arena Swim of the Week: Marchand Caps Off Incredible Pentathlon With 46.6 100 IM

Swim of the Week is brought to you by arena, a SwimSwam partner.

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.

Given it’s an event that’s rarely raced outside of age group meets, it’s hard to contextualize how impressive Leon Marchand‘s swim in the 100-yard IM was last week.

The Arizona State sophomore dropped a time of 46.63 at the team’s intrasquad meet on Friday, which was contested as a pentathlon, where each swimmer races 100s of all four strokes before finishing off with the 100 IM.

So not only was Marchand’s time the second-fastest in history (unofficially), trailing Shaine Casas‘ 46.33 from December 2020, but it also came at the tail-end of a fast and furious 75 minutes or so where he put up eye-popping times in four other races.

Granted, Marchand is the reigning world champion in the 200 and 400 IM, so there probably isn’t a swimmer on earth better equipped for this type of competition, but still, the times he recorded were staggering.

Before swimming that 100 IM time, the 20-year-old Frenchman was at or near what it took to earn an NCAA invite in three of the four 100s—the only one he wasn’t that close to was the 100 back, where he was still only six-tenths shy.

Event Marchand’s Time 2022 NCAA Invite
100 fly 45.68 45.57
100 back 46.47 45.87
100 breast 52.00 52.20
100 free 42.53 42.34

In addition to being under the NCAA invite time last season, Marchand’s 100 breast time really jumps off the page, as 52-flat is only eight one-hundredths slower than what it took to earn a second swim at the 2022 NCAAs.

On top of that, his splitting was ridiculous: out in 25.41, back in 26.59. In last year’s 100 breast NCAA final, no one came back quicker than that—national champ Max McHugh was the fastest at 26.63.

And to finish things off, Marchand did what he did in the 100 IM. Really driving home the performance is how dynamic he was off the last turn, further distancing himself from the field with an explosive underwater.

If what Marchand did last week is any indication, we’re in for a special season from the Sun Devil.

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1 month ago

I wanna see Leon do a scy 100 free. He swam it just like Ryan Hoffer does with the kick outs to 15m in the 4×100 free relay at NCAAs

Reply to  uwk
1 month ago

:40.98(:19.55) anchoring ASU’s 4×100 Medley Relay at 2022 NCAA

Reply to  uwk
1 month ago

Particularly interesting in that SwimCloud had no recorded 100 SCY Freestyle for him before this penthalon.

1 month ago

Untapered, unshaved and so early in the season. BOOM!!!

John Hueth
1 month ago

I’m convinced that his performances are mainly responsible of coach bob bowman. If it weren’t for bob, we wouldn’t know marchand’s name yet.

Reply to  John Hueth
1 month ago

Or when we reason ridiculously : without the extraordinary Bob Bowman, Michael Phelps would still be unknown.
We can write more nuanced!

Reply to  jpm49
1 month ago

It would be like crediting an NBA coach for winning a title.

1 month ago

I for one find it absolutely hilarious that an account named “Buttstroke” broke this video and not the actual ASU Swim & Dive account.

Reply to  Observer
1 month ago

Buttstroke couldn’t even get a deck pass

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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