Caeleb Dressel Scratches 200 Free Semi-Finals At Olympic Trials

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

Shortly after setting a best time in the preliminary heats of the men’s 200 freestyleCaeleb Dressel has scratched out of the event’s semi-finals on Day 2 of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Dressel posted a time of 1:46.63 in the heats, chopping almost seven-tenths off his previous best time (1:47.31) to qualify second overall.

Now, the 24-year-old drops the event, as does 11th-ranked Ryan Held, which leaves his status for the 800 free relay at the Olympics up in the air.

Many expected Dressel to scratch the 200 free after the prelims, provided he put up a time fast enough to earn him a relay spot in Tokyo. His 1:46.63 showing puts him in the mix, but is far from a sure thing. Anything sub-1:46 would’ve probably assured him a spot if he wanted it.

However, there’s still a very good chance he ends up on the relay at the Games, especially if the U.S. doesn’t have four men they’re confident can be sub-1:46 and Dressel is firing on all cylinders in his other events.

There are five men who advanced to tonight’s semi-finals that have been faster than Dressel’s prelim swim dating back to the beginning of 2019, so we’ll have to wait and see how things shake out.

Leading the field is Kieran Smith, a current member of Dressel’s former collegiate team, the University of Florida Gators, who produced a time of 1:46.54 in the prelims. Smith was one of three swimmers to punch a ticket to the Olympics on Sunday night, winning the men’s 400 free.

For now, though, Dressel is entered to swim the 200 fly prelims on Tuesday morning, but he’s expected to scratch out there. His first swim in one of his three primary events (50/100 free, 100 fly) will come on Wednesday morning in the 100 free prelims.

With Held also scratching after clocking 1:47.57 for 11th this morning, Grant House (1:48.18) and Julian Hill (1:48.56) will slot into the semi-finals tonight, having initially placed 17th and 18th overall, respectively. Maxime Rooney, who owns a best of 1:46.78, is now the first alternate.

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Penguin
1 month ago

I got a little too excited with my 1:44.78 prediction

M L
Reply to  Penguin
1 month ago

Nah, it’s a plausible flat-start split for him in Tokyo 🙂

maybe?
Reply to  M L
1 month ago

No.

THEO
Reply to  Penguin
1 month ago

I also thought this was what was coming next. Very sad and surprised to see the scratch after the morning swim

THEO
Reply to  Penguin
1 month ago

I was thinking 1:44 and individual qual as well. It really did look like a very controlled swim, I thought. But we may still see that 1:44 leadoff on the 8free relay next month.

BSD
1 month ago

Bad choice, what is he saving for? Is he gonna swim 200 fly tomorrow? I don’t get this move

Gregg troy for president 2024
Reply to  BSD
1 month ago

Wow you must not understand human anatomy and fatigue

M L
Reply to  Gregg troy for president 2024
1 month ago

I know 200s hurt but Dressel has nailed super heavy NCAA schedules before, and he’d have had a full day to recover…

Daeleb Cressel
Reply to  Gregg troy for president 2024
1 month ago

You must not understand that dropping an event where first and second are fairly wide open doesn’t make that much sense.

Landen
Reply to  Daeleb Cressel
1 month ago

Thinking to Tokyo the 200 individual would make his recovery that much harder. Assuming he swims the 50, 100 free and 100 fly, medley relay, 4×100 free, mixed relay and 4×200, swimming a final 200 individual could really get to him

Dan
Reply to  Daeleb Cressel
1 month ago

Seeded 2nd after prelims, and then cancel? karma may come around and bite him. And, those tattoos may slow him down too.

Daeleb Cressel
Reply to  Gregg troy for president 2024
1 month ago

Man has literally gone 21.2/49.8/47.2 in the same session lmao

Dudeman
Reply to  Daeleb Cressel
1 month ago

And again in 2019 with a 21.0, 49.6 and 47.2 (I think, maybe 47.3 instead).

Daeleb Cressel
Reply to  Dudeman
1 month ago

Facts, 21.04/49.66/47.34. It just adds to my confusion.

fluidg
Reply to  BSD
1 month ago

Proof that knowledge is not required to form an opinion.

DBS
Reply to  BSD
1 month ago

he liked pretty pleased with the swim. as he should be. PB in prelims in his first event. the look said “LFG, good enough to give me a chance for the 4×2. on to the 100.”

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  BSD
1 month ago

He did not look that good, looked like he was struggling. Maybe he’s not responding as he and Troy thought he would be for their partial taper, and he wants to make sure his key events stick. Plus, there’s always the Phelps precedent of not even swimming the event in OTs and swimming finals on the relay (4 X 100). Plus he might time trial it in camp. They time trialed the 100 with anyone who wanted a shot at the relay, including Lochte last time.

Hank
Reply to  BSD
1 month ago

Because you know more than Dressel and Troy on the subject?

Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

It’s evident that he went all-out and his time disappointed. I told y’all the 1:45, let alone the 1:44 predictions were outrageous.

Eagleswim
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

He didn’t seem very disappointed after the race tbh

Blackflag82
Reply to  Notanyswimmer
1 month ago

If you think that looked all out, you must be new to watching swimming. That looked controlled and smooth to me with easy speed at the end. He was relaxed at the wall and looked happy with the swim.

M L
Reply to  Blackflag82
1 month ago

Maybe even measured low lactic acid to prove that he cruised…

Daeleb Cressel
1 month ago

Spain without the s

Sal the swimming guy
1 month ago

I’m more surprised with Held. He must be really looking forward to the 100. Can’t fault him for that but it will be tough

oxyswim
Reply to  Sal the swimming guy
1 month ago

LC 100 has never really been his thing. Just there to help him finish his 100. Coley doesn’t prioritize it much either. He’s ready to rip a good 50 and 100.

ACC
1 month ago

That’s a shame. Don’t quite get it but I figure he and his coach know what they’re doing.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  ACC
1 month ago

Troy knows better than anyone of us ……whats the best for his swimmers …we know that for at least what 2 decades now .

yardfan
Reply to  ERVINFORTHEWIN
14 days ago

wrong.

Respect
1 month ago

I get it. just to show how relaxed 1 46 mid looks like. Put him on 800 relay if you can, coach

Olympian
1 month ago

Frustrating, he’s not the same anymore… guess we all get old someday

Notanyswimmer
Reply to  Olympian
1 month ago

Someone gets it. Dressel, Ledecky, and Regan Smith are past-prime. Shame it came so early for them.

Daeleb Cressel
Reply to  Olympian
1 month ago

Ratio

swimgeek
Reply to  Olympian
1 month ago

What are you smoking?

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  swimgeek
1 month ago

Troll weed , its the new trend i heard after Covid LOL

MTK
Reply to  Olympian
1 month ago

Lol wut? He’s 24…

Olympian
Reply to  MTK
1 month ago

How long ago he was a senior in college?? Time to hang those goggles and find a real job… He’a old old

Last edited 1 month ago by Olympian
Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Olympian
1 month ago

a shadow of his former self

Olympian
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 month ago

Nothing but a melancholic memory of the good ol’ days

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 …

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