Leon Marchand Blasts 3:28.82 400 IM For Fastest Time Ever By Nearly Three Seconds


Expectations were sky-high for Leon Marchand in tonight’s final of the 400 IM, but he blew those out of the water.

Marchand annihilated the NCAA and U.S. Open Record by nearly three seconds in a time of 3:28.82, becoming the first swimmer sub-3:31, 3:30 and 3:29 in one fell swoop.

After breaking the NCAA and U.S. Open Record twice during the season, first breaking Hugo Gonzalez‘s mark of 3:32.88 with a 3:31.84 swim in a January dual meet before clocking 3:31.57 at Pac-12s, the idea of Marchand breaking the 3:30 barrier seemed like a possibility. But it’s now not only a reality, but so is sub-3:29.

Split Comparison

2023 ASU v. Cal 2023 Pac-12s 2023 NCAAs
22.78 22.30 21.84
48.75 (25.97) 48.20 (25.90) 47.10 (25.26)
1:15.90 (27.15) 1:15.55 (27.35) 1:13.22 (26.12)
1:42.43 (26.53) 1:42.39 (26.84) 1:39.30 (26.08)
2:11.98 (29.55) 2:11.37 (28.98) 2:08.37 (29.07)
2:41.73 (29.75) 2:41.47 (30.10) 2:37.89 (29.52)
3:07.68 (25.95) 3:07.23 (25.76) 3:03.99 (26.10)
3:31.84 (24.16) 3:31.57 (24.34) 3:28.82 (24.83)

As has been the norm this week, Marchand was very aggressive in the early stages of the race, out more than a second faster than he was at Pac-12s on fly in 47.10. He was then 52.20 on back, essentially two seconds (1.99) quicker than Pac-12s, and then he was half-a-second faster on breast (58.59) and still managed to close sub-51 on free.

The Arizona State sophomore now owns the three fastest swims in history and seven of the top 10, with his prelim swim standing up 10th.

All-Time Performances, Men’s 400 IM (SCY)

  1. Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 3:28.82 – 2023 NCAA Championships
  2. Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 3:31.57 – 2023 Pac-12 Championships
  3. Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 3:31.84 – 2023 ASU v. Cal
  4. Hugo Gonzalez (Cal), 3:32.88 – 2022 NCAA Championships
  5. Chase Kalisz (Georgia), 3:33.42 – 2017 NCAA Championships
  6. Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 3:33.65 – 2022 Wolfpack Invite
  7. Carson Foster (Texas), 3:33.79 – 2022 NCAA Championships
  8. Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 3:34.08 – 2022 NCAA Championships
  9. Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 3:34.45 – 2022 Pac-12 Championships
  10. Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 3:34.47 – 2023 NCAA Championships

Also factor in the fact that Marchand was over five seconds faster than he was in the 2022 final (3:34.08), showing an incredible rate of improvement, and he’s now more than four seconds faster than anyone else has ever been.

The 20-year-old also beat Gonzalez (3:34.66), the runner-up, by nearly six seconds, en route to winning ASU’s first-ever title in the event.


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Max Hardie
2 months ago

Seems to me that in Paris US male will struggle to get an individual gold medal. Marchand, Popovici, Milak are so far ahead. Winkler, Heilman and others might still be too young by then.

Reply to  Max Hardie
2 months ago

If Dressel swims, he’s a chance for gold in the 50 FR and 100 FL. Finke also has as good a shot as anyone in the field to get gold in the distance events. 100 BR is also starting to look open with the regression of Peaty and Kamminga. The 200 BK is also the weakest event on the men’s side internationally. Plenty of room for a US male to win something in Paris.

Reply to  Max Hardie
2 months ago

That is atually good for the sport, more countries winning medals I still think the USA will win a couple of gold medals but not mp up a ridiculous nimber of gold medals which is good for the sport.

Last edited 2 months ago by carlo
2 months ago

What is also interesting..he is not tall, big, or thin..you would not see his physicality by just looking at him..yet his work ethic, and as Bowman stated ” he goes to the well” every race, is a testament for greatness.

Demarrit Steenbergen
2 months ago

3.:59.99 this summer

Reply to  Demarrit Steenbergen
2 months ago

1.:52.50 this summer

Reply to  Demarrit Steenbergen
2 months ago

He’s 4 seconds faster than Gonzales, who is not a 4:04.00 swimmer. If Kalisz’s/Carson’s 3:33’s were 4:07-4:08 equivalents, this would put Leon’s swim at 4:02-4:03, which seem like reasonable targets for this summer.

Reply to  Demarrit Steenbergen
2 months ago

We will have to see how this translates to long course. His turns are unbelievable, and as we all know there are half as many in the long pool. He certainly is dominate this weekend.

Awsi Dooger
2 months ago

I appreciate that Marchand understands the need to obliterate early split norms and then have confidence that you’ll suffer late but not nearly enough to offset the early gains. It was the same strategy used by Milak last year. Likewise when Sydney McLaughlin destroyed her own 400 hurdles record last year. Her final split from hurdle 8 to finish was the slowest she’s been in years and a half second worse than her best time over that distance. But nobody knows or cares because she reached hurdle 8 a full second faster than during her world record in Tokyo a year earlier.

Mr Sandals
2 months ago

I still remember thinking IM swimming had peaked in 2015 when David Nolan was the first guy under 1:40 in the 200. What Marchand has done this week makes me want to curl up in a ball and turn off the lights lol

2 months ago

Santi Corredor had fastest 100 fr split coming home among all NCAA meets. Go Tampa Spartans!

Reply to  DTRB
2 months ago

Holy cow 49.8 coming home, that’s nuts

Ricky Bobby
Reply to  DTRB
2 months ago

If you ain’t first, you’re last.

Wanna Sprite?
2 months ago

Called 3:28.2 in January just to build the hype. Never did I think he would actually hit it but wow

2 months ago


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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