Freshman Robert Finke Swims 5th-Best Men’s Mile in History

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 8

February 23rd, 2019 College, News, SEC

2019 SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

University of Florida freshman Robert Finke lived up to all of the hype he had coming into his collegiate career. The US National Teamer swam a 14:23.01 on Saturday in the men’s mile, which crushed the SEC Meet Championship Record by 12 seconds, very-nearly broke the NCAA Record, and goes down as the 5th-fastest performance in history.

The old SEC Meet record was a 14:35.47 set by Georgia’s Sebastian Roualt in 2006. The previous 4 best times in NCAA history were all done in the same final at the 2017 NCAA Championships. The American Record of 14:18.25 was done by Zane Grothe in December of 2017: after the end of his college career.

All-Time Best Performances, Men’s 1650 Yard Free:

  1. Zane Grothe, 14:18.25 – 2017 (Post-NCAA career)
  2. Clark Smith, 14:22.41 – 2017
  3. Felix Auboeck, 14:22.88 – 2017
  4. Akaram Mahmoud, 14:22.99 – 2017
  5. Robert Finke, 14:23.01 – 2019
  6. Jordan Wilimovsky, 14:23.45 – 2017
  7. Connor Jaeger, 14:23.52 – 2014 (Post-NCAA career)
  8. Martin Grodzki, 14:24.08 – 2012
  9. Chad La Tourette, 14:24.35 – 2012
  10. Anton Ipsen, 14:24.43 – 2018 (last year’s NCAA Champion)

Finke won the race by 25 seconds over his fellow highly-touted Florida freshman Trey Freeman, who took 2nd in 14:48.69.

Finke’s previous best time was a 14:37.49 done at the 2018 Florida Spring Senior Champs when he was still in high school. Freeman’s previous best was a 14:59.33 from the 2016 Speedo Winter Junior Champs, so his result was a big time drop as well.

Stunningly, Finke’s time is still not the fastest ever by a freshman. That belongs to Michigan’s Felix Auboeck, who swam 14:22.88 at the 2017 NCAA Championships, just getting out-touched by Clark Smith. Auboeck, however, was already 20 years old by the end of his freshman year – much older than most freshmen.

The previous best time by a freshman (since at least 2007-2008, as far back as the NCAA database goes) was a 14:33.55 done by Stanford’s Chad LaTourette in 2009.

Finke split 8:41.80 at the 1000, which is just off the 8:40.47 that Grothe split in his record-breaking swim. Only 3 1000 yard freestyles to the hand have been faster than Finke’s 1000 yard split.

Finke is a member of the USA Swimming National Team and represented America at the 2017 World Championships in the long course equivalent: the 1500 meter free. He finished 21st.

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William Wallace

Awesome

Daniel Jablonski

Robert Finke is absolutely a scy swimmer, can’t wait to see what he can do at NCAAs.

Rocky

Lets not disregard the 14:55 LCM mile either…

Peyton

He went 14:48 in PanPacs last year.

Caleb

Hi Peyton

Superfan

I think he was inferring that Funke could only do LCM!

Fred Lewis

Robert Finke did not attend the 2016 Speedo Winter Championships. Robert has not attended a Junior National Meet, since he made his first Senior National Qualifying Time.

Coach

I think it’s just a mis-print, and should have read “Freeman’s”

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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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