Men’s NCAA Championships: Leon Marchand Takes NCAA Record; Luke Hobson Downs American Record

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Men’s NCAA Championships: Luke Hobson Downs American Record; Leon Marchand Takes NCAA Record

You want wild to open the 2024 NCAA Men’s Championships? How about two NCAA 200 free records in about 20 minutes.

Luke Hobson downed the NCAA and American records in the 200 free off the front of Texas’s 800 free relay in Heat 1, then Leon Marchand followed in Heat 3 with the NCAA mark.

Hobson went 1:29.13, clipping .02 off Dean Farris’ record from 2019. Marchand then became the first man under 1:29 in 1:28.97. They record had been set in 2019.

The splits:

  • Farris: 20.56 – 22.33 – 22.54 – 23.72 – 1:29.15
  • Hobson: 20.28 – 21.83 – 22.86 – 24.16 – 1:29.13
  • Marchand: 20.36 – 22.23 – 22.75 – 23.63 – 1:28.97

Hobson was out in 42.11. His best 100 free time coming into the meet was 41.99. He was out faster than Farris, a 100 free NCAA champ. Marchand did his work in the back half, a half-second quicker in the last 50 than Hobson.

Cal set an NCAA and U.S. Open record in 6:02.26 to win the event. It downed the 6:03.42 from Texas last year. Arizona State was second in 6:04.95. Texas, in the first heat thanks to Hobson’s absence from the Big 12 Championships, still ended up third in 6:05.33.

Marchand had served notice of his ability in freestyle at Pac-12s, a Phelpsian turn for the breaststroke and IM specialist. When he set an NCAA record in the 500 free at 4:06.18, it left coach Bob Bowman little choice but to deploy him in that event here at NCAAs. He knew he’d get a shot at the 200 free via the relay.

Marchand went 1:33.26 at an intrasquad midway through his freshman year. He clocked in at 1:30.77 at Pac-12s in 2023. He anchored the Sun Devils’ runner-up 800 free relay in 1:28.42 at NCAAs in 2023. His best flat start time was 1:30.43 off the front of the 800 free relay at Pac-12s this year.

Marchand holds NCAA records in the 500 free, the 200 IM (1:36.34), the 400 IM (3:28.82) and the 200 breast (1:46.91). The last three were from NCAAs last year.

Hobson will walk away with the American record and room to grow. He’s the eighth seed in the 200 free with a seed time of 1:31.88. He won the event last year in 1:30.43. He was, in keeping with Wednesday’s trend, faster on the relay, leading off in 1:29.63, his best time.

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19 days ago

Marchand swims a 46.4 on his second 100 of the 200. I’m trying to determine if there is any possibility that he can do a sub-four-minute 500. Maybe something like this?


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