LumaLanes Performance of the Week: Clark Smith’s Record-Breaking 1650

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

This week’s Performance Of The Week, sponsored by LumaLanes, goes to University of Texas senior Clark Smith for his 1650 at the 2017 NCAA Division I Championships. In that race, Smith overcame a tight field to not only win, but come away with new American and NCAA records to become the fastest short-course miler in history. Oh, and he did it all while suffering from a groin injury from two days earlier.

Smith led the race early, leading a tight field that included Michigan’s Felix Auboeck, Northwestern’s Jordan Wilimovsky and Louisville’s Marcelo Acosta. Around the 500 mark, Michigan swimmer PJ Ransford started throwing down 25.9’s and 26 lows to take over the lead from lane 1 while South Carolina’s Akaram Mahmoud started working his way into contention from lane 8, making this a six man race for most of the middle 500.

While Ransford and Acosta faded in the last third of the race, Auboeck, Mahmoud, and Wilimovsky battled to the end, with the top four finishers all finishing under Connor Jaeger’s U.S. Open and American record of 14:23.52 to become the four fastest performers in history. While Smith came home in a ridiculous 23.75 to get a few tenths between him and Auboeck on the final 50, his face showed some obvious pain at the end of the race and he could not stand without assistance after getting out of the pool.

As any swimmer knows, the mile is one of the most grueling events in more ways than one. Not only is it the longest event on the program, but it is one of the most mentally demanding that also happens to come on the final day of a championship meet. To push through not only an injury, but also the next three fastest performers in history and come away with the victory and title fastest ever is an incredible feat.

Congratulations Clark Smith on earning Swimming World’s Performance of the Week!

Special Thanks to LumaLanes for sponsoring Swimming World’s Performance of the Week.

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