Luke Hobson Crushes National Age Group Record in 500 Free with 4:09 in 500 Free


University of Texas freshman Luke Hobson has shattered his own National Age Group Record, from prelims, and become the youngest swimmer to go sub-4:10 in the 500 yard freestyle.

Swimming on Thursday at the Minnesota Invite, Hobson won the 500 free in 4:09.72. He beat out Arizona’s Brooks Fail (4:10.32), who finished 3rd at last year’s NCAA Championships.

Hobson’s record-setting prelims time was 4:12.12. That swim broke the record by the greatest swimmer in history, Michael Phelps, who swam 4:12.33 in March 2004 when he was only 17 years old.

Splits Comparison:

Hobson Hobson
Finals Record Prelims Record
50m 22.75 23.65
100m 24.77 (47.52) 25.60 (49.25)
150m 25.21 (1:12.73) 25.64 (1:14.89)
200m 25.27 (1:38.00) 25.96 (1:40.85)
250m 25.35 (2:03.35) 25.85 (2:06.70)
300m 25.19 (2:28.54) 25.53 (2:32.23)
350m 25.30 (2:53.30) 25.39 (2:57.62)
400m 25.45 (3:19.29) 25.41 (3:23.03)
450m 25.74 (3:45.03) 24.82 (3:47.85)
500m 24.69 (4:09.72) 24.27 (4:12.12)

In prelims, Hobson negative-split his 500 free, going 2:06.70-2:05.42. In finals, he went out hard, and looked like he might be on a 4:08 or even 4:07 pace, but he did fade a little more in the back-half of the race. The end result, though, was still much better thanks to that more aggressive pacing. In the evening, he split 2:03.35-2:06.37.

Hobson’s time also makes him the fourth-fastest freshman in the history of the event.

Fastest NCAA Freshmen Ever in Men’s 500 Yard Freestyle:

  1. Jake Magahey, Georgia, 2021 – 4:06.71
  2. Felix Auboeck, Michigan, 2017 – 4:08.95
  3. Townley Haas, Texas, 2016 – 4:09.00
  4. Luke Hobson, Texas, 2021 – 4:09.72
  5. Grant Shoults, Stanford, 2017 – 4:10.23

Hobson doesn’t age up until June 25, 2022, meaning that he will finish the season as a 17-18.

Hobson’s best time coming into college was a 4:16.56 from the March 2021 St. George Sectionals. Since then, he improved his best time in the 400 meter free by four seconds, peaking at 3:52.79. That time placed him 19th at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

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1 month ago

If you’re gonna break a Phelps record, you have to do it in style. And boy did Hobson deliver!

Case Chalish
1 month ago

I knew this kid was legit when I heard about his no-cap no-gogs 50 strategy. Only a matter of time until he shattered a NAG record. It’ll be interesting to see where he is come NCs.

Last edited 1 month ago by Case Chalish
Reply to  Case Chalish
1 month ago

What strategy is that?

Reply to  Khabib
1 month ago

Legend has it that the first time he wore a cap was at Texas

zyzz brah
Reply to  SwimRumors
1 month ago

Confirmed. He has never worn a cap until he “wanted to try it out” at Texas. Apparently it works

Case Chalish
Reply to  Khabib
1 month ago

For the 50 LCM he’d have a shaven head and not use goggles. Pretty cool stuff.

1 month ago

Just a thought now that MP’s 500 free NAG record finally bit the dust, I’m wondering how much longer until some American 17 or 18 year old goes sub 1:40 in the 2 IM?

Reply to  PFA
1 month ago

meh nolan’s hs record is kind of untouchable rn imo, even today it can land in top 5 at ncaa’s. it’s kind if crazy how fast that swim was at the time

1 month ago

Now I’m wondering how long David Nolan’s nag record will last?

Reply to  PFA
1 month ago

Disregard this one the system kept Saying pending.

Last edited 1 month ago by PFA
1 month ago

NCAAs is looking FAST

Mr Piano
1 month ago

Magahey went like 4:06 just after turning 19 right?

Farson coster
1 month ago

A very gnarly swim! Mad props to Hobson! Now let’s imagine if keeps the last 100 speed (prelims) at NCAAs… it will be a show! 🤯

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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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