Bob Bowman on Leon Marchand: “Reminding me of Michael (Phelps) in 2003”

On Saturday, we witnessed ASU’s Leon Marchand break the NCAA record in the 400 IM. Today, we spoke with ASU head coach Bob Bowman to get his thoughts on the matter. On Marchand, Bowman says that the French Phenom reminds him of Michael Phelps in 2003, giving his an anecdote from Leon’s practice on Monday. At the end of a 7500 threshold set, Leon looked so good that Bowman told him to let it rip and see what he could go on a 500 free at the end of the practice instead of swimming it threshold as written. Marchand swam 4:18, negative splitting it 2:10/2:08.

Bowman also explains why ASU suited up for its duals with Cal and Stanford, emphasizing that racing in technical suits is the best practice his athletes can get for this time in the season. Bowman also looks to the end of the season, saying last year the PAC-12 Championships were the ASU men’s real focus while this year, all eyes are on the NCAA Championships in March.

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mikeh
12 days ago

Uh oh… that’s a lot of pressure.

John26
12 days ago

Does Bob likening Marchand to 03 Phelps (instead of 07 Phelps) imply he think Leon has much more time to drop? With the 200fly and 200breast being mutually exclusive in Paris 24, he’ll probably choose whichever they think he has a better shot at winning. But I struggle to think of what a 4rth event could be… I guess the only candidates are 200back and 200free, which seem like long shots for a medal at this point and they would risk tiring him out for golds later in the program.

Owlmando
Reply to  John26
12 days ago

If hes on his phelos 03 wave he takes the 200fly for that race with milak

John26
Reply to  Owlmando
12 days ago

Hmm I don’t think 04 Phelps would’ve taken a challenge (or outside medal possibility) for Thorpe/VDH over a likely gold if they were in conflict. I think he only did it because it was open on his schedule.

Likewise if Marchand was throwing down 2:05s in the breaststroke, I don’t think he’s throw away a shot at gold unless he thought he had a good chance to beat Milak

ArtVanDeLegh10
Reply to  John26
12 days ago

I think he was comparing them because they were both in incredible shape they could put up great times at any point during the season both in practice and in meets.

Age of Winters
12 days ago

“I thought I was going slow”. How would you think that if you’re lapping people.

Swimswam follower
Reply to  Age of Winters
12 days ago

Maybe they were swimming REALLY slow, lol

Joel Lin
12 days ago

Bowman’s breakdown & takes on racing suited versus non suited was terrific. There are two competing philosophies on it & he seems to be on the middle ground (suited 2nd semester for NCAA, pros/internationals suited for pre-championship season rehearsal meets). Not sure the suits are a control variable versus volume & rest as factors: it’s a known known what the boost is to wearing a tech suit. But Bowman makes a good argument. Most important, he’s getting great results thus far & that speaks for itself.

Sly dog
12 days ago

Bob 100% thinks Leon’s breaking the WR

Max Hardie
13 days ago

With Marchand, Popovici and Milak, there is little room for Americans in Paris. Who could get an individual gold medal, if any?

Fish
Reply to  Max Hardie
13 days ago

Armstrong or Murphy 100 bk
Murphy 200bk
Finke 800/1500
50free appears wide open as well

Swimmka
Reply to  Fish
12 days ago

100bk quite impossible given Ceccon’s recent development path ( and Kolesnikov if Russians will be allowed)
200bk Murphy is well over in his peak and plenty of young guys in the horizon
800/1500 I do not see that he will be able to overpass Paltrieni again)
50 free – agree wide open (and I honestly think Dressel is gone)

Fish
Reply to  Swimmka
12 days ago

For the 100bk I’d argue that Armstrong is on a strong trajectory as well and will have much less of an event load than Ceccon
For the distance freestyle events, the 1500 looks to be Paltrinieri, but the 800 is more wide open
(Finke 7:39.3) (Paltrinieri 7:39.2) (Wellbrock 7:39.6) (Romanchuck 7:40.0)

Rafael
Reply to  Fish
12 days ago

and we could have some surprises on the 800
Hafnaoui and the Irish guy..

ADS
Reply to  Rafael
12 days ago

Not sure wiffen would be a surprise given that he had the fastest scm 1500 of the year by 4 secs and the fastest scm 800 by 2 secs. Will be interesting to see if he can convert to LCM, but no reason to think not, and he’s a young guy only getting better…

dscott
Reply to  Swimmka
11 days ago

Italian, ya think?

Mr Piano
Reply to  Max Hardie
13 days ago

Hunter Armstrong has a shot in the 1 back. Dressel winning the 50 free is also most likely. Finke maybe a repeat in one of his titles too.

Random123
Reply to  Mr Piano
13 days ago

“most likely” for someone who isn’t currently swimming?

