Chris Swanson graduated Tampa (Florida) Jesuit High School in 2012. He then went on to the University of Pennsylvania to swim for the Quakers. Starting with his freshman year, he has made an impact on the swim team at Penn.
Swanson won the Ivy League 1650 with a 15:02.11 which also earned him First team All-Ivey. He set Penn records in the 500 (4:21.82), 1000 (9:01.40) and the 1650 (15:02.11) freestyles.
Earned All-American Honorable mention honors in the 1650 free with a time of 14:49.63 by placing 9th at NCAA Championships. He set new Penn records in the same three events, swimming a 4:18.31, 8:53.02 and 14:49.63 respectively.
As a Junior, Swanson, set new Penn Records once again in the 500 (4:17.53), 1000 (8:49.55) and 1650 (14:43.87). The 500 and 1000 were also new Ivy League Records and as well as his 1650 free 14:45.12. All three also earned him All-Ivy first team selections, and Ivy League Championship High Point winner. He was again names All-American Honorable Mention in the 1650 free at NCAA Championships with an 11th place finish and time of 14:50.66.
Most people in the swimming community have heard of Swanson’s epic finish in the 1650 at NCAA Championships, swimming the final 50 yards in 24.38 and overcoming 3 seconds to overtake 2nd place finisher Akaram Mahmoud with a stunning 14:31.54. Having come into Penn as freshman with a time of 15:02.11, Swanson has dropped 30 seconds in 4 years. The first place finish was the first ever for a Penn Swimmer, and the first Ivy League Swimmer since Olympian David Berkoff won the 100 Back in 1989.