 50 freestyle and 200 freestyle. In the 50 freestyle, Hobson dropped a time of 19.98 to dip under 20 seconds for the first time. In the 200 freestyle, Hobson dropped 1:35.81, dropping .3 off of his best time. The freestyle masterclass continued when he broke 9:00 in the 1000 and 44 in the 100 for the first time in the very same session. Hobson went 8:58.07 to take the 1000 free; he then finished runner-up in the 100 free, going 43.34.
18&Under Spring Cup (Des Moines, Iowa)
Hobson swam a huge personal best to win the 200 freestyle, dropping over 3 seconds to finish in a time of 1:49.44. With his performance, Hobson dipped under the Wave II Olympic Trials cut. He also posted a 3:56.55 in the 400 free and 50.24 in the 100 free, getting under the Olympic Trials Wave I cut in both.
2021 Speedo Summer Championships (Irvine, California)
Hobson clocked a new lifetime best to take 2nd in the 200 free. Hobson’s 1:49.10 clipped his previous best of 1:49.44 by 0.34 seconds. He kept the fast times rolling with a 3:53.15 400 free to better his prelims time and place second. Hobson was just off his personal best of 3:52.79, which he swam at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June. Hobson clock a 22.91 50 free to place third and crack 23 for the first time.
2022 International Team Trials (Greensboro, North Carolina)
Contiuing the Longhorn legacy in the 200 free, Hobson placed 7th with a 1:47.43 after racing to a new personal best of 1:46.92 in prelims. The personal best kept coming when Hobson took the top seed in the 400 free prelims with a 3:50.28; he fell to 7th place in the finals, adding time to swim a 3:52.94. Hobson’s final personal best of the meet came when he placed 17th in the 100 free witha 49.59.
2022 U.S. National Championships (Irvine, California)
Hobson neared his best time in the 200 free with a swift prelim swim of 1:47.13 to earn third seed for finals on night 2 of 2022 Summer Nationals. Hobson went on to win the finals, topping Olympian Kieran Smith’s 1:46.32 by dropping .99 from prelims to go 1:46.14. His time would have made the United States 800 free relay team for World Championships had he swam the time at World Trials. Hobson continued his fantastic meet by breaking 3:50 for the first time ever with a 3:49.83 to take 7th. Also at this meet, Hobson broke his personal best in the 100 free with a 49.13 to place 10th.
2022 Duel in the Pool (Sydney, Australia)
Hobson was selected to represent the United States at the 2022 Duel in the Pool. The event featured a variety of new and abnormal racing formats, including “skins” events, “broken” freestyle events, and “random” relays. In the broken 800 free, Hobson and his fellow Longhorn David Johnston led the first 300 of this broken 800, with 2:50.48 and 2:50.45 respectively. Hobson dug deep on the final 100 to give Mack Horton a run for his money but Horton was able to overtake the lead in overall time to take the win while Hobson placed 3rd behind Johnston. In the traditional 200 free, Hobson scorched a new unofficial best with a 1:45.59.
2022 Australian Short Course Championships (Sydney, Australia)
Hobson earned silver behind Kyle Chalmers with a very strong 1:41.69, especially considering it was only his second SCM 200 free after prelims. Hobson’s time checked him in as 5th fastest U.S. performer in history. Hobson crushed a lifetime best of 3:35.67 to top the podium of the 400 free and come within a second of the American record. That standard remained at the 3:34.81 Olympic medalist Peter Vanderkaay put on the books in 2009. He also swam a 47.82 prelims in the 100 free.
2023 U.S. International Team Trials (Indianapolis, Indiana)
In prelims, Hobson showed he had not just made gains in the short pool. His 1:45.12 best time topped the prelims. Going out in a meek 52.01, Hobson stormed home in 53.17 to keep the top spot in the final with a 1:45.18, just off his prelims best time. The swim marks his first spot on an international championship team.
2023 World Aquatics Championships (Fukuoka, Japan)
After no Americans made the final of the men’s 400 free, there was discussion on the downfall of U.S. men’s mid-distance freestyle. However, Luke Hobson clocked a 1:44.87 to take the 2nd seed in the final. The swim makes him the fourth-fastest American all-time. Earlier, Hobson had led the prelims with a 1:45.69.
Hobson wrapped his meet with the 800 free relay where he led off on the finals squad with a 1:46.00. Carson Foster (1:44.49), Jake Mitchell (1:45.06), and Kieran Smith (1:44.47) secured the silver. If Hobson had neared his personal best, the US would have gotten gold.
–This biography was originally developed by Lucas Caswell