Facts
Reply to  Max Hardie
13 days ago

Marchand isn’t a lock for the 200 IM just yet, Shane Casas has a similar time

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Facts
13 days ago

Not for long!

Lochte gonna have to rename his stroke clinics soon.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Facts
13 days ago

Shane didn’t do that in a world final, and Marchand loafed the first 50. Marchand is going 1:53 in Paris.

James Bogen
Reply to  Facts
13 days ago

It’ll be awesome watching these two race.

CracK
Reply to  Max Hardie
13 days ago

Murphy 200 back
Finke 800/1500
Dressel 100 fly/50 free

Rafael
Reply to  CracK
13 days ago

Any Word on dressel returning? 50 free who knows where guys like crooks liendo and caribe will be in 2024

Octavio Gupta
Reply to  Max Hardie
13 days ago

Nic Fink

SWIMGUY12345
Reply to  Octavio Gupta
12 days ago

Did Peaty retire? Did Fink go 57 LCM? Nah.

Hank
Reply to  Max Hardie
12 days ago

Nick Fink 100br 200br
MA in the 50fr and possibly 100br if he pulls it together

Last edited 12 days ago by Hank
Swimfast2
Reply to  Max Hardie
12 days ago

And in the girls from Australia, Canada or the USA, who could get individual gold in Paris?

Rafael
Reply to  Swimfast2
12 days ago

Women 50 free – Sjostrom probably.. Mckeon
100 free – An Australian
200 free – An Australian or Mcintosh
400 free – Titmus or Ledecky or Mcintosh
800/1500 free – Ledecky

100 Fly – Mcneil
200 Fly – Mcintosh if Yufei is not on 2021 form again

100/200 back – Mckeown
100 Breast – Toughest one, maybe Pilato
200 breast – If she is on 2021 form Schoenmaker

200 IM – Walsh or Mcintosh
400 IM – Mcintosh

MCH
Reply to  Rafael
12 days ago

Might be best list out there. Maybe add R Smith. That’s about it.

Swimmerfromjapananduk
Reply to  Max Hardie
12 days ago

Those three cover IM, sprint-short distance free and fly. Funny how there’s more to swimming than what those three specialise in

mcmflyguy
Reply to  Max Hardie
12 days ago

Olympics are always a different ballgame. On paper it looks like you’d be right, but how many times have we seen an upset at the olympics.

Swimswam follower
13 days ago

Leon will probably be 22 come Paris
Phelps was 23 in Beijing
Spitz was 22 in Munich
He will be so fired up in his home country and he willbe well prepared.
He’s going to have to earn it, Foster and co will be prepared too.
May the best man win on that given day. Hope they will all remain healthy.

Swimgeek
Reply to  Swimswam follower
12 days ago

The Marchine was born May 2002 — so, yes, he’ll be a young 22 at the Paris Games.
He obviously will do both IMs and is the favorite. Serious question – what other events could he win in LCM?

Atohitotsu
Reply to  Swimgeek
12 days ago

He has a medal chance in either 200 fl or 200 br, but not both, since they are one after the other. Winning would be tough with Milak and ZSC around. France has outside chances to medal in the medley relay as well.

Swimmerfromjapananduk
Reply to  Atohitotsu
12 days ago

Winning the 200fly or back is virtually impossible with those two around

uwk
13 days ago

If Leon continues on this legendary trajectory where does that put Bowman on the all-time great coaches list?

Mr Piano
Reply to  uwk
13 days ago

If he gets an NCAA title and does well with Reagan and Marchand, probably top 3

PVSFree
Reply to  Mr Piano
13 days ago

This would be a good discussion on the SwimSwam breakdown ( Keith and @Coleman Hodges) — top 5 swim coaches of all time. Just off the top of my head, some contenders might be Eddie Reese, Bob Bowman, Doc Counsilman, Jon Urbanchek, Mark Schubert, Nort Thornton, David Marsh, Richard Quick, and Gregg Troy.

Would also be fun to hear a discussion about which (relatively) younger coaches might be able to sneak their way into the all-time great discussion (Durden, Meehan, Nesty, DeSorbo).

Last edited 13 days ago by PVSFree
Troyy
Reply to  PVSFree
13 days ago

top 5 American swim coaches of all time

FTFY

MarkB
Reply to  PVSFree
12 days ago

All time greats would have to include Peter Daland, Sherm Chavoor (Spitz’s coach and many others in 1960’s), George Haines. Also, international – Forbes Carlisle for one.

homey looking skinny
Reply to  MarkB
12 days ago

forbes is an aussy bra

Rafael
Reply to  homey looking skinny
12 days ago

I think Phillipe Lucas can be in conversation also if we add OW here..
Manadou, Muller, Van Rouwendall, Olivier, Pellegrini, Magnini, Leveux, Potec, Stasiulus

MCH
Reply to  PVSFree
12 days ago

American list.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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