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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.
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|
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.
— Buttstroke Swimming ⑦ (@ButtstrokeSwim) September 23, 2022
If what Marchand did last week is any indication, we’re in for a special season from the Sun Devil.
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