Matthew Hirschberger Negative-Splits His Way to National Age Group Record in 500 Free

16-year old Matthew Hirschberger from the Nation’s Capital Swim Club (NCAP) has broken his 2nd National Age Group Record of the weekend at the NCSA Spring National Championships.

Hirschberger swam a 4:16.43 on Wednesday morning in prelims of the men’s 500 yard free. That breaks the 4:16.59 that was done by Sean Grieshop in 2014 that stood as the old 15-16 standard.

Hirschberger’s splits:

  • 50.37
  • 52.65
  • 52.06
  • 50.86
  • 50.49

He not only negative-split this race, but he negative-split it by over two seconds.

Comparing that pacing to what Grieshop did at Winter Juniors in December, his first 250 was done in 2:06.9 – more than two seconds better to start than what Hirschberger did. But, whereas Grieshop closed in a 2:09-mid, Hirschberger closed in a 2:07-low. His last 200 yards was an astounding 1:41.3.

In finals, this race becomes a 400 meter long course free, where the 15-16 record is 3:50.68. Hirschberger’s best is 3:56.27.

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9 years ago

O.O I can’t even…

9 years ago

It seems safe to say that Hirschberger will take down Jack Conger’s independent school record (4:13.87) in the 500 at next year’s Metros meet (the same meet where Conger set the record).

Reply to  Springbrook
9 years ago

Springbrook as in the MCPS school? I swam at BCC a few years back.

Metros has had a ridiculous history in the 500. I was there when Ziegler set the national high school record in the 500. Then Ledecky creamed it*

If both Conger and Hirschberger manage to break national high school 500 records at Metros, just… wow.

*Interestingly, going back to 2000, Yuri Sugiyama, who coached Ledecky up to 2012, set the men’s Metros record in the 500 with a 4:30.

Reply to  fatsmcgee
9 years ago

Didn’t know about Yuri’s record, but yes, the proof is here:

Amusingly, he broke the 500 record by nearly five seconds. But today his time wouldn’t even be the girls’ record (thanks to Ledecky, of course).

9 years ago

Can’t wait to see what happens in finals in LCM. Sub 3:50 is certainly within his capability, especially in a finals swim with that kind of closing power.

bobo gigi
9 years ago

2 out of 2 for Matthew Hirschberger.
Congrats to him and also congrats to his coach Bruce Gemmell.
It must help a lot to train with the best distance female swimmer ever and to be inspired by the best distance female swimmer ever. While it must also help Katie Ledecky to train with fast boys like Matthew Hirschberger.

9 years ago

I don’t even know what to do with this one…


I dunno. Hulk confused.

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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