Charlie Swanson Wins 4th-Straight Big Ten Title in Men’s 400 IM


Since the 400 IM was added as an event at the Big Ten Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships in 1963, a number of huge names have won event titles. Those names include Bruce Gemmell, Gary Hall Sr., Tom Dolan, Marcel Wouda, Eric Namesnik, Sergio Lopez, Peter Vanderkaay, Andy Potts, and Tyler Clary, just to name a few.

But for just the third time in that 58-year history, a swimmer has four-peated as conference champion in the event.

On Friday evening in Bloomington, Michigan senior Charlie Swanson won his fourth-straight 400 IM, swimming a 3:40.26 to win the race by more than 2 seconds, leading a 1-2-3 Wolverine finish.

That was his second-slowest winning time of the four, but easily got the job done. It extended Michigan’s winning streak in the event to 7-straight years, and 22 of the last 23 titles in the event.

Swanson’s Big Ten Championship Winning Times:

  • Freshman – 3:41.12
  • Sophomore – 3:39.16
  • Junior – 3:39.87
  • Senior – 3:40.26

Only two other men have won four-straight Big Ten titles in this event. The first was Iowa’s John Davey, who won each year from 1985 through 1988. Davey won a bronze medal for England in the 400 IM at the 1982 Commonwealth Games, one of four Commonwealth Games medals in his career. Davey would later go on to serve as head coach at both Wisconsin and Iowa.

The other was another Michigan Wolverine, Tim Siciliano, who won every year from 1999-2002

While there were no other individual four-peaters in the 400 IM, two of the Vanderkaay brothers Peter (2004-2005) and Alex (2006-2008) did win 5-straight 400 IMs for the family.

Comparative Splits:

Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
2017 2018 2019 2020
Fly 50.98 50.35 50.98 49.41
Back 56.18 56.91 57.00 56.25
Breast 61.07 59.84 60.67 60.96
Free 52.9 52.06 51.22 53.64
Final Time 3:41.13 3:39.16 3:39.87 3:40.26

Swanson joins teammate Felix Auboeck as having successfully completed Big Ten fourpeats this week after Auboeck won his 4th-straight title in the 500 free on Thursday. Auboeck has another shot at a four-peat on Saturday in the men’s 1650 free: an event in which he’s the defending NCAA Champion.

Last season, Swanson added 4 seconds in the 400 IM prelims from Big Tens and finished 20th. This is the third-straight season in which Swanson, junior Ricardo Vargas, and senior Tommy Cope have finished 1-2-3 in the 400 IM for Michigan in some order.

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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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