Caeleb Dressel Officially Breaks American 50 Free Record In 20.62


  • Tuesday, December 11th – Sunday, December 16th
  • Hangzhou, China
  • Tennis Centre, Hangzhou Olympic & International Expo Center
  • SCM (25m)
  • Prelims: 9:30 am local, 8:30 pm ET / Finals: 7:00 pm* local, 6:00* am ET
  • *The final night of finals will be one hour earlier, starting at 6:00 pm local and 5:00 am ET
  • Live Results (Omega)

After swimming the fastest time ever by an American on the lead-off of the mixed 4×50 free relay in 20.43, Caeleb Dressel officially broke the American Record during day 3 prelims in 20.62.

Lead-off legs of mixed relays don’t officially count for records, so Dressel had to wait until these prelims to take his first stab at actually breaking the record which has stood at 20.85 from Anthony Ervin since 2012. He did that with ease, and moves into 8th all-time in the event (though his 20.43 swim would put him 4th). His swim this morning also ties for the 24th fastest performance ever, and the 16th fastest in a textile suit.

This is another one of the events where the official American Record was slower than the fastest time ever swum by an American (even before Dressel’s 20.43), due to that 2009 Duel in the Pool where American swimmers competed in the tech suits while USA Swimming had stopped recognizing American Records done in them. There, Nathan Adrian was 20.71 which previously stood as the fastest time by an American before Dressel got his first SCM meet underway.

Dressel heads into the semi-finals as the top seed by 0.27 seconds, with Vladimir Morozov (20.89), Cameron McEvoy (20.97) and Ben Proud (20.98) joining him under 21 seconds.

The 22-year-old now officially owns the American Records in the 50 and 100 freestyle in long course metres, short course metres and short course yards.


*not including Dressel’s mixed relay lead-off

  1. Florent Manaudou (FRA), 20.26
  2. Roland Schoeman (RSA), 20.30
  3. Vladimir Morozov (RUS), 20.31
  4. Amaury Leveaux (FRA), 20.48
  5. Cesar Cielo (BRA), 20.51
  6. Fred Bousquet (FRA), 20.52
  7. Evgeny Sedov (RUS), 20.59
  8. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 20.62
  9. Alain Bernard (FRA), 20.63
  10. Ben Proud (GBR), 20.66

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

This unifies all the sprint free American records under his name, correct?

Reply to  Paul
2 years ago

All of the men’s records, that’s correct.

Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

Thanks for the clarification

Reply to  Swimmer!
2 years ago

He couldn’t get those womens records even if he wanted to.

Reply to  Thomas
2 years ago


Reply to  Thomas
2 years ago

pure sexism, amirite smh my head

Reply to  Paul
2 years ago

Sound like undisputed heavyweight champion!

2 years ago


2 years ago

First man under20

Caleb Dressel Will Win 7 Golds in Tokyo
Reply to  Nilesh
2 years ago

Probably in 2020 worlds.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »