Bobby Finke continues to impress in distance events

Nearly six months after shattering the American record in the 1,650 freestyle, Florida’s Bobby Finke had another eye-opening performance, this time in the 800 free. 

Last weekend at North Shore pool, Finke had the spotlight by winning the 800 in 7 minutes, 51.66 seconds, a time that places the former Countryside standout as the third-fastest among Americans in the event year. 

Top American times in the 800 this season

1. Jordan Wilimovsky 7:49.76

2. Zane Grothe 7:51.53

3. Bobby Finke 7:51.66

* Information provided by SwimSwam

And to think that is the only third-fastest time Finke has ever recorded in the 800. He went 7:47.58 and 7:51.45 in the past two U.S. Nationals. 

Before the shutdown, Finke (featured photo above courtesy of University of Florida Athletic Association) was off to a blistering start this year. In February, Finke repeated as champion in the 1650 freestyle at the SEC championships in 14:12.08. That time shattered the conference, NCAA and American records in the event. 

In fact, Finke beat the previous NCAA record (14:22.41) by more than 10 seconds and the American record (14:18.25) by more than six seconds. 

Finke, who won a combined four individual state titles with the Cougars from 2016-17, is used to turning heads on the national stage. 

Two years ago at the Phillips 66 National Championships, Finke took second in the 1500 free in 14 minutes, 55.34 seconds, the second-fastest time ever recorded then in the 17-18 age group. He also was third in the 800 free (7:51.45) at the national meet. 

Both times were then personal bests for Finke. He also became the 18-under national champion in the 800 and 1500 by placing the highest among his age group in both events.