Jake Magahey Upsets for the 500 Free NCAA Title, Breaks Meet Record – 4:07.97


  • When: Wednesday, March 24 – Saturday, March 27, 2021
  • Where: Greensboro Aquatic Center / Greensboro, NC (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Prelims 10 AM/ Finals 6 PM (Local Time)
  • Short course yards (SCY) format
  • Defending champion: Cal (1x) – 2019 results
  • Streaming:
  • Championship Central
  • Psych Sheets
  • Live Results

Georgia freshman Jake Magahey proved that his 500 free 4:06 performance at 2021 SECs was no fluke, again coming from behind and sailing to the NCAA title tonight.

Magahey’s time of 4:07.97 wasn’t a lifetime best, off of the 4:06.71 he swam at SECs, but it was enough to take down Townley Haas‘s meet record of 4:08.19. Haas swam that in 2019, at the last NCAA Championships, to win the title.

The race tonight saw Cal’s Trenton Julian and Texas’s Drew Kibler lunge out to huge leads early on, but into the final 100, Magahey and NCAA/American/U.S. Open record-holder Kieran Smith started to make their move.

Magahey broke through, snatching the lead at the 450 mark, and despite a furious 23.27 final 50 from Smith, the Bulldog rookie held on for the win.

The race tonight was quite different from what we saw at SECs a month ago, when Smith shot out to the lead with a 1:35 first 200, and it looked like an easy win for him until Magahey pulled up over the past 150 or so. That’s how Smith swam it at 2020 SECs, too, when he first set all of the records; he was out 1:37.0, ahead of the field, and then kept piling it on the rest of the race.

Tonight, Smith cruised early, ultimately waiting too long to make his move. He was .99 faster tonight in his final 50 than he was holding off Magahey at 2021 SECs.

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1 year ago

Interesting strategy differences.

Fifth 100:

Trent Julian — :51.64
Kieran Smith — :47.84

And between them, the freshman winner at :48.86.

Pretty fun. Congratulations, Jake!!!

1 year ago

Glad I picked him for the upset

GA Boy
1 year ago

Jake’n’bake! Trademark pending*

1 year ago

Strangest race ever

1 year ago

Interesting race of tactics and the Frosh wins! Who got this right?

GA Fan
Reply to  Austinpoolboy
1 year ago


Reply to  Austinpoolboy
1 year ago


About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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