Caeleb Dressel Family Swimming Wisdom: GMM presented by

Gold Medal Minute presented by

Caeleb Dressel and his swim parents may have a few things to teach us about success.  Our sport stands on the shoulders of swim moms and swim dads all over the world. After Caeleb’s jaw-dropping performance at the 2018 Men’s NCAA DI Championships, SwimSwam was lucky enough to capture Caeleb’s parents on camera.

Here’s a quick recap on Caeleb’s NCAA Championship performance (though I can’t imagine anyone missed it):

  • 50 yard free – 17.63
  • 100 yard free – 39.90
  • 100 yard butterfly – 42.80

My one big takeaway was witnessing how easy-going Caeleb’s parents are–aside from being humble and humorous.  At SwimSwam we’ve been fortunate to meet so many swim parents of superstars, and that’s the one common denominator. They love their kids, and they keep swimming (the stress of racing) in perspective. That matters enormously on the road to World Championships and the Olympic Games.

This summer, as a follow up to Caeleb’s NCAA performance and his 2017 World Championship seven gold medals, does anyone want to make predictions? I don’t. I’m getting sick of being wrong. Caeleb beats my predictions every time.  Instead, I’ll frame it another way.  I’d be happy if Caeleb improved on his Worlds Budapest times with:

  • 20.89 50m free
  • 46.9 100m free
  • 49 low 100m fly

***And, yes, I know that’s toppling three world records from the tech-suit era, and I am fully aware Caeleb will probably swim faster than the times above.

What do you think? 

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This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of, a Swimming News website.

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tammy touchpad error

I’ll be shocked if he’s slower than 46.6 and 20.8… but 17.6… 20.5 might actually be doable. I’m actually most interested in the 200 IM. I think if he swims it at Nationals or Pan Pacs we’ll see a 1:53.

Also I think he doesn’t want to miss out on that 8 free relay, and I will be underwhelmed with anything slower than a 1:43.9 split.


Those look like video game times as I read them lol. I know not to doubt Dressel but those times and expectations will most likely leave you disappointed this summer. The IM is definitely the most realistic and even then he’s going against two of the greatest swimmers ever. I would expect a 47.00, 49.7, 21.0 and a 1:44.xx relay split, just considering he was around 1:46-47 in the 200 last year. By Tokyo he’ll probably dip under 47 and close to under 21

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo

Nah man. You’re the one who will be surprised if you don’t think he will break 47 and 21 for 2 years.
I’d bet $2000 that he will without a doubt beak those. His NCAAs were too good to have predictions that low.
43.5, 49.8 100 fly, 2017.
18.2, 21.5 50 free, 2017.
42.8 100 fly, probably 49.2 100 fly.
17.63 50 free, probably a 20.7 at least.


I never said he wouldn’t do those times, nor do I think he won’t hit them sooner, I just don’t think it’ll be this year. Like I said I know better than to doubt Dressel I just think his focus and performances will be a lot like Phelps in 07 and 08. He’ll put on an insane show at 2019 worlds and one-up himself in Tokyo, there’s no need to have mind-blowing swims at pan-pacs in the middle of a quad. That was why my predictions were reserved, I would love to see his times this year translate into LCM immediately but that’s not always how it goes down.

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo

Dressel’s not the one to wait to bring his best until 2020. He’s pretty consistent on his 50 free.
In 2015, his 18.67 converts to 21.52. That’s pretty much exactly what he got. In 2017 he went 18.2 (as 2016). That converts to 21.00. He went 21.15. His 17.6 converts to 20.3, but considering margin of error, I think it’s reasonable to say he’ll be 20.6 or even faster. 17.6 is just so much faster than he’s gone before, that it doesn’t make sense to say he’ll “only” be 21.0 or even 20.8 this year.


I’d love to see that happen but for now I have my opinion and you have yours, that’s the great part about these predictions

tammy touchpad error

I have been very optimistic about Dressel for years now, especially concerning long course. I’ve thought for a while that 9-10 golds are possible (with a 200 free and 200 IM win in there). I was not convinced we would see a 17.99 or a 42.99.

When he went 17.6, he broke my brain. Now I know that the things that I thought he could do will happen, and they will come sooner than later, and that my predictions above might even be too realistic. (1:42 relay split anyone?? This year or next for sure)

I mean seriously, the dude is borderline not human, and will go down as better than Phelps when its all over.

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo

1:42 split could come for 2020, but honestly, I see “only” a 1:44 this year.


If he dominates in 2020 2024 2028 and 2032 then yeah sure otherwise it’s still Phelps

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo

Depends. He might never reach the longevity of Phelps due to retirement, but he can put out more impressive swims. Tbh I think 17.6 in the 50 free is more impressive that anything Phelps has ever done in a swim. Except maybe that 1:54 200 fly when he was 15. I consider that his most impressive swim.

tammy touchpad error

That 1:52.0 in 07 has my vote… Just felt like his most dominant swim in his pet event in his prime year. It’s a classic. (also happens to be the first year I started watching International Swimming)

It’s hard to imagine a 15 year old beating a WR. I am too young to have witnessed young phelps and any Thorpe. Dressel is one of the first dominant swimmers I’ve watched from the get go (2011). So I’m definitely biased there.


Phelps never really swam super impressive sprint times because he was swimming the 400 IM.

If dressel swims the 200 fly, 200 free, 800 free relay, 200 IM and 400 IM and puts up top notch times in all of them without his speed suffering then I,’ll take him over phelps. Dressel has the mixed medley relay though to bump up the gold medals. Phelps didn’t have that. So dressel can take advantage of that.

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo

Don’t judge Phelps on his sprints and don’t judge Dressel in his distance.


He has that potential, it’s a big claim to say he will go down as better than Phelps, a guy who already 4 individual Olympic golds at Dressel’s age, went on to win 5 individual golds at a single Olympics, then backed it up in 2 more.


He was nowhere near tapered at Nationals last year, I think he’s got a 1:42-1:43 200 free split in him



40 Flat

20.78, 49.72 and 46.68 (trying to guess fast because then maybe he won’t make my predictions look as dumb), and if he does 50 fly and 200 free I say 22.52 and 1:45.63.

40 Flat

actually probably faster in the 200 since he has been doing longer workouts with the IM group.


Any specific reason he would drop just .15 in the 100 fly and about .45 in the 100 free?

40 Flat

I see why you’re questioning it, I just kind of thought he had more room for improvement in the 100 free when I looked at his races in budapest.

40 Flat

I also just realized my name is out of date.


I think it’s the other way around. Personally I think he will drop about 0.3 in 100 free and 0.5 in fly.


I think there’s more slack in the 100 free, particularly for Dressel.

1) No one else has come within touching distance of that 100 fly time in a textile, both Magnussen and McEvoy (good swimmers, but not all time greats) have been near the 100 free.

2) Dressel makes his biggest, if not only, time gains on the start and the turn. I think the time he can gain underwater against Cielo is a lot greater than the time he gain on Phelps’ underwaters (which were world class in their own right).


Best times this summer would be amazing! I don’t want to make wild predictions, if he could break ONE of the 3 world records (50-100 Free, 100 Fly) then I’d be stoked!

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo

He will SMASH all 3. If he doesn’t, I’ll be surprised, but not disappointed.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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