During his freshman year, Finnerty won his first B1G Championship title in the 100 breaststroke. He went a best time of 51.75 and beat Iowa’s Roman Trussov by 0.42 seconds. Finnerty also placed fourth in the 200 IM and sixth in the 200 breaststroke. At the NCAA Championships, Finnerty qualified for the B-final in the 100 breaststroke. He placed 13th with a time of 52.60.
As a sophomore, Finnerty defended his B1G Championships title and took the first place in the 100 breaststroke. He touched the wall in 51.38. He bettered his placement in the 200 IM and moved up to second place behind team mate Vinicius Lanza. At the NCAA Championships, Finnerty finished 17th in the 100 breaststroke. He missed the final by 0.02 seconds with a time of 52.43. He competed in both of the medley relays and helped Indiana place sixth in the 400 medley relay.
For the third year in a row, Finnerty won the 100 breaststroke at the B1G Championships. With another time drop, Finnerty stopped the clock at 50.72. He also won the 200 breaststroke with a best time of 1:50.78. At the 2018 NCAA Championships, Finnerty became the first swimmer to break the 50 second mark in the 100 breaststroke. He went a quick 49.69 and won the event by a large margin of 1.47 seconds. This was his first individual NCAA Championships title. To follow up a remarkable swim, Finnerty won the 200 breaststroke the next day with a time of 1:50.17. He was also a part of the 400 medley relay that took the title in front of NC State.
As a senior, Finnerty successfully defended his B1G title in the 100 breast, making it a clean sweep of all 4 years. He went 50.60 in prelims, clocking a new meet record. At night, Minnesota freshman Maxwell McHugh gave Finnerty a run for his money, going out with Finnerty in 23.77 to Finnerty’s 23.72. However, the 3-time defending champ used a strong back half to gain a more substantial advantage, touching at 50.77 to McHugh’s 51.08. Finnerty also clocked a new best time in the 200 IM (1:41.74) to finish 3rd, and successfully defended his B1G title in the 200 breast, once again setting a new meet record at 1:50.30.
At NCAA’s, Finnerty started things off with a solid showing in the 200 IM, placing 7th overall (1:42.84) after clocking 1:41.80 in prelims. To end that session, Finnerty split 49.60 on IU’s 400 medley relay to help them successfully defend their title in the event and go under 3:00 (2:59.70) for the first time in school history. The next day, Finnerty defended his NCAA title in the 100 breast, again touching as the only man to break 50 seconds in 49.85. On the last day of competition, he didn’t defend his title in the 200 breast, but did sneak under 1:50 for the first time in his career, touching for 3rd in 1:49.90.
ISL – DC Trident
On June 11, 2019, Ian Finnerty was announced as a member of the DC Trident ISL team, headed by GM Kaitlin Sandeno.