Danny Thomson

Danny Thomson Distance freestyle

Personal Life

Danny Thomson was born in Chicago on May 20th, 1993 to Laurie and Mark Thomson and competed for Hinsdale Central HS. As a Red Devil, he won the 200 yard freestyle as a junior and senior and won the 500 yard freestyle his last three years of high school at IHSA state. His 500 improved vastly, as he won his 500 title sophomore year in 4:30.14 and got down to 4:18.86 his senior year, which broke the state record. Thomson swam for the Hinsdale Swim Club and was named 2010 Illinois Breakthrough Swimmer of the Year. He is no one-trick pony; he holds four individual records at Hinsdale Central, a program which has always been very good in IHSA history. He’s the fastest Red Devil to swim the 200 yard IM and 100 yard breaststroke to go with his 200 and 500 free records. His 500 free Illinois HS state record still stands today.

College Swimming


Thomson immediately bolstered Stanford’s distance group as a freshman and finished 6th in the 500 (4:21.25) and 3rd in the 1650 yard freestyle (15:03.39) at the 2013 PAC-12 Champs. He was able to drop a ton of time at the 2013 NCAA Champs and scored big points for the Cardinal. Thomson placed 11th in the 500 (4:16.98) and 8th in the 1650 (14:49.62). Both of these swims earned him All-American honors.


As a sophomore, Thomson continued to boost a thin Stanford distance group. He was 12th in the 500 at the 2014 Pac 12 Champs, posting a B cut of 4:21.25. He swam to another B cut in the 400 IM (3:50.80) and was able to finish 13th overall, while placing 12th in the 1650 (15:22.53). Better was yet to come for the sophomore, who would go on to compete at the NCAA Champs in the 500 and mile.

Thomson finished with a season best of 4:17.23 in the 500 free for a 19th place swim, just missing scoring. He was able to rack up some points in the 1650, however, where he dropped big time off of his season best to finish 14th in 14:52.17.


During his junior season, Thomson chipped away at his lifetime bests in multiple events. He had an excellent showing at the 2015 Pac 12 Champs, earning a win in the 1650 free (14:50.19) to go along with two top-8 finishes in the 500 free (4th, 4:14.98) and 400 IM (8th, 3:48.05/3:45.34p). His times in the 500 free final as well as prelims of the 400 IM marked personal bests, and his mile was within a second of his personal best. He accounted for 46 individual points as Stanford rocketed past Cal for a 2nd place ranking at the end of the meet, just nine points shy of tying USC for the Pac-12 title.

Thomson qualified for NCAAs with the three events he swam at Pac-12s, though he was unable to improve upon any of his times. He finished 28th in the mile, 31st in the 400 IM, and 36th in the 500 free.

National/International Swimming

Thomson has been a member of the US Junior National Team as well as the FINA World Junior Championships Team.

2011 U.S. Summer Nationals

He posted times of 8:07.58 and 15:28.65 in the 800 and 1500 meter freestyles at the 2011 US National Championships, one spot out of making the finals in the 1500. He also posted a time of 3:56.44 in the 400 meter freestyle.

2012 U.S. Olympic Trials

At the 2012 Olympic Trials, Thomson competed in the 400 and 1500 freestyles and finished 35th and 12th, respectively. Although he did not drop time in his 400, Thomson knocked off 1.15 seconds from his 1500 to get down to 15:27.50.

2013 U.S. Open/Summer Nationals

Thomson had a busy summer in 2013, where he competed at both the USA National Champs as well as the US Open. He first competed at Nationals, swimming a 4:01.70 in the 400 free, 8:13.36 in the 800 free, and 15:44.71 in the 1500 free. Thomson also added a 1:54.35 in the 200 free, an event which he doesn’t swim very often. He improved significantly upon these swims at the US Open, highlighted by lopping off another big chunk of time in his 1500 (15:22.85) which placed 6th overall. He was also 3:59.04 in the 400 and 8:08.26 in the 800, just tenths off of his best in the latter race.

2014 Summer Nationals

15:31.40 was the time that Thomson touched at in the 1500 at the 2014 US Nationals. This was nearly nine seconds slower than his best time from a year prior, and he finished in 8:16.51 in the 800, also well off of his best time. Despite this, Thomson had his best showing in the 400 free (3:57.48) since the 2012 Olympic Trials, where he was 3:57.29. Although his best from 2011 is a 3:56.44, this was his first time under 3:59.00 since Trials, and he was well over a second under that mark. Thomson also achieved a lifetime best in the 200 free, going 1:52.35. Thomson’s three best 200 free times ever have been swum since 2013 US Nationals, which may suggest that he has more to improve in that specific event.


–Originally developed by Karl Ortegon

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
scy 500 Free 4:14.98 02/26/15 2015 Men's Pac 12 Champs
Federal Way, WA
scy 1650 Free 14:49.62 03/28/13 2013 Men's NCAA Champs
Indianapolis, IN
scy 400 IM 3:45.34 02/26/15 2015 Men's Pac 12 Champs
Federal Way, WA
lcm 200 Free 1:52.35 08/06/14 2014 US Summer Nationals
Irvine, CA
lcm 400 Free 3:56.44 08/02/11 2011 US Summer Nationals
Stanford, CA
lcm 1500 Free 15:22.85 07/30/13 2013 US Open
Irvine, CA