Leon Marchand Continues Record Barrage With 49.23 Breast Split, Fastest Ever


By Robert Gibbs on SwimSwam


Just in case all-time records in the 200 IM and the 400 IM weren’t enough for you, Arizona State’s Leon Marchand brought the razzle dazzle on the Sun Devils’ 400 medley relay as well.

Marchand split 49.23, helping the Sun Devils to a third place finish in 2:59.18, one of the three teams to break the old NCAA record of 2:59.22.

It seemed inevitable that Marchand would get well under 50 after he split 22.27 yesterday in the 200 medley, the fastest split ever at that distance. And sure enough, Marchand cleared 50 easily tonight, splitting 22.83/26.40 en route to the fastest split ever.

As improbable as this seems, given all the crazy-fast swimming we’ve seen recently, it’s been a decade someone last set this unofficial record.

Early SwimSwam readers and other longtime swim fans may remember the chaos that came with the first night of the 2013 NCAA Championships. Not only did Vlad Morozov become the first man with a sub-18 split, and Tom Shields split 43.48 on fly, but Kevin Cordes got well under the 50-point barrier with a 49.56.

Here’s the five times we’ve found that someone went under 50 in a 100 breast split:

  1. Leon Marchand (Arizona State), 2023 – 49.23
  2. Kevin Cordes (Arizona), 2013 – 49.56
  3. Ian Finnerty (Indiana), 2019 – 49.60
  4. Will Licon (Texas), 2017 – 49.75
  5. Max McHugh (Minnesota), 2019 – 49.97

There’s no official list of these splits, so if there’s one or more we’ve missed, let us know in the comments and we’ll add it in.

SwimSwam: Leon Marchand Continues Record Barrage With 49.23 Breast Split, Fastest Ever

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