Smith Smashes American, NCAA Records In the 1000 Free

Robert Gibbs contributed to this report.

Two days after coming within a fraction of a second of breaking the American and NCAA Records in the 500 free, Texas Longhorn Clark Smith finally put his stamp on the record book.  In the 1650 freestyle at the Texas Invite, Smith was going for the 1000 split, with an eye on the American and NCAA records. He ended up shattering both of them, coming in at 8:33.93, well clear of the American record of Erik Vendt (8:36.49) and the NCAA record of Michael McBroom (8:43.48).

Smith’s final time in the race was 15:41.16.

Earlier this evening, the Texas Men’s Swim & Dive social media announced that Smith would be going for the mark, and he did not disappoint.  He went out in 4:14.4 at the 500 mark, then swam the second 500 in roughly 4:19.5, before  taking it much easier over the final 650 yards to finish in 15:41.16.  Matthew Hutchins of Wisconsin went onto win the 1650 in 14:38.14

Vendt had set the previous American (and US Open) record in January 2008 at the Southern California Grand Prix, sixth months before he earned an Olympic gold medal swimming in the heats of the 4×200 free relay in Beijing.

A former Longhorn, McBroom, had owned the NCAA record since February, 2013.  He still has the American record in both the long course and short course versions of the the 800m freestyle, with the LCM record coming from the 2013 World Championships and the short course from the 2013 Duel in the Pool.

Smith is the reigning NCAA champion in the 500 free, but didn’t swim the mile at last year’s NCAA championships, instead swimming the 200 fly on the final day of competition.  He made the A-final in that event, but disqualified in the evening session.  Texas has plenty of depth in both events.  At last year’s NCAA championships, fellow Longhorns Joseph Schooling and Jack Conger finished first and second in the 200 fly.  Sam Lewis finished 9th in the 1650, and freshman Townley Haas‘s 14:41.09 from this evening would have been the fourth-fastest time at the national championships last season.

According to the official Longhorns writeup, Smith said after the race, “It’s a stepping stone to where I want to be.  It definitely sets me up well going into the NCAA Championships later on.  I’ll probably try the mile at the Big 12 Championships and work my way up.”

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5 years ago

Never thought I would see 8:33 in my lifetime. Looked easy. Congrats Clark!

Swim fan
5 years ago

Impressive swim!! I think it will be a close race for the distance events at trials! Go Clark

David Berkoff
5 years ago

I hope he can translate these swims equally to LCM. I know Eddie thinks
Clark is the real deal. Love to see him really put on a show on Omaha.

Reply to  David Berkoff
5 years ago

I know this is a bit off, but could you tell me some tips on how to improve dolphin kick? (some sets maybe). Thank you david.

5 years ago

Looking at the splits, it appears that Clark cooled down for about 300 yards, then started hauling again. And his splits started hitting the clock right around the same time as Townley Haas, just two lanes over, at least for a few 50’s.

Not saying this happened, but I think Clark might have helped push his freshman teammate to an NCAA A-cut just a few minutes after smashing that record. If so, holy cow, that’s insane to think about.

Regardless of my little theory there being correct, Clark is an amazing swimmer, and i can’t wait to see him do more amazing things. Hopefully the magic continues this summer!

Reply to  Paul
5 years ago

It looks like he paced him around his teammates 1500 mark and kept up for 75 yards – great theory.

5 years ago

I had doubts about smith being able to break PVK’s record in the 500 but dang was I wrong he averaged a 4:16.50 I have no doubts he’s going to smash the 500 free record

5 years ago


5 years ago

I said it on another post, but Mr. Smith might be one the US’s best weapons to go after Paltinieri. Smashing swim.

5 years ago

Wow congrats! Not to be weird-But if anyone knows Clark please ask him to get his thyroid checked. It appears extremely large in this picture. Thank you- a concerned nurse

Reply to  Colleen
5 years ago

Are you sure that you aren’t looking at his Adam’s apple?

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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