Swimming

Leon Marchand Blasts 1:48.20 200 Breast For 2nd Individual Title, #2 All-Time

2022 NCAA DIVISION I MEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

Arizona State University freshman Leon Marchand defeated a loaded 200 breaststroke field, including the defending NCAA Champion Max McHugh, to win his 2nd individual NCAA title of the weekend. Marchand’s time (1:48.20) marks him as the fastest freshman in NCAA history, and also moves him up to become the 2nd-fastest performer in history, only behind Will Licon‘s NCAA/American Record (1:47.91) from 2017.

Marchand dropped over 2 full seconds from his prelims time, which was a personal best up until is finals performance. Marchand becomes the 10th athlete in history, and the only non-American, to break 1:50 in the 200 breast.

TOP 10 ALL-TIME PERFORMANCES – 200 BREAST:

Will Licon (Texas) – 1:47.91 (2017)
Leon Marchand (ASU) – 1:48.20 (2022)
Reece Whitley (Cal) – 1:48.53 (2020)
Max McHugh (Minnesota) – 1:48.76 (2022)
Kevin Cordes (Arizona) – 1:48.66 (2014)
Andrew Seliskar (Cal) – 1:48.70 (2021)
Matt Fallon (Penn) – 1:49.03 (2022)
Cody Miller (Sandpipers) – 1:49.31 (2017)
Josh Prenot (Cal) – 1:49.38 (2016)
Ian Finnerty (Indiana) – 1:49.90 (2019)

TOP 10 ALL-TIME FRESHMAN PERFORMANCES – 200 BREAST:

Leon Marchand (ASU) – 1:48.20 (2022)
Matt Fallon (Penn) – 1:49.03 (2022)
Max McHugh (Minnesota) – 1:49.41 (2019)
Reece Whitley (Cal) – 1:50.62 (2019)
Josh Matheny (Indiana) – 1:50.65 (2022)
Anton McKee (Alabama) – 1:51.59 (2014)
Ron Polonsky (Stanford) – 1:51.73 (2022)
Carles Coll Marti (VT) – 1:51.84 (2021)
Kevin Cordes (Arizona) – 1:51.97 (2012)
Caspar Corbeau (Texas) – 1:52.06 (2019)

Marchand was out conservatively, hitting the 50-yard mark at 24.67 in the 3rd-place position. Marchand built throughout the race, focusing on his back-end and propulsive underwater pullouts as he has throughout these Championships. Marchand overtook McHugh at the finish with his monstrous 28.32 last 50, compared to McHugh’s 29.20.

Comparative Splits – Licon (2017) vs. Marchand (2022):

Will Licon (Texas) – 2017 NCAA Championships
Leon Marchand (ASU) – 2022 NCAA Championships

24.23
24.67

27.19
27.34

27.99
27.87

28.50
28.32

1:47.91
1:48.20

Fastest Freshman Comparative Splits – Fallon (2022) vs. Marchand (2022):

Marchand passed Matt Fallon (Penn) to become the fastest freshman ever. Fallon’s race strategy focuses on a conservative front-half with an aggressive back-half. Fallon’s back-100 (55.23) in Prelims was significantly faster than Marchand’s tonight (56.19), but Marchand had the easy front-end speed that allowed him to stay ahead of Fallon in the finals.

Matt Fallon (Penn) – 2022 NCAA Championships (Prelims)
Leon Marchand (ASU) – 2022 NCAA Championships

25.41
24.67

28.39
27.34

27.13
27.87

28.10
28.32

1:49.03
1:48.20

Marchand’s last 50 in the finals was the fastest in the field, including Fallon (28.44), who’s known for his finishing speed in the 200 breast. In prelims, Fallon brought his 200 home in a blazing 28.10. Tonight, Fallon ran out of room to charge Marchand and McHugh, finishing 3rd (1:49.16), just off his personal best time from the prelims (1:49.03). Marchand’s last 50 was also faster than Licon’s record-pace (28.50), highlighting Marchand’s ability to close with aggression.

The 19-year old has had quite the weekend, amassing 57 individual points for the Sun Devils. In his first individual event at an NCAA Championships, Marchand won the 200 IM (1:37.69) and broke nearly every record in the books, shattering Caeleb Dressel‘s 1:38.13 from the 2018 SEC Championships. He also placed 2nd in the 400 IM (3:34.08), and swam legs on ASU’s 800 free relay (5th), 200 free relay (6th), 400 medley relay (8th), and is expected to swim on their 400 free relay later in the session.

Marchand and LSU’s Brooks Curry are the only two swimmers to win two individual NCAA titles this weekend. Curry, who won an Olympic Gold Medal as a part of the United State’s 400 free relay in Tokyo, won the 50 (18.56) and 100 (40.84) freestyle events this weekend in Atlanta.

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