2019 PRO SWIM SERIES – RICHMOND
- April 10-13, 2019
- Collegiate School Aquatics Center, Richmond, VA
- Meet information
- Psych Sheets
- Live results
- TV/Live Stream Schedule
- Live Stream – USA Swimming (Prelims & Finals)
- Live Stream – NBC Sports (Finals)
American superstar swimmer Caeleb Dressel not only won the 200 free on Thursday evening at the Pro Swim Series stop in Richmond, Virginia; but he did so in a new lifetime best of 1:47.31. That’s a .14 second drop from his previous best time, which was a 1:47.45 done at the 2017 US National Championships; and is half-a-second faster than he swam at Pan Pacs last summer.
While Dressel’s bread-and-butter races are 100 meters-and-shorter, for him to be swimming lifetime bests in a 200 meter event in long course at this point of the season shows us something. Hard to say exactly what, given the sort of enigma that is Dressel, with his extreme versatility, and the superficial incongruity of a sprinter training in the traditionally-high-volume Gregg Troy system.
This summer, the US will be fighting to regain control of the 800 free relay that during the Michael Phelps era was almost-automatic. While the Americans (with Phelps) won gold at the 2016 Olympic Games, the relay without Phelps at the last two World Championships has been unable to win after having taken the previous 5 long course World titles. In 2017, they took bronze, which was their lowest finish from 2001 (the last relay before Phelps broke through and became a mainstay).
If Dressel is the man who is filling that Phelps role on Team USA, a 3-relay hammer, a medal-gobbler who is in contention for 5+ golds every year, then the Americans really need him to become that man on the 800 free relay as well. The Brits, who have won the last 2 World Championships in this event, are still a very young team – their oldest finals swimmer from the 2017 title-winning team Stephen Milne is still only 24. If Dressel can start touching 1:45s on relay starts, which seems well within reach when he’s going 1:47.3 in April in a high-volume training program; and if Jack Conger can get back to 1:45; and if Zane Grothe‘s speed continues to develop; that would make the Americans the favorites again.
This result is one small step in that direction, and one of the more exciting swims we’ve seen from Dressel since his collegiate career ended.