WATCH: Haas Blasts 4:08.1 NCAA Record in 500 Free

2019 MEN’S NCAA SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Behind an unfathomable 1:35.69 opening 200, Texas senior Townley Haas hung on over the final 200 yards, to narrowly clip former teammate Clark Smith‘s NCAA Record to win his third career 500 yard freestyle title in 4:08.19.  Haas wasted no time off the start, blitzing the field with a 46.38 opening 100, and then recording four more 50 splits between 24.9 and 25.1 to put himself nearly three seconds under Zane Grothe‘s American & U.S. Open record pace.  By the 300 mark, he had built nearly a four second lead on the field.

Haas faded hard over the final 200, coming home in just 50.92 over the final 100, but cleared Smith’s previous record of 4:08.42.  The swim also gave Texas a much-needed 20 points in the team race.

A comparison of some of history’s top splits:

GROTHE, 2017 WINTER NATIONALS SMITH, 2017 NCAA’S HAAS, 2018 NCAA’S HAAS, 2019 NCAA’S
47.58 47.34 47.41 46.38
1:38.07 (50.50) 1:37.47 (50.13) 1:38.11 (50.70) 1:35.69 (49.31)
2:28.39 (50.31) 2:27.44 (49.97) 2:29.02 (50.91) 2:25.70 (50.01)
3:18.07 (49.68) 3:18.30 (50.86) 3:19.77 (50.75) 3:17.27 (51.57)
4:07.25 (49.18) 4:08.42 (50.12) 4:08.60 (48.83) 4:08.19 (50.92)

The clear difference was in Haas’ front-end speed over the other top swims in history, but Grothe legendary enduring and closing stroke rate were enough to keep the American and U.S. Open record.

Haas’ third title puts him in rare company as just the fifth swimmer to win at least three 500 freestyles at NCAA’s, and the first since Artur Wojdat won four in the early ’90s.

Notably, Sean Grieshop of California moved into the 15 performers in history with his 4:10.29 second place effort.

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Dan
3 years ago

Haas being 2:00 at the 250 is just insane! While +8 on the back half might not be text book, I think his aggressive front half will help redefine what is possible for other guys down the road. So fun to watch!

Longhorn
3 years ago

Just an amazing swim to watch. He’s fantastic.

PsychoDad
3 years ago

Great win by a Longhorn and great swim and second place for a suposed-to-be-a-Longhorn. Oh, yeah, by the way, Artur Wojdat was an Iowa Hawkeye. Watching Woydat was my introduction to college swimming afterI landed in Iowa City in 1989. God, I am so old.

Mr Piano
3 years ago

He took it out way too fast

Drewbrewsbeer
Reply to  Mr Piano
3 years ago

And finished way too fast

Eagleswim
Reply to  Mr Piano
3 years ago

He broke the NCAA record…

mcmflyguy
Reply to  Mr Piano
3 years ago

seems the strat worked for him…

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Mr Piano
3 years ago

he bought Team Usa back from a deficit last Year at Pan Pacs on that insane 800 free relay ….and he was out very fast if i remember well .

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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