WATCH: Two Boys Swim-Off 50 Free At Illinois Age Groups…and Tie Again


  • July 21 – July 24, 2022
  • Lake Central High School, St. John, IN
  • LCM (50m)
  • Results on Meet Mobile: “2022 IL LC Age Group Championships”
  • Full Meet Recap
  • Full Meet Videos

One of the most unlikely scenarios in swimming happened at the Illinois LC Age Group Championships.

Hornet Swim Club’s Luke Vatev and Nasa Wildcats’ Rohaan Babul tied for 21st in the preliminaries of the boys’ 13-14 50 freestyle, both clocking 26.85. So, they had a swim-off, which is pretty common. What is unusual though, is that when they did the swim-off, they tied again.

In the swim-off, they both swam 26.32, a personal best for both.

Watch the race below:

Since the first swim-off didn’t settle anything, they waited 15 minutes, then raced again.

This time, Vatev out-touched Babul by a tenth, 26.11 to 26.21. Both of those swims were new personal bests, bettering the marks they’d set just 15 minutes before.

In the final, Vatev finished 19th with a time of 26.78. In the 200 back, he dropped eight seconds on the day, coming into the meet with a 2:28.43 and leaving with a 2:20.22.

Babul also set new lifetime bests in the 100 free, 200 free, and 200 IM.

You can check out a full recap of the meet here.

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2 months ago

Great prep for the intensity of the IHSA state meet, what many call the best meet in the country

2 months ago

I was at a mid-Atlantic USA swimming senior meet in the Summer of 1999 (held at the F&M college pool) where two guys tied in 50 meter free swim-offs three times in a row. They got faster each time, and when they tied the third time the starter fired his gun in the air to celebrate. It was incredible – I’ll never forget it.

James Beam
2 months ago

Something the two of them will never forget! At least it wasn’t the 200 fly or 400 IM!!

2 months ago

Nice potato camera.

2 months ago

Hahahaha that’s awesome!

2 months ago

A repeat of Men’s 200 Free at the 1996 Olympics

2 months ago

Go Hornets!

About Sophie Kaufman

Sophie Kaufman

Sophie grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, which means yes, she does root for the Bruins, but try not to hold that against her. At 9, she joined her local club team because her best friend convinced her it would be fun. Shoulder surgery ended her competitive swimming days long ago, …

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