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 swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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