Making his move in the final 50 meters in the 400-meter freestyle at the Arena Pro Swim Series in Indianapolis, Indiana, on March 2, Boulder City graduate Zane Grothe edged out Great Britain’s James Guy with a time of 3:48.14.
Trailing Guy nearly the entire race, Grothe was able to pick up his intensity in the final stretch, giving him confidence moving forward over his Great Britain counterpart.
“James is a great competitor, always someone who makes it tough on me,” said Grothe, who graduated high school in 2010 and competes for the Badger Swim Club in Westchester County, New York. “I know what he’s capable of and how he moves in the water. I kept my eye on him the whole race, waiting to see if he was going to make a final move. In the last 50 meters, I was fortunate enough to make one and come out with a victory.”
Moving up to third in the world after the race, Grothe said he is excited to start the new season off strong.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been ranked so high this early,” Grothe said. “It definitely gives me a little more momentum heading into my next races, but I’m aware of how our sport works. Rankings fluctuate throughout the season depending on when different countries hold their meets. I’m just focused on finishing as high as I can at the end of the season.”
Additionally, he became the 10th fastest performer of all time in the 1,650-meter freestyle and No. 7 in the 1,000-yard freestyle, with times of 14:29.05 and 8:43.00, respectively, at the 2017 Senior Metropolitan Winter Championships on Long Island, New York, in February. His time in the 1,000-yard freestyle was a personal best, shaving 3 seconds off his previous record.
His time in the 1,650-meter freestyle bumped two-time Olympic gold medalist Tom Dolan to 11th overall.
Crediting his intense training regime for his success, Grothe was pleased with his recent performances, stating it makes the hard days all worth it.
“Training is never easy, but it’s all worth it when you come out on top,” he said. “I started out slow this last training session but really picked up the intensity toward the end. It’s a promising feeling when all of your hard work is rewarded. It makes it a lot easier to get back to work and do it all over again.”
Looking to get back into the pool as quickly as possible, Grothe said he is excited about finishing the rest of the Arena Pro Swim Series tour that will make stops in Mesa, Arizona (Apr. 13-15), Atlanta, Georgia (May 4-7), and Santa Clara, California (June 1-4). He’s hopeful that, at the conclusion of the tour, he’ll be ready to give it his best efforts at the Phillips 66 National Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana, to be held June 27-July 1.
“The national championship will be a big race for me,” Grothe said. “All the training we’re doing, the work we’re putting in, leads up to that moment. I just have to stay consistent in the pool and come out with good times. I’m going to keep pushing myself this spring.”
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.