Chris Swanson Becomes First Ever Penn Men’s NCAA Swimming Champion


Penn senior Chris Swanson, in his last collegiate race, dropped a monster 24.38 in his final 50 to win the men’s 1650 freestyle on Saturday night. In the process, he ran down a three-second margin on South Carolina’s Akaram Mahmoud over just the last lap of the race and won by a narrow margin of 14:31.54-14:31.66.

Swanson’s victory marks the first ever by a member of the Penn men’s swimming & diving team, leaving Cornell as the only current Ivy League team without an event title.

Swanson’s win is also the first by an Ivy League male swimmer in over 25 years – since Princeton won the first two 200 medley relays in 1989 and 1990; and first individual since Harvard’s David Berkoff won the 100 back in 1989.

Swanson improved all the way from an 11th-place finish last year to become the event champion this year, dropping nearly 20 seconds in the process.

The only other swimmer from a current Ivy League program to win the 1650 free was Columbia’s Tony Corbisiero in 1983, though Yale swimmers have won 7 titles in the similar 1500 short course meter free (most recently in 1960).

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David Berkoff

Way to go Chris Swanson! Awesome swim and another feather in the cap for the Ivies.

Tony Corbisiero

Well done Chris Swanson!!!! You did the Ivy League proud!!!

Ryan Littlefield

I had the honor of swimming with this amazing dude my Senior year at Penn. Day in and day out, the most consistent, humble distance swimmer I have ever met. No one at this meet more deserving of this title than Chris. Go Quakers!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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