2019 Swammy Awards: Male Swimmer of the Year Caeleb Dressel

To see all of our 2019 Swammy Awards, click here. 


Caeleb Dressel one-upped his 2017 Worlds performance with an 8-medal haul at the 2019 FINA World Championships. He became the most decorated man ever in a single Worlds meet with his 6 golds and 2 silvers. Dressel also tied his record for the most golds won in a single session, taking 3 in one night. 2019 also saw Dressel set his first World Records in both long course and short course.

His first individual title of Worlds came in the 50 fly, the only event in which he failed to medal in 2017. He broke the American Record for his first 50 fly gold. Dressel went on to break Michael Phelps’ former World Record in semifinals of the 100 fly before successfully defending his title. He also swept the sprints, defending his 50 and 100 free titles with a pair of new American Records.

Dressel contributed to 4 medal-winning relays for the USA, including the men’s 4×100 free (gold), men’s 4×100 medley (silver), mixed 4×100 free (gold), and mixed 4×100 medley (silver). His fly split on the men’s medley relay was the fastest in history. His win in the mixed 4×100 free relay gave him his 3rd gold in a single night, as he had win the 100 fly and 50 free earlier in that session.

The 2019 ISL season set the stage for Dressel’s first World Record in short course. Swimming for the Cali Condors, he took down the 50 free World Record at the ISL finale. Dressel also took down the U.S. Open and American Records in the 100 free and 50 fly.


In no particular order

  • Adam Peaty (GBR)- Peaty made history yet again as the first man to break 57 in the 100 breast. After setting the World Record in semis, he went on to dominate the final and earn a threepeat in the event. He was also just off his own World Record in the 50 breast, winning his 3rd-straight gold there as well. Peaty won 4 medals total, swimming the breaststroke leg for Great Britain to helpd them to gold in the men’s 4×100 medley and bronze in the mixed 4×100 medley.
  • Anton Chupkov (RUS)- Racing against a field that included the two men who held a tie for the World Record, Chupkov came from behind to win the 200 breast World title in Gwangju. He took down that World Record in the process. Chupkov later earned bronze for his role in Russia’s 4×100 medley relay. He had swum the prelims breaststroke leg in that event.
  • Daiya Seto (JPN)- Seto sweep the IM events this year, earning his 3rd career Worlds title in the 400 IM. Seto has now cemented his spot for Tokyo and is one of the front runners for Olympic gold in the IM races. He swept the IM races at the 2019 ISL Finale, smashing the U.S. Open Record in the 200 IM and breaking the 400 IM World Record.

Previous Winners:

  • 2013 – Chad Le Clos (RSA)
  • 2014 – Chad Le Clos (RSA)
  • 2015 – Adam Peaty (GBR)
  • 2016 – Michael Phelps (USA)
  • 2017 – Caeleb Dressel (USA)
  • 2018 – Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS)
  • 2019 – Caeleb Dressel (USA)

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1 year ago

20.79/46.70/48.9 2020, screen shot and remember this day. The storm has arrived and is reaching full strength next summer

Reply to  Ragnar
1 year ago

Alright Ol’ Longhorn… it’s time for you to return to summer form

Reply to  Ragnar
1 year ago

That would be fast

Boo haha
Reply to  Ragnar
1 year ago

Nah 20.6

Reply to  Ragnar
1 year ago

Will a 46.7 even beat Chalmers?

Reply to  DEAN IS GOD
1 year ago

If Chalmers can drop to 46.6 from a 47.0, Dressel can drop from 46.9 to 46.5. Too much speed, Caeleb was in 1:45 shape last summer. Chalmers was too, but Caeleb has the better part of a second on him in the 50.

Mr Piano
Reply to  Ragnar
1 year ago

48.9 and 20.79 is a little ridiculous. I think breaking Cielo’s 50 free is going to be very tough. He just didn’t slow down with the aid of the suit.

Reply to  Mr Piano
1 year ago

27 July- 4x100m free relay AM finals
28 July- 100m Free heats PM
4x200m free heats PM
29 July- 100m Free Semis AM
Unlikely 4x200m free finals AM
30 July- 100m free finals AM
100m butterfly heats PM
31 July- 100 Butterfly semis AM
50 free heats PM
1 Aug- 100 Butterfly finals AM
50 free semis AM
4x100m mixed medley Finals AM
2 Aug- 50 free finals AM
4x100m medley finals AM

I agree that the 48.9 is unlikely but so was the 49.50 or Milaks 1:50.XX, flyers aren’t right. The toughest part of Caeleb breaking the 50 record is that it’s the 7th day of… Read more »

remel can do anything
Reply to  Ragnar
1 year ago

i don’t think he will swim 4*200 unless he is a top 4 leg. he said he made a mistake about his 50free final, so it’s possible for 50free wr. the similar things happened in ncaa, he didn’t do well about his start of 50free in 2017 and still got 18.2+, and next year 🙂

Reply to  Ragnar
1 year ago

50 is also sometimes just having the perfect race (Cielo set it at a minor meet, not 09 worlds) a slightly imperfect breakout/finish and the world record is missed, even if gold isn’t.

1 year ago

Kristof Milak? Broke a legendary WR by like a second?

Reply to  Klorn8d
1 year ago

Indeed- no argument with Dressel, but a class act 100m swimmer (who can do an OK 200m) has 5 or 6 events (including 4 relays) to show off their class now….whereas a IM or 200m stroke specialist has 1!

Reply to  torchbearer
1 year ago

Take out the relays, Dressel can win the 50/100 free and fly and probably final at international meets in the 200 free, 200 IM and 100 Breast if he focused on them.

Milak has an amazing 200 fly and a very, very good 100 fly. Where’s his second stroke? His second win?

His one event, even setting a mind blowing world record, can’t outshine dressel even if you take relays out. Peaty is a better argument.

Reply to  Horninco
1 year ago

enough of the Dressel 100 breast nonsense.

1 year ago

Incorrect on Seto, he won the 400IM at 2015 worlds as well.

1 year ago

Somehow I fell like Kristof Milak is not getting the appreciation he is due

1 year ago

Can we get a SwimSwam top 10 swimmers of the decade? Only using results from 2010 and on, I’d go:
Phelps, Lochte, Yang, Peaty, Dressel, le Clos, Murphy, Cseh, Manaudou, Adrian
HM: Morozov, Magnussen, Grevers

Hosszu, Ledecky, Sjöström, King, C Campbell, Manuel, Pelligrini, Franklin, Schmitt, Vollmer
HM: Soni, Leah Smith, Seebohm

I’m sure that I’ve probably missed a couple big names by mistake and forgotten some medals/achievements that should make some swimmers higher than others, but this was just off the top of my head. I was tempted to put Lochte ahead of Phelps because of his great world championship performances in 2011 and Phelps not swimming worlds in the decade besides 2011.… Read more »

Reply to  JCO
1 year ago

I like this

Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago


Reply to  JCO
1 year ago

Ye Shiwen needs to be included.

and i need to think some more about this haha

1 year ago

I’d also add Kromowidjojo as at least an HM.

Reply to  JCO
1 year ago

I’d add Agnel, Hagino and Paltrinieri to the men’s.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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