WATCH: Carson Foster Crushes 400 IM PB of 4:11.56 During Longhorn Prelims


During the first prelims session of the 2021 Longhorn Elite Invite in Austin, 19-year-old Carson Foster crushed a monster lifetime best in the 400-meter IM, touching the wall at 4:11.56. Foster now passes Chase Kalisz‘s top US time of 4:13.64 this season and sky-rockets to No. 4 in the 2020-2021 world rankings before tonight’s finals session, which is set to being at 5:30 pm CST.

2020-2021 LCM Men 400 IM

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Foster’s time also bumped him from No. 18 to No. 8 on the all-time US performers list, passing the likes of 2019 national champion Bobby Finke (4:13.15), Olympian Josh Prenot (4:13.15), 2019 WUGs champion Sean Grieshop (4:12.72), 2000 Olympian Tom Dolan (4:11.76) and Olympian Gunnar Bentz (4:11.66). Foster now sits a tenth behind Charlie Swanson‘s 4:11.46, which he swam en route winning the 2019 Pan American route. Kalisz and Litherland rank No. 3 and No. 5 respectively on the list behind ’08/’12 Olympic representatives Ryan Lochte (4:05.18) and Michael Phelps (4:03.84 WR).

Foster is now the No. 2 seed on the tentative Wave II psych sheets, only behind Litherland’s 4:09.22 runner-up swim from the 2019 World Championships.

All-Time U.S. Performers List: Men’s 400 IM LCM

  1. Michael Phelps, 4:03.84 — 2008 Olympics
  2. Ryan Lochte, 4:05.18 — 2012 Olympics
  3. Chase Kalisz, 4:05.90 — 2017 Worlds
  4. Tyler Clary, 4:06.96 — 2009 U.S. Nationals
  5. Jay Litherland, 4:09.22 — 2019 Worlds
  6. Erik Vendt, 4:11.27 — 2002 U.S. Nationals
  7. Charlie Swanson, 4:11.46 — 2019 Pan Ams
  8. Carson Foster, 4:11.56 — 2021 Longhorn Elite Invite**
  9. Gunnar Bentz, 4:11.66 — 2017 U.S. Nationals
  10. Tom Dolan, 4:11.76 — 2000 Olympics

Comparing Foster’s splits from his top three best performances, he has been able to consistently take out his 100 fly in 56s, yet made small improvements in all three remaining strokes which aided his 1.83s drop. In Austin this morning, Foster also swam his best 100 back/breast splits (1:03.61/1:12.68) in the same race and chopped a half second off his 100 free (58.97). At the 2021 Olympic Trials, Foster will need to be on the lookout for Chase Kalisz‘s 1:08-capable breast split and Jay Litherland‘s 56-capable closing 100 free.

2021 Longhorn Elite (prelims) 2019  U.S. Nationals 2021 TXLA Kick-Off
1st 50 FL N/A 26.40 26.77
2nd 50 FL N/A (56.30) 30.20 (56.60) 30.17 (56.94)
1st 50 BK 32.08 32.83 32.40
2nd 50 BK 31.53 (1:03.61) 31.60 (1:04.43) 31.49 (1:03.89)
1st 50 BR 36.15 36.29 36.80
2nd 50 BR 36.53 (1:12.68) 36.65 (1:12.94) 36.74 (1:13.54)
1st 50 FR 30.03 30.18 30.55
2nd 50 FR 28.94 (58.97) 29.24 (59.42) 28.87 (59.42)
Total Time 4:11.56 4:13.39 4:13.79

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4 months ago

With Kalisz rounding back into form and the ever reliable Litherland I see at least three under 4.10 at the trials

4 months ago

Sub 4:10 at trials, I’m rooting for him

Kitajima Fan
4 months ago

Wow I wasn’t expecting that, I hope he’s swimming evening finals and not doing the morning final practice for tokyo

4 months ago

In prelims, you say??? Is this a “want to practice as if finals are in the morning” kind of thing, or is this a genuine prelims swim? I guess I need to wait to finals to see?

Reply to  THEO
4 months ago

I’m betting that was all out prelims.

And if he’s not rested then sub 4:10 almost seems assured

Reply to  THEO
4 months ago

He went 4.11.11 in the finals. Also KL beat Manuel in the 100 free by 0.01

Just Saying
4 months ago
4 months ago

Simone 54.0 hope she is 53.5 at least tonight

Reply to  Hswimmer
4 months ago

won’t be a problem

Ole 99
Reply to  Hswimmer
4 months ago

LEdecky at 54.25 in the 100 then 4:02 in the 400

Reply to  Hswimmer
4 months ago

Katie Ledecky is faster in the preliminaries of the women’s 100 meter freestyle than Brown (54.85), Comerford (55.37), Schmitt (54.60) in the final of the women’s 100 meter freestyle during the month of May.

Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

Yeah I know lol

Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
4 months ago

Let’s begin talk that Ledecky is faster than somebody else when she goes under 54 sec taking #6 spot in current ranking among americans. Otherwise this kind of arithmetic is useless.

Reply to  Yozhik
4 months ago

Ledecky’s splits in both races in 100 (prelim, final) and today are like twins. Practically no variations. I would expect faster first half. Let’s see if there would be any changes in final in an hour.

Reply to  Yozhik
4 months ago

I can point out anyone in any event I want.

Reply to  Hswimmer
4 months ago

Ledecky 53.82 and Simone 53.83

4 months ago

Just curious, how come Carson wears a Mason Manta Rays cap while his brother wears a Texas one?

Reply to  Swimmer
4 months ago

They are both technically “unattached” but it’s probably just who they are feeling love for that day. The Rays have 14 swimmers qualified for trials, so they will have a cheering section no matter which cap they choose to wear.

Joe Koller
4 months ago

I really hope this is a sign of him being on top form going into taper for trials and not him peaking to early. I’d love to see him swim in Tokyo!

About Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro

Nick Pecoraro started swimming at age 11, instantly becoming drawn to the sport. He was a breaststroker and IMer when competing. After joining SwimSwam, the site has become an outlet for him to research and learn about competitive swimming and experience the sport through a new lenses. He graduated in …

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