Bobby Finke Crushes American Record with 14:36.70 1500; #5 Performer All-Time

by Spencer Penland 24

June 25th, 2022 National, News



  1. Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) – 14:32.80
  2. Bobby Finke (USA) – 14:36.70
  3. Florian Wellbrock (GER) – 14:36.94
  4. Lukas Marten (GER) – 14:40.89
  5. Mykhailo Romanchuk (UKR) – 14:40.98
  6. Guilherme Costa (BRA) – 14:48.53
  7. Daniel Jervis (GBR) – 14:48.86
  8. Damien Joly (FRA) – 15:09.15

Although he trailed Italian Gregorio Paltrinieri from start to finish, American Bobby Finke had an incredible race tonight in the 1500, roaring to a new American Record of 14:36.70. The swim makes Finke the #5 performer all-time in the event, moving up from #10.

Finke smashed the American Record, which stood as 14:39.48. The previous record was held by Connor Jaeger from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. He negative split the race, swimming a 7:19.08 on the first 750m, then coming home in 7:17.62. Of course, in true Bobby Finke fashion, he came home with scorching speed, splitting 26.10 on the final 50. Adding in his penultimate 50 split of 29.20, Finke was a very fast 55.30 on the final 100. While 26.10 is obviously an incredible last 50 split for a 1500, it was actually a bit slower than his closing 50 at the Olympics last summer, which came in at 25.78. The fastest closing split of all-time came at the hands of China’s Sun Yang, when he was setting the 14:31.02 World Record. Yang closed his race in 25.68.

Here is the list of the all-time top 10 performers in the men’s LCM 1500 free:

Rank Time Swimmer Country Meet
1 14:31.02 Sun Yang CHN 2012 Olympic Games
2 14:32.80 Gregorio Paltrinieri ITA 2020 Campionato Italiano Assoluto
3 14:34.56 Grant Hackett AUS 2001 World Champs
4 14:36.15 Florian Wellbrock GER 2018 European Championships
5 14:36.70 Bobby Finke USA 2022 World Champs
6 14:36.88 Mykhailo Romanchuk UKR 2018 European Championships
7 14:37.28 Ous Mellouli TUN 2009 World Champs
8 14:39.48 Connor Jaeger USA 2016 Olympic Games
9 14:39.54 Mack Horton AUS 2016 Australian Trials
10 14:39.63 Ryan Cochrane CAN 2012 Olympic Games

The race is a bittersweet one for Finke and his fans. It was a personal best and a huge new American Record, but he also was unable to catch Paltrinieri and therefore fell short of yet another miraculous comeback at the end of a race. Nonetheless, the 22-year-old now has two Olympic Gold medals, a World Champs Gold and a World Champs Silver to his name, all with plenty of time left for a long career, if he chooses to pursue it.

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9 months ago

Finke’s 4th taper in 4 months –
SEC’s – February 15-19 (tapered but didn’t get to swim – tested positive for Coved)
NCAA’s – March 23-26
Phillips 66 International Team Trials – April 26-30
FINA World Championships – June 18-25

Paul Thomas
9 months ago

Paltrinieri at least seemed to finally figure out that you can’t just swim along with Finke and outkick him at the end of the race. Finke is like Mo Farah used to be in the 10K– if he’s running even with you with two laps to go, you have no chance. Your only hope is to throttle up from the get-go and hope you don’t blow up later in the race.

9 months ago

I am wondering if Gregorio would swim at that pace with that time, but was in lane 4, could the rest be able to go with him and wouldn’t let he slip away or not?

I think the middle pack probably thought they could have reeled him in later, but he was too far ahead already. No one took off…And if someone did take off to chase Gregorio, do you guys think Finke could have followed abd finked them at the end? Thoughts?

Reply to  tnp101
9 months ago

Guess we’ll find out next summer.

9 months ago

Given this finke, any chance we could we get a split comparison?

9 months ago

Small copy paste error it says Paltrinieri’s 14:32.80 was swum at the 2020 Campionato Italiano Assoluto, it should say 2022 World’s.

9 months ago

Finke is becoming a sort of Mo Farah of swimming. He’s not coming in with the best PB out of the competitors, but he’s putting a great race together when it counts.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  DCSwim
9 months ago

Mostly true except Farah would take the lead with roughly 600 remaining and then brilliantly control matters by looking around and varying his pace perfectly to stay just in front, before unleashing the lethal kick. Nobody ever frustrated the Ethiopians like that. It was awesome. They conceded their entire team strategy was focused on defeating Mo Farah yet he bested them time and again.

Finke has talked about varying his approach. In fact, he mentioned during an interview that he planned to be slightly ahead before unleashing the kick. Just like Farah. I’m convinced that was going to be Finke’s strategy today, if not for Paltrinieri punching everybody in the face.

By far the biggest difference between Finke and Farah… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
9 months ago

Great comparison between strategies. As a track fan myself didn’t thought that but it’s very true. Even Farah’s coach used to say he would never break a WR because he being a tactical racer

Paul Thomas
Reply to  Awsi Dooger
9 months ago

I see someone else had the same comparison!

Reply to  DCSwim
9 months ago

Yeah, i already made this comparison on Friday. Nice to see that you liked it.

9 months ago

the solution to not get finked is to have a 1450 meter headstart

Reply to  dddddddd
9 months ago

No, the solution is to be out of his sight by taking a huge gamble in prelims and getting a lane far away from him. If Paltrinieri would have been next to Finke, then Finke again would have won gold today. Finke does just enough to win, just enough to not raise too many suspicions.

Reply to  AnEn
9 months ago

Have you seen his miles at NCAAs? I wouldn’t say winning by a 25 is doing just enough to win.

Reply to  AnEn
9 months ago


Reply to  AnEn
9 months ago

‘Just enough’ to break the American record and do a personal best.

9 months ago

You got Palted, Bobby

Reply to  Giusy Cisale
9 months ago

He went 14:36! PALTRINIERI is just a very special swimmer!