When Caeleb Dressel went a supposed 19.0 in practice a few months ago, even for those who didn’t necessarily believe the watch 100%, there was some salivation going on.

Now, it’s time to drool. The 17-year old Caeleb Dressel has destroyed the 17-18 National Age Group Record in the 50 yard freestyle, swimming an 18.94 at just 17 years old. He’s now the first 18 & under swimmer (American or not) to go under 19 seconds in this race. This swim broke the 19.29 that he’s done twice: once at the Florida High School 2A State Championship meet in November, and once in prelims in the individual 50 yard free.

It’s not entirely uncommon to see 17-year old girls enter the ranks of ‘all-time greats’. Missy, Ledecky, Hoff…there’s been a few in that rare air in the past few years. But for a 17-year old male, especially a sprinter, to have a spot in any sort of ageless ranking is unbelievable.

That time by Dressel would have placed 2nd at last year’s NCAA Championship meet.

Now, Dressel now ranks 15th on the all-time, any-age list in the 50 yard freestyle. He becomes just the 19th person to break 19 seconds in that race – a ‘golden celebration’ of sorts. With another tenth-of-a-second drop (he’ll have one more shot at this race int he 50 free final later in the session), he’d move up to a tie for 8th with Jimmy Feigen.

Vlad Morozov is the second-fastest junior swimmer in the history of this event at 19.06; Seth Stubblefield is the second-fastest junior meeting the criteria for a NAG Record with a 19.41.

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