Disclaimer: Dolfin Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Dolfin Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
Sure, mile times aren’t as eye-popping as 50 frees. For whatever reason, a fast sprint time can be a headline by itself (17.63, 21.11, 46.91), while a distance time requires some more context. Maybe that’s why Franko Grgic‘s 14:56.55 in the long course mile was such and under-discussed swim from the past week.
First off, Grgic is 16. His time leads the world and makes him the first Croatian ever under 15 minutes. From Braden Keith‘s recap of the swim:
For comparison’s sake, the USA Swimming National Age Group Record in the 1500 free is Bobby Hackett’s 15:03.91 from 1976. Nobody has been better than 15:05 in over 15 years. And Grgic was born in 2003, so he has this entire year to lower his time. Grgic’s previous best time was a 15:21 that he set last season.
Last year, only 18 men in the entire world broke 15 minutes. And most of them did it at a major meet like Euros, Pan Pacs, Asian Games or Commonwealth Games. In 2017, Grgic’s time would have taken 7th at the World Championships against a senior-level field. It’s hard to say if Grgic will be on Croatia’s World Champs team this summer, but if he is, he’s a real medal threat at the age of 16.
Grgic is also just eight seconds off the world junior record with more than a year left to break that mark.
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