Zane Grothe Smashes American Record in 500 Free To Break 4:08 For First Time

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Last year, Clark Smith said the American Record was soft after he broke Peter Vanderkaay’s 11-year-old American Record with a 4:08.42 at the NCAA Championships. Tonight, Zane Grothe swimming post grad at Indiana University smashed the American Record with a 4:07.25 for the fastest swim ever in the event.

Grothe, 25, made his World Championship debut this past summer in Budapest where he finished in the top eight in the 400 and 800 freestyles. Grothe has been rapidly improving and flying under the radar ever since he joined the post grad group at Indiana.

This is a bit of a shock as Grothe’s best was a 4:12.98 from the 2015 OKC Elite Pro-Am in December of that year. Grothe’s time moves past Smith’s as the fastest in history and is the first swimmer under 4:08 in the event.

The Indiana post grads are already off to a flying start at the AT&T Winter Nationals as Grothe joins fellow Auburn grad Ashley Neidigh as national champions in the 500. Neidigh also had a big drop earlier tonight when she dropped five seconds to win the 500.

Grothe used a solid back half to move past Mitch D’Arrigo who had a stellar swim himself with a 4:10.78. Marwan El-Kamash (4:16.10), Marcelo Acosta (4:16.35), Brayden Seal (4:19.37), Nick Hogsed (4:20.43), Max Irwin (4:22.24) and Din Selmanovic (4:22.65) also swam in the A-final.

This is also the first time the American Record in the event will not be a 4:08 since Chad Carvin swam a 4:11.59 in March 1994 and Tom Dolan broke it the next year with a 4:08.75.

Smith’s splits:

  • 22.68
  • 47.34 (24.66)
  • 1:12.37 (25.03)
  • 1:37.47 (25.10)
  • 2:02.43 (24.96)
  • 2:27.44 (25.01)
  • 2:52.86 (25.42)
  • 3:18.30 (25.44)
  • 3:43.93 (25.63
  • 4:08.42 (24.49)

Grothe’s splits:

  • 22.65
  • 47.58 (24.93)
  • 1:12.75 (25.17)
  • 1:38.07 (25.32)
  • 2:03.15 (25.08)
  • 2:28.30 (25.24)
  • 2:53.31 (24.92)
  • 3:18.07 (24.76)
  • 3:43.19 (25.12)
  • 4:07.25 (24.06)

Photo Courtesy:


    • Keenan Handley

      That’s awesome, I can’t wait for the first person to break 4:00

  1. avatar
    Lane Four

    Is there no live stream???????

    • avatar
      Andy Ross

      USA Swimming front page, gotta scroll down a little bit to find the video player.

      • avatar
        Lane Four

        Thank you, Andy.

  2. Chris Antonini

    I went 4:03 like 20 years ago. Oh, wait. That was the 400. My bad.

  3. Bill Fleming

    Smokin! Ave. 100s under :50. What were his Splits?

    • Johnny Karnofsky

      That was what the math suggests, the article posts the splits for each 50… absolutely smoking fast…. still looking for the flames….

  4. Brad Horner

    Derek Toomey you probably know this but just in case. Flying!

  5. Mary Liston

    Nice – hard work works

  6. Josh Seaburg

    Robbie Falchi I remember you telling me about this kid 7 years ago. Insane.

  7. Jeff Evans

    I was on the same pace through 450, but got hit by Santa’s sleigh.

  8. Trisha Cheney Sauerbrei

    Great job Zane !! You make us proud and we admire your strength and determination !! Never quit !!

  9. Parker Camp

    Zane Grothe!! Congrats friend!!

  10. Tiani Kramer Mattus

    Zane I Knew you were going to do big things! Congrats and keep it going!

  11. Jim Pogue

    Congrats! Keep raising that bar.