After NCAAs, How Fast Can Dressel Swim Meters? (Dressel Time Conversions)

Last week Caeleb Dressel wowed the swimming community with an all-time dominant performance in the 2018 NCAA Men’s championships. Not only did he break three of his own individual event records in the 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, he did so on the heels of a SEC championships where he also broke the NCAA records in the 100 breastroke and 200 IM. He will unquestionably go down as one of the, if not the greatest, NCAA swimmers of all time.

As he sadly wraps up his collegiate career, it leaves us swim fans wondering how much of his wild success will carry over as he transitions over to international long course swimming full-time. He will both be competing on a large stage and making the switch from SCY to LCM. Of course by most standards, Dressel has already had a great international swimming career. In the 2016 Rio Olympics, he lead off on USA’s gold medal winning 400 free relay, finished 8th individually in the 100 free, and anchored the 400 medley relay in prelims.

  • At the 2017 World Championships, we saw Dressel first reach some of the same wild successes long-course that he had short course. There, he won three individual gold medals, in the 50 free, 100 free, and 100 fly – setting new American records in the 50 and 100 free and finishing a mere .04 off of Phelps’ suited world record in the 100 fly.
  • 47.17 100 Free- American Record
  • 21.15 50 free- American record
  • 49.86 100 Fly- .04 off Michael Phelp’s World Record

Clearly, Dressel has improved dramatically just in the past year short course. Let’s see how his new top times convert to long course using SwimSwam’s real time converter. I’m using his age of 21 – yes he’s still only 21! – in the conversions. To reference exactly how bonkers these times are, I’ve included the current world records as well for reference.

Event SCY Best Time Converted SCY to LCM Converted SCY to SCM Current LCM WR Dressel LCM Best
50 Free 17.63 20.42 19.57 20.91 21.15
100 Free 39.90 45.97 44.39 46.91 47.17
100 Fly 42.80 49.20 47.58 49.82 49.86
100 Breast 50.03 58.44 54.80 57.13 1:02.26
200 IM 1:38.13 1:53.73 1:48.93 1:54.00 2:04.60

Four world records! He is still a bit short of Peaty’s in the 100 breast, but that’s Dressel’s his fifth best event. Can Dressel actually go some of these times? Perhaps not all of his short-course speed and dynamic turns and underwaters will cary over to LCM swimming. A good comparison though is Cesar Cielo who owns the current (suited) LCM WR times in the 50 and 100 free. Dressel has already blown away his SCY records of 18.47 and 40.92, so it would not be a surprise to see him break them LCM as well. I think its likely that Dressel’s short-course times will always be stronger than his long-course times – but just based off of this potential I’m excited to watch to see what he does!

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 years ago

These conversions are trash. No chance he drops a 45 in the 100 LCM Free. The conversion formulas have historically been very generous with respect to yards-to-meters conversions. If they were accurate, half the NCAA A-finalists would be right at LCM world record speed.

6 years ago

Just goes to show how inaccurate those conversions are, he definitely won’t go those time LCM

6 years ago

Anyone know the brand of that towel? Might be the secret to his success

6 years ago

those conversions are bs. 45.97 in a 100 free LCM … what is this!??

6 years ago

Your 100 breast conversion to LCM is way off, it’s even faster than your SCM conversion. If it only took 4 secs difference you would see 55 scy breastrokers go 1:00 long course.

6 years ago

First off, I admire Dressel’s loyalty. He remained loyal to Clay High School and stayed in-state at Florida. As a Gator, Caeleb proved himself in and out of the pool each year and was rewarded senior year with SEC Championship swims in his non-traditional events. A month ago, who would have included Dressel in Breast and IM conversations?
My personal hope is that he takes on a Phelpsian individual event schedule at international meets. Take on the world in 4 disciplines (3 + IM). Let the world see what Superman looks like. No doubt Dressel will amass scores of relay medals over the next decade, but his place in swim history will ultimately be measured in individual wins and… Read more »

6 years ago

I believe we can all agree that Dressel is the closest athlete to compare to Phelps going into Tokyo as we could possibly see. This young man has it all. Talent, humility, faith, desire, sportsmanship. Now that he will turn pro and pursue a different training philosophy, I believe Team Caeleb will figure out just what the right mix will be for him to win every race he swims. I hope now in his push to Tokyo he takes his remarkable short course talents to SCM also and crushes all the records in the events he swims. USA is blessed to have a remarkable young man like this that WILL change swimming history on the international stage!

running start to touch backstroke flags
Reply to  ardy43
6 years ago

You were good until “faith” then the wheels fell off.

