Georgia’s Martin Grodzki has broken the NCAA and U.S. Open Records in the mile free on the final night of the 2012 Men’s NCAA Swimming Championship. I’m not sure that anybody saw this swim coming – the old mark of 14:26.62 held by Michigan’s Chris Thompson had stood since 2001, and withstood attacks from a lot of very good distance swimmers. But Grodzki obliterated it with a 14:24.08, which is the fastest mile in history.
Grodzki and Stanford’s Chad la Tourette (14:24.35) both were under the old mark, and the pair pushed each other the whole way. They didn’t look like they were swimming a 1650 in this race, rather it looked more like a sprint for both men with unbelievable speed. When they were coming home and the clock was only reading 14:10, I couldn’t believe it, and thought for a moment maybe the bell-ringer made an error. This was one of the best mile battles you’ll ever see.
When looking at the comparative splits, it’s the third 500 that was clearly the difference makers for this pair. La Tourette’s mark goes down as the American record.
Here’s the comparative splits by 500:
Thompson ’01: 4:21.46 – 4:22.7 – 4:26.4 – 1:16.1
LaTourette ’12: 4:21.18 – 4:23.20 – 4:23.5 – 1:16.5
Grodzki ’12: 4:20.70 – 4:23.89 – 4:22.5 – 1:17.0