Clark Smith Scratches Texas Invite With Heart Condition


US National Team member Clark Smith has withdrawn from the remainder of the Texas Hall of Fame Invitational this weekend with a health condition.

Smith has had reoccuring Atrial Fibrilation for the past 4 years, and had an episode on Sunday and Monday of this week that lasted almost a full day. Smith says that was concerning, because there is a risk of having a stroke if you’re left into it long enough. He says that he had to go to the emergency room to have his heart shocked back into rhythm.

“I had been tapering for this meet and was gunning for some best times so I went ahead and decided to swim anyway,” Smith said. “During the 500 this morning, the A-fib came back toward the end of the race and a bit afterwards. The trainer on deck thought it probably wasn’t safe to swim tonight considering I’d be going harder than the morning swim.”

Smith said that his doctors thought it would be best for him to sit out the rest of the meet to give his new medicine time to kick in, which he said was “a bit of a disappointment.”

Smith swam in the prelims of the 500 free, where he was the top qualifier in 4:14.40. Smith was scheduled to swim the 200 free and 1650 free at the rest of the meet.

On Thursday evening, Smith’s American and U.S. Open Records in the 500 free, set at last year’s NCAA Championship meet, was broken by Zane Grothe at U.S. Winter Nationals.

“I’m glad Zane was able to chip away at the record tonight, it needed to go down,” Smith said of Grothe’s swim. When Smith broke the record last year, he said the record was soft, and that it still was even after he broke it.

Leah Smith (no relation) also scratched Thursday’s 500 free finals – she was the top seed in the women’s race. Her representatives didn’t have any information on the reasons for her withdrawal.


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3 years ago

Get well and take care of yourself! No meet or race is worth jeopardizing your health and ultimately life in a case like this.

3 years ago

As much as I would have liked to see what he could do to the AR, his health is the most important thing. Better safe, than sorry. Wishing him a safe recovery.

3 years ago

Everyone who said he choked all these years…..let this article sink in.

Clark, keep up the good work & rest for now.

Reply to  KNOW IT ALL
3 years ago

geez, and the groin issue @ 2017 ncaas – he’s one tough cookie. take care.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  KNOW IT ALL
3 years ago

Well, people have been questioning his heart.

Clearly they were right.

Reply to  KNOW IT ALL
3 years ago

After his epic display of guts to prevail in that historic mile at NCAAs, he never has to prove anything to anyone, ever again.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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