Indiana’s Zane Grothe Scorches American Record with 4:07.2 500 Free


Indiana was on fire to open night 2 of the 2017 U.S. Winter Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. In the first men’s race of the session, Zane Grothe represented the Hoosiers’ postgrad group by scorching an American and U.S. Open Record in the 500 free. Grothe hit the wall in 4:07.25, taking over a full second off the former mark of 4:08.42 done by Texas’ Clark Smith at the 2017 NCAA Championships.

Former record holder Smith, who still holds the NCAA Record, swam the 500 free earlier today at the Texas Invitational. He led the heats with his 4:14.40, but has scratched out of tonight’s final.

Splits Comparison By 100: Zane Grothe vs. Clark Smith 500 Free

Swimmer 1st 100 Split 2nd 100 Split 3rd 100 Split 4th 100 Split 5th 100 Split Final Time
Zane Grothe (2017) 47.58 50.49 50.32 49.68 49.18 4:07.25
Clark Smith (2017) 47.34 50.13 49.97 50.86 50.12 4:08.42

Grothe battled closely with fellow U.S. National Teamer Mitch D’Arrigo of Florida through the first 350 yards. Grothe turned on the gas in the final 150, blowing away the field and creating a dominant lead down the final stretch. His final two 100 splits were both sub-50. With a 49.18 to close, Grothe cemented his status as the fastest man of all time in the event.

That was a huge best time for Grothe per the USA Swimming database, which shows his former best as a 4:12.98 from 2015. D’Arrigo wound up a few seconds back for silver in 4:10.78, while Marwan El Kamash brought in another medal for the Hoosiers with his 4:16.10 for bronze.

All-Time Top Performers: Men’s 500 Yard Freestyle

Place Swimmer Time
1 Zane Grothe 4:07.25
2 Clark Smith 4:08.42
3 Peter Vanderkaay 4:08.54
4 Tom Dolan 4:08.75
4 Townley Haas 4:08.92
6 Jean Basson 4:08.92
7 Felix Auboeck 4:08.95
8 Michael Klueh 4:09.32
9 Sebastian Rouault 4:09.48
10 Fynn Minuth 4:09.55

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Raise your hand if you saw this coming.

…put your hands down you filthy liars


Zane always comes to swim fast. It’s such a pleasure watching him. I love how he just gets after each swim? Nice swim Zane. ?


I thought he was due for something big.. I was thinking 4:09 perfect case scenario. Guess he had other plans

I’m wondering if Coley had any impact on this, and I’m thinking the IU crew is gonna keep surprising a lot of people. You guys don’t even get it Coley is mad scientist genius level.


Westphal is his coach

Notre Dame swimmer

When IU swam Notre Dame 3 weeks ago, Zane Grothe swam an exhibition 500 free during one of the breaks. I saw this man swim a 4:10, unrested and unshaved. I for sure saw this coming.

Josh Davis

That’s so awesome!! He’s a good dude too! Way to go Zane!!


Swim of the century


False start WowDamn

Sir Swimsalot

A very noteworthy swim, but we’re only almost 18 years into this century and there have been many other swims that are just as noteworthy.


Yes, but the 500 free record has been 4:08 something for over 20 years. So to take this down to the low 4:07’s is a monumental feat!


…he said, in a world where Caeleb Dressel has broken 50 in the 100m fly and Katie Ledecky has made a complete mockery of previous women’s freestyle records.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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