arena Swim of the Week: Ethan McCormac Drops Massive PB, Marist Record In 200 Free

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Disclaimer: Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The Swim of the Week is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

Marist College won the men’s 800 free relay by a razor-thin margin during the opening night of action at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Championships on Wednesday, and a big part of that victory was due to the breakout performance from Ethan McCormac.

McCormac, a graduate senior, led Marist off in a time of 1:36.55, knocking more than three seconds off his personal best time in the 200 free and shattering a nine-year-old program record.

The East Hampton, N.Y., native came into the meet with a lifetime best of 1:39.92, set at the 2022 MAAC Championships, and didn’t even race the event at last year’s meet, splitting 1:39.33 on the Marist 800 free relay that finished 2nd to Niagara.

Split Comparison

McCormac, 2022 McCormac, 2024
22.98 22.09
48.30 (25.32) 46.08 (23.99)
1:14.43 (26.13) 1:10.74 (24.66)
1:39.92 (25.49) 1:36.55 (25.81)

McCormac’s aggression over the first 100 saw him flip just over a second outside of his 100 free flat start best of 44.78, and although he faded on the last 50, he held on enough to launch Marist into a big lead in the race.

Fairfield came close, but ultimately it was Marist winning the event in a time of 6:33.81, obliterating the school record of 6:36.76 they set last season.

In terms of the 200 free school record, McCormac’s swim knocked off the previous mark of 1:37.49 set by Ryan Murphy—not the Olympic champion but a multi-time MAAC champion—in 2015.

Split Comparison

Murphy, 2015 McCormac, 2024
22.40 22.09
47.17 (24.77) 46.08 (23.99)
1:12.33 (25.16) 1:10.74 (24.66)
1:37.49 (25.16) 1:36.55 (25.81)

Murphy also set his school record leading off the Marist 800 free relay at the MAAC Championships, with that 2015 team going on to take 2nd to Rider.

McCormac neared his PB en route to placing 7th in the 50 free last night (20.38), and ended up scratching the 200 free individually on Friday morning, instead grabbing the top seed in the 100 fly with a massive lifetime best of 47.94.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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