Disclaimer: BlueSeventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The BlueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
Individually, Caeleb Dressel wasn’t at his best this week. But swimming as a part of Florida’s relays at the SEC Championships, Dressel was among the best of all-time.
Dressel put up the fastest 50 and 100 freestyle relay splits in history at SECs, despite his individual swims being three tenths and eight tenths (respectively) off his career-bests.
The one that especially stands out is the 50, where Dressel split both 17.90 and 17.86 on consecutive days. He becomes just the second man ever to break 18 seconds on a relay split, joining (and tying) Vladimir Morozov‘s 17.86 from the 2013 NCAA meet. Dressel was a relay machine, bringing Florida from 7th to 1st while anchoring the 200 medley relay with that 17.90 and from 4th to 1st with his 17.86 on the 200 free relay the following day.
And then on Saturday night, Dressel went 40.20 on his leg of the 400 free relay, surpassing the fastest splits we could find on record: Nathan Adrian‘s 40.23 from 2009 and Morozov’s 40.28 from 2013.
It’s also worth noting that Dressel’s relay splits were actually well in line with his individual races. Considering a relay start to account for 0.5 to 0.7 seconds, Dressel was right around that range in comparing his individual swims to his relays. His 18.46 in the 50 free is 0.6 seconds slower than his relay race, and his 41.24 in the 200 free is 1.04 seconds slower than his relay leg. That means if Dressel can get his individual times back down to personal bests for NCAAs in a few weeks, we could be seeing even more barriers shattered in his relay swims – perhaps even the first-ever 39-second 100 freestyle split.
You can watch all of Dressel’s races here.
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