Blake Pieroni Ties for 10th-Fastest 200 Yard Free in History


  • When: Wednesday, February 22th to Saturday, February 25th | Prelims 11am | Finals 6:30pm
  • Where: Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: Michigan Wolverines (results)
  • Live Results
  • Streaming: TBA
  • Championship Central: here

2016 U.S. Olympian Blake Pieroni led off Indiana’s 800 free relay on Wednesday with a 1:31.83: a strong opening performance for the Hoosiers as they look to upend the Michigan Wolverines at the Big Ten Championships.

That swim is his lifetime best by exactly half-a-second, an improvement over his swim from last year’s Big Ten Championship meet, breaks the Big Ten Championship Record, and ties as the 10th-fastest performance (and 9th fastest performer) in swimming history in the flat-start 200.

The next-fastest flat-start in the NCAA so far this season is Maxime Rooney’s 1:32.18 from the SEC Championships last week, though the Pac-12, Big 12, and ACC men all have yet to swim their conference meet. Pieroni himself was a 1:33.43 at the U.S. College Challenge in November – which was the 4th-best time in the country coming into this meet.

Pieroni took his race out in a 45.05 and closed in a 47.49, splitting:

  • 20.87-23.13-23.43-24.29 = 1:31.83

As a comparison, Texas’ Jack Conger led off their Big 12 winning 800 free relay in a 1:32.54 on Wednesday (matching his splits for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th 50s almost dead on, as compared to Pieroni’s fade); while Harvard’s Dean Farris split 1:31.29 (reaction time of .23) to anchor Harvard’s winning relay at the Ivy League Championships.

Texas sophomore Townley Haas, another Olympian and the fastest-ever in the 200 yard free on a flat-start, split 1:33.82 on a Texas anchor.

Indiana won both of the relays on opening night, touching in 6:11.98 on the winning 800 ahead of Wisconsin, and taking the 200 medley in 1:23.61 – about four-tenths from Michigan. They didn’t have to use Pieroni to win that medley relay, leaving him available for the 3 remaining at this meet.

Top 10 Performances of All-Time (200 Yard Free, Through 2/22)


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4 years ago

Conger was the one who split his 200 tonight 45.05/47.49, Pieroni was 44.01/47.82. And Pieroni’s middle 50 splits were actually 23.14/23.53. Great swims by both! Conger seems to be saving his out speed for NCAA’s.

Reply to  DMacNCheez
4 years ago

Or maybe pieroni is saving his back half speed for NCAAS, 1:31 is pretty good for hairy legs. Won’t be surprised to see conger go 1:32 at NCAAs, pieroni go 1:30, and clark smith not make the A final of the 5 free. Warriors blew a 3-1 lead. #fakenews #mustardstainsfortheboys

bobo gigi
4 years ago

Unlike the women that event in yards has stalled on the men’s side for 10 years until Haas has finally put the record at very high level. Next step is breaking the 1.30 barrier.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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