50 FREE – FINALS
NCAA record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 2018- 18.11 American record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 2018- 18.11 U.S. Open record: Caeleb Dressel (Florida), 2018- 18.11
- 2017 NCAA Champion: Caeleb Dressel (Florida) – 18.23
Top 8 finishers:
- Caeleb Dressel, Florida – 17.63
- Ryan Held, NC State – 18.64
- Bowen Becker, Minnesota – 18.90
- Pawel Sendyk, Cal – 18.94
- Zach Apple, Auburn / Ryan Hoffer, Cal – 18.97
- Robert Howard, Alabama – 19.09
- Blake Pieroni, Indiana – 19.17
By now, everyone should know what Florida’s Caeleb Dressel did in the 50 yard freestyle at the 2018 Men’ NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. While all of Dressel’s swims were incredible, the 50 freestyle was… (when our human language is capable of describing what he did in that event, we will update this post accordingly).
Though Dressel deserves all of the praise and attention he has received, it would be a disservice to swimming to overlook the other athletes that stepped up this season and shuffled positions 2-10 on the all-time performers lists. Minnesota junior Bowen Becker is one of those athletes.
At the Big Ten Championships in February, Becker won the 50 freestyle in a new B1G Record time of 18.69, making himself the 8th-fastest performer all-time in the event. At NCAAs last week, Becker placed 3rd in the finals of the 50 freestyle in 18.90. Dressel of course won the race, lowering his less-than-one-hour-old record from a 17.81 to a mind-boggling 17.63. NC State’s Ryan Held placed 2nd in 18.64. Held, for his part, is currently ranked 4th all-time in the 50 free at 18.58 seconds from last year’s 2017 NCAA Championships where he also placed 2nd to Dressel.
Becker also raced the 100 freestyle at this year’s NCAA Championships, placing 14th in a 42.13, though he went 41.86 in prelims and 41.61 at the 2018 B1G Championships.
Following a breakout season, Becker, who considers himself better at long course, is ready to race in the big pool and make waves on the international stage this summer.