University of Pennsylvania swimmer Matt Fallon won the 4.4 Mile swim at the Great Chesapeake Bay Swim on June 12th.
Fallon, who is a rising sophomore at Penn, swam to a time of 1 hour, 30 minutes, and 32 seconds to cross the finish line ahead of Dynamo swimmer Ryan Altera, who posted a time of 1 hour, 30 minutes, and 52 seconds. With his time, Fallon was averaging about a 20:35 pace per mile, while Altera was averaging a 20:40.
The performance is notable for Fallon, a member of the 2021-2022 United States National Team in the 200 breaststroke, as it marked his first race since the 2022 NCAA season. At the 2022 NCAA Championships, Fallon finished 3rd in the 200 breaststroke (1:49.16), becoming the fastest freshman in the event in NCAA history. Despite his strong showing at NCAAs and his finals appearance in the 200 breaststroke at Olympic Trials last year, Fallon opted to skip the US International Team Trials in April due to academic conflicts.
University of Kentucky swimmer Carolina Benda finished in third place in the race, winning the women’s event. Benda came in with a time of 1 hour, 31 minutes, and 1 second. Unlike Fallon, Benda specializes in the distance and mid-distance freestyle events, having won the 1650 freestyle at the Ohio State Invitational last December. With her time, Benda was averaging approximately a 20:42 per mile pace.
Both Fallon and Benda notably competed in the race with their families. Fallon saw family members William Fallon, Tom Fallon, and Frank Fallon compete alongside him, while Benda’s father Brian Benda also swam the 4.4 mile race.
The Great Chesapeake Bay Swim is based in Stevensville, Maryland. According to the event’s website, “The race starts from the shores of Sandy Point State Park, which is about 5 miles northeast of Annapolis. The course extends eastward between the two spans of the William Preston Lane, Jr., Memorial Bridge (U.S. Highway 50) and finishes at a small sandy beach on Kent Island immediately south of the Bridge eastern-shore.”