2020 Swammy Awards: Caeleb Dressel Wins US Male Swimmer of the Year

by Ben Dornan 13

December 28th, 2020 2020 Swammy Awards, National, News

2020 US MALE SWIMMER OF THE YEAR – CAELEB DRESSEL

For the second straight year and third time ever, Caeleb Dressel is this year’s recipient of the US Male Swimmer of the Year Swamy award. Dressel was the 2020 star of the International Swimming League, leading the Cali Condors to their first ISL title. Individually, Dressel was named match MVP at match 4, match 8, match 10, semi-final 2, and at the grand finale, along with being named to 2020 league MVP. He raked in a total of $291,788 throughout the season; more than $30,000 more than second highest-earning Lilly King’s $254,188.

Dressel is known for his versatility in the sprints, swimming elite level freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke, and IM. Throughout the ISL season, this versatility shone through as he set new American records in 5 events, with three of those being world records.

Dressel swam 5 of the top 10 short course 50 freestyles in the world this year, the fastest one being a 20.16 world record. Dressel swam that time to win the event at the 2020 ISL finale. His 20.16 was an improvement upon his own world record of 20.24 from ISL 2019.

50 Freestyle Top 10 In 2020

  1. Caeleb Dressel – 20.16 WR
  2. Caeleb Dressel – 20.28
  3. Caeleb Dressel – 20.52
  4. Florent Manaudou – 20.55
  5. Florent Manaudou – 20.60
  6. Florent Manaudou – 20.63 (twice)
  7. Caeleb Dressel – 20.65
  8. Caeleb Dressel – 20.69
  9. Kristian Gkolomeev – 20.75

Another event in which Dressel asserted his dominance this year was the 100 IM. Dressel swam the event at all 6 of his ISL meets this year and set a new world record at both the semi-final and the final. At semis, he won the event with a 49.88 to become the first to ever break the 50-second mark in the event, beating Vlad Morozov’s previous record of 50.26.

Already the fastest of all time, Dressel went on to lower the record by another 0.60 seconds, swimming a 49.28 at the ISL finale. That makes Dressel the world-leader in the event by almost a full second.

Dressel’s 6 100 IMs this year each landed in the top 10 worldwide for 2020, 3 of which sit within the top 10 all time.

Worldwide 100 IM Top 10 In 2020

  1. Caeleb Dressel – 49.28 – WR
  2. Caeleb Dressel – 49.88
  3. Caeleb Dressel – 50.48
  4. Caeleb Dressel – 51.11
  5. Marcin Cieslak – 51.14
  6. Caeleb Dressel – 51.17
  7. Marcin Cieslak – 51.27
  8. Caeleb Dressel / Marcin Cieslak – 51.36
  9. Vlad Morozov – 51.46

Worldwide 100 IM Top 10 All Time

  1. Caeleb Dressel – 49.28 – WR
  2. Caeleb Dressel – 49.88
  3. Vlad Morozov – 50.26
  4. Vlad Morozov – 50.26
  5. Vlad Morozov – 50.30
  6. Vlad Morozov – 50.31
  7. Vlad Morozov – 50.32
  8. Vlad Morozov – 50.33
  9. Vlad Morozov – 50.36
  10. Caeleb Dressel – 50.48

Dressel’s sub-50 100 IM was not the only barrier he broke in 2020. He also became the first man to ever swim a 100 butterfly faster than 48 seconds with a new world record of 47.78. He swam that time at the ISL finale, beating Chad le Clos’ 2018 record of 48.08. Le Clos and fellow American butterflier Tom Shields continued to deliver stellar performances this year but were not quick enough to beat Dressel overall, sitting at #2 and #3 in the 100 fly this year.

Worldwide 100 Fly Top 10 In 2020

  1. Caeleb Dressel – 47.78 – WR
  2. Chad le Clos – 48.45
  3. Tom Shields – 48.47
  4. Caeleb Dressel – 48.92
  5. Tom Shields – 48.94
  6. Tom Shields 49.01
  7. Caeleb Dressel – 49.02
  8. Chad le Clos – 49.14
  9. Tom Shields – 49.17
  10. Marcin Cieslak – 49.18

Having set new world records in the 50 free, 100 IM, and 100 fly, Dressel was not quite able to nab Amaury Leveaux’s mark of 44.94 from 2008. Dressel’s top time from 2020 was 45.08, just 0.12 off of the world’s fastest ever time. Dressel lowered the American record in the event three times this season, first with a 45.20 at semis, then a 45.18 on the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay on day 1 of the final, and ending with a 45.08 on day 2 in the individual event. Those three ARs, along with a 45.56 and 45.87 from earlier in the season give Dressel 5 of the top 6 times in the world this year, interrupted only by Zach Apple’s 45.74 for #5.

Worldwide 100 Free Top 10 In 2020

  1. Caeleb Dressel – 45.08
  2. Caeleb Dressel – 45.18
  3. Caeleb Dressel – 45.20
  4. Caeleb Dressel – 45.56
  5. Zach Apple – 45.74
  6. Caeleb Dressel – 45.87
  7. Florent Manaudou – 45.92
  8. Zach Apple – 45.94
  9. Alessandro Miressi – 46.03
  10. Florent Manaudou – 46.04

Adding to his 50 free, 100 fly, 100 IM, and 100 free American records, Dressel’s lowered his own AR in the 50 butterfly to a 22.04 from his previous mark of 22.06 which he set at the 2019 ISL finale and matched at match 10 of ISL 2020. While he remained the fastest American to ever swim the event, he was not able to hit the #1 spot in the world as Nicholas Santos led with a 21.78 and Szebasztian Szabo was second in a 21.86. Finally, while it wasn’t an American record, Dressel hit the top 10 worldwide in a sixth event this year with a 26.01 50 breaststroke for #9.

