Leon Marchand Continues Record Barrage With 49.23 Breast Split, Fastest Ever


Just in case all-time records in the 200 IM and the 400 IM weren’t enough for you, Arizona State’s Leon Marchand brought the razzle dazzle on the Sun Devils’ 400 medley relay as well.

Marchand split 49.23, helping the Sun Devils to a third place finish in 2:59.18, one of the three teams to break the old NCAA record of 2:59.22.

It seemed inevitable that Marchand would get well under 50 after he split 22.27 yesterday in the 200 medley, the fastest split ever at that distance. And sure enough, Marchand cleared 50 easily tonight, splitting 22.83/26.40 en route to the fastest split ever.

As improbable as this seems, given all the crazy-fast swimming we’ve seen recently, it’s been a decade someone last set this unofficial record.

Early SwimSwam readers and other longtime swim fans may remember the chaos that came with the first night of the 2013 NCAA Championships. Not only did Vlad Morozov become the first man with a sub-18 split, and Tom Shields split 43.48 on fly, but Kevin Cordes got well under the 50-point barrier with a 49.56.

Here’s the five times we’ve found that someone went under 50 in a 100 breast split:

  1. Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 2023 – 49.23
  2. Kevin Cordes (Arizona), 2013 – 49.56
  3. Ian Finnerty (Indiana), 2019 – 49.60
  4. Will Licon (Texas), 2017 – 49.75
  5. Max McHugh (Minnesota), 2019 – 49.97

There’s no official list of these splits, so if there’s one or more we’ve missed, let us know in the comments and we’ll add it in.

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Marchand DQed
2 months ago

He had to have thrown in extra dolphin kicks on the dive. There is no way that floppy dive took him that far and crushed a loaded field.

2 months ago

this feels like the most human swim this entire meet from him

2 months ago

He could just scratch the rest of the meet and still be the best swimmer of the meet right?

2 individual records by a combined almost 6 seconds, 3 fastest splits ever, in 5 different events. I don’t know how you possibly beat that.

Mire Fargo
Reply to  Sub13
2 months ago

4im record, by that much over the #2 performer… possibly yes. Makes 17.6 look human.

Reply to  Mire Fargo
2 months ago

17.6 was a larger percentage win at the time than Leon’s 400 i.m. today.

Reply to  Tanner
2 months ago

it was like a 5.something % win over second compared to 2.8% in the 400 IM. Second only to like 2002 Coughlin who won by like 6.5% in the 100 back (she won by almost 3.5 seconds, probably the craziest SCY swim ever IMO)

Dolph Kick
2 months ago

It looked like he went past 15 meter marker on surfacing after dive.

Reply to  Dolph Kick
2 months ago

The 15 meter rule doesn’t apply for breaststroke

Reply to  Dolph Kick
2 months ago

Yeah i counted at LEAST 17 kicks

Leon’s biggest fan
Reply to  Dolph Kick
2 months ago

It looks like you don’t know the rules

Reply to  Dolph Kick
2 months ago

Uh, Earth to Meekus, duh, that’s not the rule in breaststroke.

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