Zane Grothe delivered his best Katie Ledecky impersonation during finals of the men’s 1,650-yard freestyle at the 2017 USA Swimming AT&t Winter Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.
Grothe immediately jumped to an early lead, continuing to build his distance not only between himself and the other swimmers, but also between himself and Clark Smith’s existing American Record of 14:22.41. At the 1,000-yard mark Grothe split an 8:40.47, making him the third fastest man in the 1,000 distance behind only Clark Smith and Erik Vendt.
The speed continued for Grothe as he propelled four, five, and six seconds ahead of the American Record splits, lapping competitors in the process.
Grothe stopped the clock at a stunning 14:18.25, establishing himself as the new American, U.S. Open, and Championship record holder.
His success at day four arrives just two days after establishing a new American Record in the 500-yard freestyle. The 25-year-old continues to establish himself as a tough competitor since his World Championship debut in Budapest, where he finished in the top eight in both the 400 and 800 freestyles.
Grothe’s 4.16 second cut from Smith’s American Record is the largest increment that the American Record has moved since Tom Dolan took the American Record from Chad Carvin in 1995. Carvin had set the record at a 14:34.91 in March of 1994, but Dolan quickly lowered it to a 14:29.31 in 1995. From there the American Record in the 1,650 free has only been lowered between a range of .83 to 2.69 seconds.