Hardest (SCY) Event Bracket: 400 IM Bests 200 Fly By Almost 800 Votes

Congratulations 400 IMers. You did it. You’ve been voted the hardest short course yard event by a wide margin. But you still have to swim the 400 IM, so are you really the winners here?

Finals Recap

400 IM (66%) over 200 Fly (34%)

Not a major shocker here. The 400 IM has been the odds-on favorite from the beginning. One of the most universally-feared races, the 400 IM gets points for distance (the fourth-longest event in our poll), but also hits every single swimmer’s weakest stroke. It requires a brutal mix of versatility and endurance, and never got less than 66% of votes in any round of our poll.

Meanwhile the 200 fly got about a third of the total votes in the final, holding up as the #2 event in our poll. The 200 fly also got more votes against the 400 IM in the final than the mile did in the semifinals – that speaks to the 200 fly’s place in the final, despite some chatter that the 1650FR/400IM semifinal was the true championship matchup.

Bronze Medal Match

1650 Free (64%) over 200 Free (36%)

Endurance topped strategy in our consolation match. The 1650 carries the flash of being by far the longest event in our poll. The 200 free made a somewhat surprising run to the semifinals, though, based on its strategic trickiness – many describe the 200 as too long to sprint but too short to pace. The end result is a tough race to approach and a razor-thin margin for going out too slow or too fast. In the end, though, the roughly fifteen-to-twenty minutes of pain in the mile outdid the pain of a 200 free many minutes shorter.


5th Place: 200 Backstroke (38%)

6th Place: 200 Breaststroke (32%)

7th Place: 500 Freestyle (26%)

8th Place: 50 Freestyle (4%)


9th Place: 1000 Freestyle (42%)

10th Place: 200 IM (40%)

11th Place: 100 Butterfly (6%)

12th Place: 100 Backstroke (4%)

13th Place: 100 Freestyle/100 Breaststroke (tie – 4%)

15th Place: 100 IM (0%)

Final Bracket

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true…agreed…. (but 2-fly should’ve won)


Because you were a 2flyer

S Tobin

Ima (former) 200 flyer, and 400IM seemed like a no-brainer to me. Hecka-hard race!

Someone who swam once

I’m that weirdo that did both 200 Fly and 400 IM. I think the 400 IM is a little harder SCY, but the hardest event period is the 200 LCM Breast.

Oh my

That’s my daughter. Along with 1650. 1000. 500. And 100 fly. Often in same weekend at a champs meet


Not surprised, a 400im is way more exhausting than a 200fly on the lungs by a lot.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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