NOVA’s Nathan Szobota Drops 4:18.38 in the 500 Free, Fastest 15-Year-Old of All-Time


After clocking a 8:50.44 in the 1000 freestyle to become the fastest 15-year-old in history the other night, Nathan Szobota was at it again in the 500 freestyle, topping the all-time rankings in another event.

Szobota won the event in a time of 4:18.38, cutting nearly two seconds off of his best time of 4:20.09 that he posted during the prelims session. Prior to this weekend, the Nova of Virginia swimmer’s best time stood at 4:22.48. 

With his swim, Szobota is now the fastest 15-year-old in history in the event, surpassing current Florida star Trey Freeman, who swam a 4:18.82 at Winter Junior Nationals back in 2015. His swim also ranks him 9th all-time in the 15-16 age group, just behind swimming legend Michael Phelps. Drew Kibler holds the 15-16 National Age Group Record with his 4:15.36 from the 2016 Winter Junior Nationals meet.

Splits Comparison: 

Nathan Szobota – 2023 NCSA Championships (New Record)
Trey Freeman – 2015 Junior Nationals (Previous Record)
100 Split (100 yd) 49.68 48.91
100 Split (200 yd) 52.89 52.85
100 Split (300 yd) 52.67 53.02
100 Split (400 yd) 51.89 52.9
100 Split (500 yd) 51.25 51.14
Total Time 4:18.38 4:18.82

Though Szobota took the race out almost a second slower than Freeman, he quickly made up the difference, nearly matching Freeman’s split in the second 100 and then going almost a second and a half faster than Freeman over the next 200 meters. The biggest difference came on the fourth 100 of the race, where Szobota split over a second faster than Freeman.

In addition to Szobota becoming the fastest 15-year-old of all time in the event, Long Island Aquatic Club 15-year-old Sean Green also established himself as one of the fastest swimmers of his age in the event. Finishing second, Green swam a time of 4:20.41, which ranks as the 5th fastest swim of all-time among 15-year-olds. His time also ranks 28th all-time in the 15-16 age group. 

Top 5 All-Time Men’s 15-year-old 500 Free SCY 

  1. Nathan Szobota – 4:18.38 (2023)
  2. Trey Freeman – 4:18.82 (2015)
  3. Norvin Clontz – 4:19.43 (2022)
  4. Maximus Williamson – 4:19.82 (2022)
  5. Sean Green – 4:20.41 (2023)


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1 year ago

How tall is this kid? He looks like a 13-14 in the photo.

Splash Kingdom
Reply to  Hank
1 year ago

5′ 1.5″

short king

boat lover
Reply to  Splash Kingdom
1 year ago

good try, he is actually 7 foot! crazy!

nathan rizzota’s biggest fan
Reply to  Hank
1 year ago

he’s 14 1/2 on a good day

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

Nicole has been with SwimSwam since April 2020, as both a reporter and social media contributor. Prior to joining the SwimSwam platform, Nicole also managed a successful Instagram platform, amassing over 20,000 followers. Currently, Nicole is pursuing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. After competing for the swim …

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