Caeleb Dressel was unshaved in 18.2 50 Free (Interview)

Produced by Coleman Hodges.

Reported by Karl Ortegon. 


  1. Caeleb Dressel, Florida – 18.23
  2. Peter Holoda, Auburn – 19.17
  3. Michael Chadwick, Mizzou – 19.23

Caeleb Dressel won this one before his head came up off the dive. With the rest of the field at his hips by the time he surfaced for his first arm stroke, he only extended his lead at the turn. 18.23 destroys his 18.39 from this morning, which in and of itself destroyed NCAA, American, and U.S. Open records.

While Katie Ledecky is capable of making the world’s top distance freestylers look slow or tired, Dressel made the rest of this field look absolutely pedestrian. Seeing someone that far ahead of the best sprinters in the SEC is utterly amazing– Dressel beat 2nd place Peter Holoda of Auburn by almost a FULL second. He actually did beat Michael Chadwick, a likely candidate for the United States 400 free relay team at the next Olympics, by an exact full second.

As Dressel took off his goggles and cap and reveled in his victory, the rest of the field finally touched the wall. Kristian Gkolomeev of Alabama, who tied for the NCAA crown in 2014, was 19.25 for 4th behind Chadwick. Gkolomeev’s teammate Brett Walsh was 8th in this final.

Florida got some more points here with Corey Main‘s 5th place finish. Tennessee’s Kyle Decoursey turned in a 6th place finish here, while Auburn’s Kyle Darmody grabbed 7th.

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Tom from Chicago

What is it about Mr. White Lightning here that provides a half body length lead on the start? He must have awesome underwaters.

Steve-O Nolan


Truthering this hard.


Same. I’m calling shenanigans at the top of my lungs.

tall n wet

Lets not forget that Cielo didnt have the luxury of getting to use a backplate on the start. Bodysuit debate aside, im fully convinced Cielo would have had a faster record back in ’07 if he had the chance to use a backplate


Back plates have been proven to not make much of a difference in starting times (time to 15m is usually the best indicator). In fact i saw somewhere the side plates made a bigger difference. This is probably due to the fact that the back leg doesn’t provide much propulsion on the jump, just serves to start the momentum and shift it to your front leg.

I think most swimmers will contend that bodysuits have a bigger impact than the blocks.

Plus a comparison of their splits shows that the biggest difference in their swims was on the second 25.


I have read differently. The study linked below showed that the OSB11 (first block with the wedge) reduced time to 7.5m by 0.2s (interestingly, the same margin by which Caeleb beat Cielo’s record). With the greater horizontal velocity, one can assume that 15m time would also be reduced by at least 0.2s, possibly more. I’ve read the study you’re remembering that showed the side handles had a bigger impact. Whether it’s the handles or the wedge (my guess is that this will vary greatly by individual swimmer) doesn’t really make much of an impact, as Cielo didn’t have those either.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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