Luke Whitlock Becomes Youngest Male To Make Olympic Team Since 2000, Crushes 17-18 NAG


Luke Whitlock, 18, had the swim of his life in the men’s 800 freestyle final. After qualifying first for the final, Whitlock held his own against a mostly older and more experienced field. He finished second with a huge lifetime best of 7:45.19, likely earning his spot on the Paris 2024 Olympic team.

Once he’s named to the team, Whitlock will be the youngest American man to make the U.S. Olympic swimming roster since 2000, when Michael Phelps earned his berth for the Sydney Games at 15 years old.

Whitlock’s swim obliterated Larsen Jensen‘s boys’ 17-18 National Age Group Record, which had stood since the 2003 World Championships. Whitlock cut nearly three seconds off Jensen’s previous standard of 7:48.09.

It was an even bigger drop compared to Whitlock’s previous best time of 7:50.20, which he swam exactly a month ago at the Indy May Cup.

Whitlock — 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials Final Whitlock — 2024 Indy May Cup
100 55.51 56.85
200 1:53.56 (58.05) 1:56.13 (59.28)
300 2:51.92 (58.36) 2:55.84 (59.71)
400 3:50.38 (58.46) 3:55.23 (59.39)
500 4:49.18 (58.80) 4:54.54 (59.31)
600 5:48.15 (58.97) 5:53.75 (59.21)
700 6:47.27 (59.12) 6:52.97 (59.22)
800 7:45.19 (57.92) 7:50.20 (57.23)

In this race, Whitlock’s back half was noticeably impressive because he actually began to close the gap to the back-half master himself, Bobby Finke. He posted a 57.92 on the closing 100 of the race compared to Finke’s 58.53. But compared to his previous lifetime best, Whitlock did all of the damage through the first 600 meters of the race.

At the Indy Cup he held 59s through the 200 to 700 meter mark. At Olympic Trials, he was able to hold 58s all the way through 600 meters. And even though he jumped up to 59.12 on the penultimate 100, he was still faster than he was on that split back in May.

Whitlock has been on fire through the first half of the meet. He qualified first for the 400 freestyle on Day 1, where he eventually finished 5th and moved to #2 all-time in the 17-18 age group behind Jensen.

Whitlock just graduated from high school. In the fall, he’ll join a deep distance group at the University of Florida that’s full of NCAA and international stars–including Finke who is now his Olympic teammate. He still has the 1500m freestyle on the schedule for this week, where he’s seeded 7th in 15:07.94, a lifetime best he also swam at the Indy May Cup.

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1 month ago

Welp this needs to be updated now

Reply to  PFA
1 month ago

yes(I agree) – the title should be updated to inform that the 17-18 WORLD record is now within striking distance.

1 month ago

Wasn’t Aaron Peirsol 17 in 2000 when he won the Silver Medal in the 200 Back?

Go with the Flo
Reply to  MarkB
1 month ago

Yea but Phelps was younger at the same Olympics so it’s the youngest since him

1 month ago

Believe me now?

Reply to  SwimMom
1 month ago


1 month ago

Ya’ll are fast on the bio updates! Whitlock’s bio is already updated with tonight’s events

Reply to  chickenlamp
1 month ago

……you were pretty fast on checking his bio for updates

1 month ago

Will have to update tomorrow. Heilman younger

Reply to  Hiswimcoach
1 month ago

Maybe. He’s amazing, no doubt. Will see what some of the older guys do in finals. Will be a great event to watch!

1 month ago

Uh… isn’t this headline a little risky and pre-emptive? He hasn’t “made the Olympic Team”. But yes, a wonderful performance

Last edited 1 month ago by BingBopBam
Genevieve Nnaji
Reply to  BingBopBam
1 month ago

No, it’s not risky and it’s not preemptive

He is now priority #3 and there’s zero chance the priority #1 and #2 fill up the roster.

Last edited 1 month ago by Genevieve Nnaji
Reply to  Genevieve Nnaji
1 month ago

He is priority 2 not 3. Priority 3 is 5 the place in 1Fr and 2Fr

Last edited 1 month ago by JimSwim22
1 month ago

does he have a good shot now in the 1500? What a swim for him and kept it closer to Finke

Reply to  PFA
1 month ago

2nd fav imo in 1500. He looks way too good

Reply to  HeGetsItDoneAgain
1 month ago

Especially since Schubert’s latest scam “The Swim Team” has shockingly failed

Reply to  Andrew
1 month ago

The 1500 has more to do with Clark looking bad than the TST crew

Trae Young
1 month ago


About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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