Leon Marchand Swims 1:39.28 in 200 IM at NC State Invitational; 10th-Fastest Time Ever

Leon Marchand -- Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Leon Marchand Swims 1:39.28 in 200 IM at NC State Invitational; 10th-Fastest Time Ever

The world’s top individual medley swimmer has gotten off to a blistering start in his sophomore year at Arizona State University, and 20-year-old Frenchman Leon Marchand began his midseason focus meet with a 200-yard IM performance that ranks as the 10th-fastest effort ever. At the North Carolina State Invitational in Greensboro, N.C., Marchand won the event in 1:39.28, three seconds ahead of Sun Devils teammate Grant House.

The time was 1.59 seconds behind the NCAA and U.S. Open records of 1:37.69 that Marchand swam at last year’s NCAA Championships, and this time, Marchand was only marginally slower over the first three 50-yard splits of the race before falling back at the end.

Splits from 2022 NCAA Championships: 21.42, 45.74 (24.32), 1:14.15 (28.41), 1:37.69 (23.54)
Splits from 2022 NC State Invitational: 21.66, 46.30 (24.64), 1:15.01 (28.71), 1:39.28 (24.27)

House placed second in the race in 1:42.27, while NC State’s Arsenio Bustos took third in 1:44.45.

No swimmer other than Marchand has been under 1:42 so far this season, although top challengers Destin Lasco and Carson Foster will not race at their midseason meets for two more weeks. The only swimmers who have ever surpassed this 1:39.28 are Marchand, Caeleb DresselAndrew Seliskar, Lasco, Shaine Casas and Luca Urlando.

Last summer, Marchand won world titles in the 400-meter IM, where he pushed Michael Phelps’ long-standing world record in the event, and 200 IM along with a silver medal in the 200 butterfly. At the conclusion of his first yards championship season last year, Marchand became the second-fastest performer ever in the 200-yard breaststroke in addition to his record-setting 200 IM swim and runnerup performance in the 400 IM.

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