Former USC Swimmer Clears WR in Underwater 50 Meter Swim

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 27

November 28th, 2012 Masters, News

Jordie Proffitt, a former college swimmer who swam two years at Alabama before transferring to USC in 2003, has broken the World Record for a 50-meter swim underwater in a 25 meter course, according to the Henderson, Kentucky newspaper the Gleaner.

This record is different from the official ones we see in Finswimming record books as Proffitt did it without any sort of fins in 27.86. That destroyed the old World Record that was set in 2008 by Andrew Vonasch in 32.68. Vonasch was a former swimmer at Ponoma College.

Proffitt did his swim at Louisville’s pool in a masters meet; the tactic is not legal in standard competitive swimming, but this particular record is kept by Guinness so they could still ratify it. It will not be official until that happens.

Editor’s note: swimming 50 meters underwater can potentially be dangerous – we recommend that you seek medical and professional advice before attempting.

Of course, swim fans will remember the famous 23.10 underwater 50 set by Texas swimmer Hill Taylor in a 2008 meet, and that was done in long course meters. It’s not clear whether, when completely submerged, having a turn is as much of an advantage as it would be in standard swimming, but one would imagine that Taylor could have cleared 27 seconds if he attempted this in a short course pool. See the video of Taylor’s swim below, called by our own Garrett McCaffrey back in the FloSwimming days.


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jeff gustavson

Should be an Olympic event


They used to have underwater swimming in the Olympics around like 1900 but it was so terrible to watch that they got rid of it

I’ve seen Ryan Lochte go a 23.5 in a 50 LC underwater. This was done in warm up the day before the 2011 Austin Grand Prix.


32.6 was the world record? someone should have told me, that must have been the easiest world record to break in the universe!


Underwater turns are pretty slow, but that still would have been an easy record to break.

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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