As detailed above, Dressel’s short course season was nothing short of exceptional.

Like many of the United States’ elite athletes (and in contrast to elites around the world), he didn’t quite get a shot at a final long course season amid the coronavirus pandemic which brought about the cancellation of what was expected to be his second Olympic Games. His brief long course season did yield Dressel some nation-leading swims though, having raced the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 50 fly, and 100 fly at the Des Moines stop of the TYR Pro Swim Series back in March. All 5 of those swims landed Dressel in the top 3 in the country.

Dressel’s 2020 US Long Course Rankings

Top 3 2020 50 Freestyles, USA

  1. Caeleb Dressel – 21.51
  2. Nathan Adrian – 21.88
  3. Michael Andrew – 21.89

Top 3 2020 100 Freestyles, USA

  1. Zach Apple – 48.59
  2. Nathan Adrian – 48.62
  3. Caeleb Dressel – 48.68

Top 3 2020 200 Freestyles, USA

  1. Andrew Seliskar – 1:46.91
  2. Townley Haas – 1:47.48
  3. Caeleb Dressel – 1:47.55

Top 3 2020 50 Butterflies, USA

  1. Michael Andrew – 23.18
  2. Jack Conger – 24.11
  3. Caeleb Dressel – 24.26

Top 3 2020 100 Butterflies, USA

  1. Caeleb Dressel – 50.29
  2. Michael Andrew – 51.33
  3. Andrew Seliskar – 51.95

HONORABLE MENTIONS

In no particular order

  • Tom ShieldsTom Shields was a large part of LA Current’s ISL 2020 success, winning both the 100 and 200 butterflies at match 1, match 3, and match 5. He also went on to win the 200 fly at match 10 and semi-final 1, nearly going a perfect 6-for-6 until he came second to Chad le Clos he the event at the 2020 ISL finale. Despite that second-place finish, Sheilds’ 200 fly performance was fast enough to set a new America record in the event with a 1:48.66. Ultimately, Shields finished the season as the 8th highest ranked in MVP points league-wide with a total of 246.
  • Ryan MurphyRyan Murphy was a backstroke force to be reckoned with this ISL season. In the regular season, he amassed 8 individual wins, 4 relay wins, and 3 backstroke skins wins for the LA Current. At semi-final #1 he continued to serve as a key asset for LA, winning the 50 backstroke, 200 backstroke, 4×100 medley, and 50 backstroke skins to collect a 59.5 point total for second place. Murphy closed out the 2020 ISL season with another 36.5 points for 9th place in MVP points at the finale and was 4th in the league season wide with 329. Murphy finished 2020 as #1, #2, and #2 in the short course 50, 100, and 200 backstrokes, respectively worldwide with season bests of 22.54, 49.29, 1:47.41 with the 50 being a new American record.
  • Kieran Smith – Before knowing that the 2020 NCAA Championships would be canceled due to COVID-19, Florida Gator Kieran Smith took full advantage of what would be his biggest meet of the 2019-2020; the 2020 SEC Championships. There, Smith became the fastest-ever American swimmer to race the 500 freestyle, throwing down a 4:06.32 in the event. That race was quick enough to break Townley Haas’ previous NCAA record by nearly 2 seconds and Zane Grothe’s  American Record by nearly a second. Smith also picked up gold at that meet in the 400 IM with a 3:37.31, and a 42.14 bronze in the 100 free, helping Florida to the 2020 SEC title.
  • Bobby Finke – Smith’s teammate Bobby Finke also had a record-breaking performance at the 2020 SEC championships, swimming to a new American and NCAA record in the 1650 freestyle with a 14:12. With the swim, he broke Clark Smith’s 14:22.41 NCAA record and Zane Grothe’s 14:18.25 American record. Along with his 1650 gold at the meet, he also picked up bronze in both the 500 freestyle and 400 IM.

Previous Winners:

In This Story

13
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of
13 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Coach Mike 1952
8 months ago

Congratulations Caeleb. You especially crushed it in SCM. If/ when Tokyo 2021 happens, it could be a most amazing thing. We are all looking forward.

Last edited 8 months ago by Coach Mike 1952
Splash
8 months ago

All the lists refer to a 100IM top ten even when talking about other events…

ClubCoach
8 months ago

I’m pretty sure UF men won their 8th straight SEC Championship. The women finished second.

Olympian
8 months ago

I truly think we’ll just copy and paste this headline for the next 2 or 3 Olympic cycles

Joe
8 months ago

Shock horror.

Can anyone remind me what Connor Jaeger did in 2014 to win this award? Not saying he doesn’t deserve it or anything, I just don’t remember much from that year.

thezwimmer
Reply to  Joe
8 months ago

Won NCAAs, PanPacs, and Winter Nats. Set 1650 AR at winter nats in Greensboro

Cookedlays
8 months ago

In other news, water is wet.

Texas Swimmer
8 months ago

Yeah Caeleb’s got some serious talent, but it’s same-old-same-old. In my opinion, this award shouldn’t just be given to someone who just wins and goes insanely fast times, it should be given to someone like Tom Shields, who came out of suicidal-thoughts and depression to rise back up where he should be. Just my opinion.

iLikePsych
Reply to  Texas Swimmer
8 months ago

Even if I agreed with you, there’s no way to accurately measure that. You can’t always tell how low someone is by looking at them, and not everyone is going to share how they’re feeling. What you’re talking about is captured more by the ‘Heart of a champion’ award.

Gator
8 months ago

Rigged

Moddiddle
Reply to  Gator
8 months ago

I agree-it should’ve been someone else. This guy hasn’t done anything yet