Eddie Reese praises Clark Smith: He is just getting started

Video produced by Coleman Hodges. 

Reported by Jared Anderson. 


  • NCAA – 4:08.60 – Peter Vanderkaay, Michigan – 2006
  • Championship – 4:08.60 – Peter Vanderkaay, Michigan – 2006
  • American – 4:08.54 – Peter Vanderkaay – 2006
  • US Open – 4:08.54 – Peter Vanderkaay – 2006
  • 2014 Champion – Cristian Quintero, USC – 4:10.02

The 500 free was a roller coaster of a ride. Defending champ Cristian Quintero of USC went out fast, leading the field at the 100 in 47.21 from an outside lane. Top-seeded Clark Smith of Texas took the lead back to the middle of the pool by the 200, though, splitting 1:38.02.

As the race wore on, though, Florida’s Dan Wallace started building momentum eventually taking over and looking like he’d cruise to the win.

But Smith struck back over the final 50 yards, picking up his tempo to overcome Wallace and land the Longhorns their second-straight event title. Smith’s final 100 was a 49.61, including a blistering 24.03 over the final 50 yards. The sophomore would go 4:09.72 for the win, the first Texas NCAA champ in the event in history.


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5 years ago

In other sports, they talk about going from worst to first one, but going from not even qualifying for the meet to winning next year is also very impressive. Has anyone else done that at NCAA’s? Excluding freshmen, of course.

Reply to  TheTroubleWithX
5 years ago

Drew teduits did it in 2013

Reply to  TheTroubleWithX
5 years ago

Conor Dwyer did it when he transferred from Iowa to Florida as a junior and became NCAA Swimmer of the Year by winning the 200 and 500 after never having previously qualified for NCAAs.

5 years ago

Clark Smith was fantastic in NCAA and Eddie Reese is one of world’s greatest coaches but he is not immune to hyperbole when describing his swimmers.

Most natural middle distance swimmer ever?
Nobody can do what he does?


Reply to  aswimfan
5 years ago

I remember talking to Eddie about this class near the beginning of last year. First thing he did was list off each person and how tall they were as if he was recruiting tall guys who may be able to swim and when he talked to me about Clark Smith for about 20 minutes not even mentioning Conger, licon, or anyone else. Not because he didn’t care about those guys but because he almost couldn’t contain himself how excited he was for Clark and I have never seen him like that before

Gina Rhinestone
Reply to  aswimfan
5 years ago

Clarke Kent!

Thank heavens Clarke original did not wear an Apple watch. He would only have only lasted 17 hours out there doin good.

DC Guy
5 years ago

Eddie Reese is such a class act and has the highest degree of respect for his swimmers.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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