Swimming

LIVEBARN Race of the Week: Closing Speed Carries McFadden to Comeback Win in 200 Free

At last week’s Pro Swim Series stop in Knoxville, Tennessee, 17-year-old Henry McFadden stunned the field with his closing speed on the final length of the men’s 200-meter freestyle final.

The Stanford commit and Jersey Wahoos standout turned in fourth place nearly a second behind Olympic finalist Kieran Smith with 50 meters to go, but he overcame that deficit thanks to a 26.66 split that sealed a huge comeback victory in 1:47.23. McFadden knocked a full second off his best time from last summer’s Junior Nationals, becoming the third-fastest 17-year-old American ever in the event behind Luca Urlando (1:46.51) and Maxime Rooney (1:47.10).

This is your LIVEBARN Race of the Week because it only took McFadden one length of the pool to prove we have been severely underrating him. His closing 50 would be competitive in any final in the world (with a different set of opening splits), giving the U.S. hope for the future of this event on the international stage. The U.S. needs a new talent to push the American front in the 200 free with David Popovici resetting the bar in the 1:42 range, and it just might have found the guy.

Ranked only as a “Best of the Rest” recruit last year in the high school class of 2023, McFadden has likely been overlooked, but probably not for much longer if he keeps clocking times like this.

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