Fastest 400 IM Prelim In History Sees Sub-3:40 Required For Final


The preliminary heats of the 400 IM at the Men’s NCAA Swimming Championships proved to be the fastest in history this morning, with a sub-3:40 time required to make the A-final. South Carolina freshman Brandonn Almeida snuck into 8th place with a clocking of 3:39.52, with four more men under the mark missing out on the championship final.

This is the first time a sub-3:40 has been needed to make the A-final. Last season Andrew Seliskar (who is tonight’s top seed at 3:37.84) finished 8th in prelims at 3:40.64, with everyone else under 3:40. In 2016 it took 3:41.42 to make it, with the top-4 under 3:40. In 2015 it was 3:41.82 and the top-2 under, 2014 had only one man under in the heats with a 3:42.85 needed to make it, and we only have to go back to 2013 when no one in the heats was under 3:40.

Now there’s 12 men under, showing incredible progression in the event. Tom Dolan, the two-time 400 IM Olympic gold medalist from Michigan, was the first to win the NCAA title under 3:40 in 1995, hitting a time of 3:38.18. After that it took all the way until 2003 until someone did it again, when Georgia’s Robert Margalis won the title in 3:39.92.

Though Chase Kalisz‘s NCAA mark of 3:33.42 looks to be out of reach for tonight’s finalists, we should see some very fast times. As previously mentioned Seliskar leads the way, followed by Jonathan Roberts (3:38.64), Gunnar Bentz (3:38.90) and Jay Litherland (3:38.92). Abrahm DeVineNick ThorneCharlie Swanson and Almeida were the 3:39s that got into the final, while Curtis OgrenTed SchubertMark Szaranek and Anton Ipsen were the ones who missed out.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James is currently a university swimmer for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He is studying economics. Along with swimming, he also loves hockey. He's in his 14th season as a competitive swimmer. Best Times - SCM (LCM) 50 FR - 24.56 (25.12) 100 FR - 53.58 (56.70) 200 FR - 1:56.07 (2:04.29) 1500 …

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