2017 MEN’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
- Wednesday, March 22 – Saturday, March 25
- IUPUI Natatorium – Indianapolis, IN
- Prelims 10AM/Finals 6PM (Eastern Time)
- Defending Champion: Texas (results)
- Championship Central
- Psych Sheet
- Live stream: Wednesday/Thursday Prelims & Finals, Friday/Saturday Prelims / Friday/Saturday finals on ESPN3
- Event Previews
- Live Results
- Thursday Morning Heat Sheet
It’s been a wild ride for Texas’s Clark Smith. But he ends his collegiate 500 free career with the sweetest redemption story imaginable: returning to the top of the NCAA with the fastest swim in history.
Smith went out in incredibly gutsy fashion and held on over a brutal field, going 4:08.42 to break American, NCAA and U.S. Open records in the event.
Peter Vanderkaay held all of those records from a pair of swims. His 2006 swim of 4:08.60 was the NCAA and meet record, while his 4:08.54 from 2008 held American and U.S. Open records. Those records stood for 11 and 9 years, respectively, before Smith finally got to them.
Smith, of course, has his own history with chasing the record. As a blue-chip freshman, he missed NCAAs entirely for Texas. But as a sophomore, he broke out in historic fashion, winning the NCAA title in 4:09.72. The next year, he went 4:08.82 to rattle the record midseason, then bombed out at NCAAs to finish 21st and miss finals entirely.
But as a senior, Smith found redemption, going 4:08.42 to break all of the records and conclude his collegiate career – in this event at least – on top.
In the same race, his teammate Townley Haas moved up to a tie for #4 all-time and Michigan freshman Felix Auboeck also jumped into the top 10:
Top 10 Performers All-Time In 500y Free