Melanie Margalis Negative Splits 400 IM at San Antonio


2016 Olympian Melanie Margalis negative split the 400 IM at the San Antonio Pro Swim Series, ultimately winning the event with a time of 4:37.81 and crushing her prelims swim by nearly 7 seconds.

She swam the first 200 butterfly and backstroke in 2:19.34, about 5 to 6 seconds behind the rest of the field. 15-year-old Katie Grimes (2:13.76), Ally McHugh (2:15.96), and Emma Weyant (2:14.67) were all ahead of Margalis at the back to breast turn, but the 2016 Olympian Margalis brought home the breaststroke and freestyle 200 meters in 2:18.46 and won the race with a 1.3 second lead.

Splits Comparisons:

  • Margalis: 2:19.34/2:18.46
  • McHugh: 2:15.96 / 2:23.15
  • Weyant: 2:14.67 / 2:24.51
  • Grimes: 2:13.76 / 2:28.75

She explained that she had some anxiety going into the race, since it was her first 400 IM final of the season. After meditating most of the day she says she was “almost paralyzed with fear” on the first 200 meters. “But then, you know, I always feel pretty good about my breast and free,” she said, “so then I was able to really work the second half.”

“I was pretty sure that this 400 IM was going to be a little tough mentally, I know that last season the first 400IM of the year was really tough mentally. I was really excited for the last week just to know I was going get it out of the way and be able to…feel good about it going forward.”

One factor that makes this more impressive is that her final 50 meters freestyle was .13 faster than her first 50 meter butterfly from a start. Here is a full breakdown of her splits:

50 Meters 100 Meters
Fly 30.7 1:05.29 (34.59)
Back 37.53 1:14.05 (36.52)
Breast 37.84 1:16.22 (38.38)
Free 31.68 1:02.24 (30.57)

Her race strategy was much different in in prelims where Margalis posted a 4:44.52 and went out about 4 seconds faster on the fly and back 200 than she did in finals. She split the race 2:15.89/ 2:28.63.

In finals, Margalis was still about 5 seconds off her lifetime best 400 IM time which she posted at the November 2020 Pro Swim Series in Des Moines, but her performance on Friday in San Antonio ranks her 5th in the world this season:


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2 months ago

My hero.