2023 NCAA DIVISION I MEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS
- March 22-25, 2023
- Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center | Minneapolis, MN
- SCY (25 yards)
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Shortly after stunningly putting up the fastest 50 breaststroke relay split in history, Leon Marchand wrapped up the first session fo the 2023 Men’s NCAA Championships with another history-making performance.
The Arizona State sophomore anchored the Sun Devils home in the 800 freestyle relay with the fastest split in history, coming in with a final clocking of 1:28.42, marking the first ever under 1:29.
The previous fastest 200 free relay leg belonged to Dean Farris, although that came without the benefit of a relay exchange.
Farris led off Harvard’s 800 free relay in 1:29.15 at the 2019 NCAA Championships, which still stands as the U.S. Open Record in the 200 free, and the mark was so fast it took tonight’s herculean effort from Marchand for someone to go faster with a takeover.
In fact, Marchand’s split appears to be nearly a second faster than the previous fastest split with an exchange, which was the 1:29.66 produced by Townley Haas on Texas’ anchor leg in 2019.
Cal’s Destin Lasco was also faster than that Haas split tonight, coming in at 1:29.53 for Cal.
|Farris, 2019 (lead-off)||Haas, 2019||Marchand, 2023||Lasco, 2023|
|42.89 (22.33)||42.39 (22.38)||42.28 (22.14)||44.04 (23.24)|
|1:05.43 (22.54)||1:05.56 (23.17)||1:04.91 (22.63)||1:06.88 (22.84)|
|1:29.15 (23.72)||1:29.66 (24.10)||1:28.42 (23.51)||1:29.53 (22.65)|
Even if we take out the first 50, Marchand outsplits Farris over the final 150, 1:08.28 to 1:08.59, which displays how incredible of a swim it was. Lasco’s blistering back half wasn’t far off in 1:08.73
It was a clutch performance in the race itself, too, as the crowd was on its feet as Marchand inched closer to Texas’ Carson Foster in the race for the relay title.
Diving in three seconds back of the Longhorns and surrounded by a number of other teams, Marchand took off and slowly but surely gained on his rival, ultimately making up 1.73 seconds over 200 yards.
Texas won in a new all-time record of 6:03.42, while Marchand’s performance propelled ASU to a runner-up finish in 6:05.08.
With Marchand playing a crucial role, the Sun Devils hold a narrow two-point advantage through the first two events of the championships.
Team standings through 2 events at the Men’s NCAA Championships:
1. Arizona State, 68
2. NC State, 66
3. Cal, 62
4. Florida, 60
5. Indiana, 58
6. Texas, 50
7. Louisville, 42
8. Auburn, 40
9. Stanford, 38
10. Alabama / Tennessee, 26#NCAASwimDive
— SwimSwam Live (@SwimSwamLive) March 23, 2023
There have been a handful of other sub-1:30 swims in the 800 free relay, including 1:29.6 lead-offs from Blake Pieroni (1:29.63) and Kieran Smith (1:29.66) in the past.
Luke Hobson joined that club on Thursday, leading Texas to victory with a lead-off time of 1:29.63, tying him for fourth all-time in the individual event.
Bowman is obviously a good swimming coach but not the best strategist. Hard to understand why Marchand wasnt leadoff or 2nd leg. Although who would have expected House to lockup the way he did on that last 25.
Criminal not to lead Marchand off. Bowman was pandering to House to give him an extra shot at a sub 30 flat start. Cost them points.
Should have led him off. Could have been a completely different race.
Grant House ouch
Why didn’t Marchand lead off. Damn you Bowman.
i don’t think i’ve ever seen a swimmer carry their team the way that Marchand does
so many ASU guys off (already) and Marchand carries them in relays to soften the blow
Lasco’s 45.49 second 100 is the fastest back half split of any 200 free ever. Most guys going that fast ascend their 50s but he descends…he’s going to be scary at the end of his races this week.
Back in highschool he negative split a 100 freestyle going 43 💀
I remember reading about that swim and always thought it was insane. His back half speed is unreal
Lasco’s 2nd 100 was a 45.49?!? That’s insane!
I *knew* Farris’s swim was a lead off, had no idea why the commentary team was saying Hobson was the fastest ever lead off
I think on last year’s record setting 800 Free Relay from Texas, Drew Kibler led off with like a 130.4. I think what the commentary was trying to say was that Hobson was out in front of that record setting pace.
Yeah, they never said fastest ever leadoff, they said faster than record pace (referring to the event record). However, I can see how that would be confusing and Rowdy does have a bad habit of saying that exact sort of thing all the time which could be confusing (and is clearly confusing) to a lot of people.
Pool record lol
Yeah, I understood it the way Steve Nolan did, and then realized that was probably what Rowdy meant. I said the other day that Rowdy needs a translator, because he frequently gets 3/4 of his idea out, and you have to figure out the rest. And if you’re not closely following swimming, you won’t get it.
I usually start correcting him out loud, and then say “Oh, you probably meant….”