Swimming is a secular sport first but is an excepting sport of all beliefs… just as America is a secular country first that is open to different beliefs.. including people with deep and personal relationships with reality (education/science). Swim teams and USA swimming do not practice faith. If you pressed Dressel to answer how the earth is only 6000 years old (according to Christianity), while any rock outside his home, beside his driveway, could be carbon dated as much older, just as with ice core samples and most natural things in existence, he would suddenly not want to talk about science, just as we don’t want to talk about… Read more »

Double Arm Freestyle

I will say I think it’s good he has faith as it will help keep him grounded, something Phelps struggled with. Phelps never met his peak because he struggled with drug usage, alcohol usage, and depression which affected his training. Caeleb’s faith keeps him grounded and happy.
Also, I’m not here to debate religion, but the way you worded your statement implies religion and science are incompatible and all Christians believe in a young earth, both of these statements are untrue. Regardless, there’s no need to attack someone’s comment for noting Caeleb’s faith.

running start to touch backstroke flags
Reply to  Double Arm Freestyle
6 years ago

No, he didn’t. He reached his peak while experimenting. The year before and after 2008 were pot-fueled. Booze too. It’s a weird take away but true. Dressel can have whatever faith/blessings he wants or none at all.


Can you cite a source for your claim that Phelps drank and smoked in the leadup to the Beijing Olympics? No doubts about after, but before would surprise me.

2 Cents

Dude, I’m agnostic and get VERY annoyed by religious people, but even I did not take it that way at all. Can he not have faith in his coaches that they are doing what is best for him? Can he not have faith in his teammates? Can he not have faith that the American public will cheer him on and support him? Can he not have faith in himself and the training and hard work that he put in will pay off? Does having faith HAVE to mean religion, or christian implications like you are whining about? Quit trolling, seriously.

running start to touch backstroke flags
Reply to  2 Cents
6 years ago

Congrats, that wasn’t coherent at all. Faith / blessings are non-secular. What are you smoking?


U seem to be in denial about Faith and that that means to others – and faith can be ” I beleive in what i love & what i commit myself to ” . Never heard that from Actors , artists , High level athletes or friends ? Jeeeeeeeeez man , Maybe u have a problem with that aspect in your current life – u are the only one to know where u stand with faith or without it . I would add , its not necessarily religion related . Maybe u are the one smoking grass from your garden too much lol


Faith and believing in yourself can translate to any sport – swimming at the highest level included .

6 years ago

Faith IS a virtue, whether in a particular religion, in others, coaches, family etc. Caeleb has a strong faith in all of these things which is so admirable. Look how he continually talked about is teammates Mark and Jay. THAT is what faith is. My point of mentioning CD has faith is all of the things he bestows and speaks of in his after race interview. Bottom line. CD is the REAL DEAL! Hopefully he stays healthy and dominates the internaional stage. Now that MP has retired, CD is our new go to superstar! God Bless him, his team, teammates, family and coaching staff! Yes, I did say God Bless him, whoever your God may be. 😉


I know very few young-Earth creationists, and that’s saying something as I was born and raised in the midwest. Attributing that belief to all of Christianity is very questionable in my mind. Pretty much every religious person I know acknowledges carbon dating and evolution. About the most prominent display of young-Earth creationist belief that I have seen is the occasional billboard along I-70 (usually sandwiched by billboards for adult superstores).

Personally, Dressel’s religious beliefs aren’t important to me in the slightest, but clearly Ardy respects that about him and I’m not sure that his including that one word warranted a response like this.

Also, I think you are saying that you like that Dressel keeps his faith seperate from his… Read more »

6 years ago

some of these conversions are just so unrealistic, 54.8 100 breast like wut?!?!

Reply to  justAnotherGuy
6 years ago

I believe that was supposed to be the SCM conversion, not LCM. Looks like their numbers were inadvertently swapped. :58 would be what the LCM prediction for Caeleb would be. The Indiana breastsoker that broke :50 should certantly be considered to compete against Peaty!