Matt Fallon Rattles 200 Breast American Record with 2:07.39, Now 2nd-Fastest US Man Ever

2024 U.S. OLYMPIC TRIALS

One of the best parts of watching live swimming is seeing swimmer’s reactions as soon as they finish the race and look at the scoreboard.

And it was clear tonight that Matt Fallon surprised even himself.

Fallon, the 2023 Worlds bronze medalist in this event, may not have realized he was right on American Record pace as he took his final strokes of the second heat of the 200 breast semi-finals. But he stopped the clock in 2:07.39, just 0.22s off Josh Prenot‘s eight year-old American Record. Fallon improved his all-time ranking among US men from #6 to #2.

All-Time US Performers, 200 Breast

  1. Josh Prenot, 2:07.17 – 2016
  2. Matt Fallon, 2:07.39 – 2024
  3. Kevin Cordes, 2:07.41 – 2017
  4. Eric Shanteau, 2:07.42 – 2009
  5. Nic Fink, 2:07.55 – 2019
  6. Will Licon, 2:07.62 – 2019
  7. Andrew Wilson, 2:07.77 – 2019
  8. AJ Pouch, 2:08.00 – 2024
  9. Jake Foster, 2:08.23 – 2023
  10. Josh Matheny – 2:08.32 – 2023

Additionally, AJ Pouch qualified 2nd overall with a 2:08.00, moving ahead of Josh Matheny and Jake Foster up to #8 on the all-time US list. Fallon, Pouch, Matheny, Foster, Nick Fink and Will Licon all made the top eight in semis, meaning that six of the ten fastest US swimmers all-time will square off in tomorrow’s final.

Fallon may have surprised himself tonight with just how fast he was, but this swim certainly didn’t come out of nowhere. The New Jersey native and University of Pennsylvania swimmer was highly-touted as a teenager, but really burst onto the national scene in 2021 at the Olympic Trials.

There, he posted the top times of prelims and semis, relying on a strategy that emphasized a strong back half. Unfortunately for him, that approach didn’t work in the final, where he couldn’t find the second half gear he’d found earlier in the meet, and ended up 8th.

The next summer, he had to skip the unusually-early US International Team Trials due a conflict with final exams, but he won the 200 breast at US Nationals later that summer, improving his best time by a second with a 2:07.91.

Last summer, he battled back from an injury that kept him out of NCAAs, made the US Worlds team, then won a bronze medal at Worlds, where he posted another best time. There, he improved his front half, time-wise, but was still 8th at the halfway mark before throwing down the hammer on the third 50.

He’s developed even more front half speed since; tonight, he was nearly a second on his first 100 than he was in Fukuoka, resulting in an overall improvement of 0.35s. He’ll have another chance to go after the American Record tomorrow night in the final.

Here’s a look at Fallon’s splitting across his best swim of the year from each of the last four years:

Race 50 100 150 200 Total
2024 Trials Semifinal 29.59 32.15 32.26 33.39 2:07.39
2023 Worlds Final 29.91 32.76 31.86 33.21 2:07.74
2022 Nationals Final 30.40 33.01 32.02 32.48 2:07.91
2021 Olympic Trials Semifinal 30.10 33.57 32.66 32.58 2:08.91

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Swimmom
29 days ago

So happy for AJ Pouch! What a great young man – so nice, friendly, and extremely upbeat and energetic! He would be a great representative for our country! Go AJ! Go Hokies!

PFA
29 days ago

Hoping Prenot was right (check his Twitter)

Dylan
Reply to  PFA
29 days ago

Do you mean X?

ADB
Reply to  PFA
28 days ago

Can you post what he said for those of us without social media?

jeff
Reply to  Robert Gibbs
28 days ago

specifically, from Fallon. Also note that he tweeted about it before the semifinals

Last edited 28 days ago by jeff
PMSD
29 days ago

BBSD

swimfan
Reply to  PMSD
29 days ago

what does this mean

About Robert Gibbs