French National Record-holder Léon Marchand Verbally Commits to Arizona State

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18-year-old Léon Marchand of Toulouse, France has announced via social media that he will join the Arizona State University men’s swimming and diving team in 2021.

“I chose arizona state because: I had a very good contact with Bob Bowman, I trust him a lot, he has an incredible career, he matches my favorite events (200fly, 200 / 400IM) and I think he’s one of the best coaches of the world (I’m not the only one to think that ) The others coaches are amazing and very motivating. The team which is progressing from year to year with very good swimmers moreover there is starting to have a great group of IM swimmers, before being there i’m already in contact with many ASU swimmers, the atmosphere seems very familiar and makes you want to experience the adventure with sun devils. The place is perfect for training, everything is suitable: the swimming pools are outdoor (it’s easier when you train at 6am), the weight room, the university, the rooms and the swimming pool are nearby . Although the climate is very hot in Tempe it is ideal most of the time with very little rain. The university is beautiful, it is ranked 1st in the U.S for innovation and has a large choice of academics that interests me.”

As one of France’s big hopes for the Tokyo Olympic Games, Marchand is a nice get for head coach Bob Bowman and the Sun Devils. He swims under Nicolas Castel at the Dauphins du TOEC in Toulouse and is the son of Olympians Xavier Marchand and Céline Bonnet. Marchand broke the French national record in the 400m IM last summer at 7th FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in Budapest, where he won the bronze medal with 4:16.37. He also placed 7th in the 200 fly (1:58.73), 7th in the 200 IM (2:01.53), and 15th in semis of the 100 breast (1:03.03). Also last summer, he won the French senior national title in the 200 fly and earned two medals at European Junior Championships. He has represented the France National Team at the European Short Course Championships, Junior Worlds, Euro Juniors, and Mare Nostrum.

In addition to holding the national record in the 400 IM, Marchand has numerous national age group records in 50 breast, 200 breast, 200 fly, 200 IM, and 400 IM.

Top LCM times (converted to SCY):

  • 400 IM – 4:16.37 (3:45.19)
  • 200 IM – 2:00.66 (1:45.81)
  • 200 breast – 2:12.17 (1:55.46)
  • 100 breast – 1:02.38 (54.39)
  • 200 fly – 1:58.60 (1:44.32)
  • 100 fly – 53.70 (47.11)

Marchand’s best converted times would have scored for ASU at the 2020 Pac-12 Championships in the A finals of the 400 IM and 200 breast and the B finals of the 100 breast, 200 fly, and 200 IM. The Sun Devils have also received verbal commitments from Chris Harig, Christian Osterndorf, Emilio Perez, and Ethan Hansen into the class of 2025.

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2 years ago

I hope he will not end like Agnel …

Reply to  swimfan_00
2 years ago

I hope any swimmer will be able to say that he has won an Olympic gold with a 1.43.14 in the 200 Free.

Reply to  Swimmer
2 years ago

Pretty sure he’s referring to the regression that Agnel had after training with Bowman.

But yes, anyone would only dream of those pre-Bowman results.

Reply to  Swimmer
2 years ago

In that faboulous 2012, when Agnel and Muffat swam very fast times also before London Olympics, their coach was Fabrice Pellerin and their training location was Nice.

Reply to  swimfan_00
2 years ago

The problem wasn’t Bowman’s training but the fact that Agnel was deeply depressed and back at the time he didn’t get enough sleep (about few hours a night). As he said himself “peoples criticize my choice of leaving france but Bob saved my life.”

Saw Guerrera
2 years ago

Very interesting considering that the entire team is redshirting….

Saw Guerrera
Reply to  Saw Guerrera
2 years ago

Also that kid isn’t going to ASU as a walk on, normally foreigners get the biggest scholarships.

2 years ago

Great kid. Best recruit ASU has had in years. Hopefully they don’t ruin him.

Book it!
Reply to  Stewie
2 years ago

2017, 2018, 2019 each year they had top 10 recruits!

Reply to  Book it!
2 years ago

Each year they didn’t end up in top 10?

2 years ago

I don’t think those times are converted lol

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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