Carson Foster Takes Down Dressel’s 15-16 NAG in 200 Free in Fiji

2018 Jr. Pan Pacific Swimming Championships

16-year-old Carson Foster downed the 15-16 National Age Group Record in the men’s 200 meter freestyle on Thursday night in Fiji, winning the B final at 2018 Junior Pan Pacs in 1:48.57. Foster hadn’t cracked the 2:00 barrier coming into the meet; his top time was 1:50.44 from last summer’s Junior Nationals.

In Fiji, he dropped a 1:49.07 in prelims to qualify third overall behind USA teammates Drew Kibler and Jake Magahey. Magahey, who is also 16, went 1:48.65 to come within .01 of the 15-16 NAG in prelims.

Because of the 2-country max rule, Foster swam the B final in lane 4. Foster was out quickly, swimming evenly with Japan’s Masayuki Otake. Foster exploded over the second half to blow the heat away. He won by 2 body lengths with 1:48.57, with Otake (1:51.20) and Ethan Heasley (1:51.52) following.

Foster’s 1:48.57 knocked .07 off Caeleb Dressel’s 15-16 NAG from 2013 Summer Junior Nationals, when he won the B final in 1:48.64. The difference is all in Foster’s last 50 meters. Here are the side-by-side splits:

  Carson Foster, 2018 Caeleb Dressel, 2013
50 25.68 25.17
100 53.56 (27.88) 52.65 (27.48)
150 1:21.44 (27.88) 1:20.33 (27.68)
200 1:48.57 (27.13) 1:48.64 (28.31)



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Congrats to Carson Foster but also (above all?) to Jake Mahahey, capable to swim two 1.48.6.
The hundredths grab the headlines (and Nag), but consistency is a great mid-term swimming asset.

25 free champ

Seriously. It’s got to be a bit frustrating for others in his age group that he is good at almost everything. He’s like a new Phelps or MA.

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo

The fact that these guys are going so fast so young is awesome. They’re super fast. But for them to be Phelps like, it would be more like 1:51 in the 200 fly and 1:43 in the 200 free. Back when Phelps went 1:54.58, the world record was… 1:54.58. He was a world record holder when he was 15.

25 free champ

And if he swam today it wouldn’t be the WR. Swimming was less competitive when Phelps was starting out.


It was less competitive yes, but the fact remains that in the almost 20 years since Phelps broke his first WR, advancements in sport science, suits etc have come a long way. Basically, a 15 year old going 1:54 now (while insanely impressive) isn’t near as impressive as Phelps doing it in 2001.

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo

I think it’s almost as impressive, but Phelps paved the way for it.

Caeleb Dressel Will Win 9 Gold Medals in Tokyo

By the way 25 Free Champ, those downvotes are not bots.


2:00 barrier?


HUGE drop of time in his 200 free. We saw his 200 IM and 200 back get under 2:00, but good to see his freestyle get there too.


Firstly fantastic swim, unbelievable talent , on paper Texas seems a good fit considering it’s history.
At closer look tho how many Texas swimmers can swim multiple 200’s to a international standard at the same meet?
The current crop all seem to be 100 swimmers barring Haas. Conger can’t ever get the 100/200 free fly combo right, Schooling is a 100man, Licon can’t make top 2, Smith’s Been out.
Crocker 100fly free
Aaron P back
Hansen brs
The list is endless, considering Carson’s better events seem to be 200bk 200free 20fly 200/400im be very interesting to see where he ends up by 2024 wen he’s done with college and preparing for trials for Paris.


Peirsol won two Olympic golds in the 2 back, guess Berens and Walters missed your analysis.


Piersol won gold in 2004 but got silver in 2000 and 2008 in the 200 back. He did win two golds in the 100 however


Berens and Walters swam 100/200free and never medal individually at any long course meet.
Didn’t swim 200free and 200Im or any other individual event.
Berens 200free at Olympics 2012
Walters 100free at 2009 worlds.


Seems like a lot of Texas swimmers went to Olympics but interestingly, no Texas male swimmer has won an individual medal in 200m (or 400m or 1500m) freestyle in Olympics yet. A lot of 4x200m relay gold (prelim and final).

200m Freestyle individual medalists in Olympics:
Conor Dwyer (2016) – Iowa, Florida
Michael Phelps (2004, 2008) – n/a
Peter Vanderkaay (2008) – Michigan
Matt Biondi (1988) – Berkeley
Mike Heath (1984) – Florida
Bruce Furniss (1976) – UCSC
John Naber (1976) – UCSC
Jim Montgomery (1976) – Indiana
Mark Spitz (1972) – Indiana
Steve Genter (1972) – UCLA
Don Schollander (1968) – Yale
John Nelson (1968) – Yale

Samuel Huntington

Terrible analysis. Aaron and Brendan could swim excellent 200s. Crocker and Schooling are sprinters, so not expected to swim 200s. Smith has been injured. Conger is clearly trying to do too much and Licon is just unlucky.


Not really.
Carson foster has Phelps lochte clary Kalisz traits.
Hansen could not make a team part from brs.
Peirsol only made team in back despite been a strong medley swimmer.
Licon isn’t good enough not unlucky.
Conger can go 1.45 free, 1.54 fly, 1.55 back but never at same meet or season !
Crocker was age group record holder in 200free from 1998 and schooling choose to not race 200fly.


all the aforementioned have likely made more olympic teams that you or I have. i think the TX legacy is pretty good.


Agreed the Texas legacy wasn’t in question.
But based of history and facts my point was only Texas seems to not specialise in multiple events but select a stroke or combo that compliments each other 100/200free or 100fly free or form 100/200.
Texas doesn’t have as ‘rich’ a history with medley swimmers compared to specialist (where they are spectacular)
Florida , Michigan, Georgia have all had more recent success you could say in versatile swimmers who choose to pursue multiple events.
My original point was Carson been able to swim 200free/bk/fly and 200/400IM it will be interesting to see what Texas does with him, whether he stays versatile or becomes more specialised.

Becky D

Texas seems to not specialise in multiple events

That, folks, is what we call an oxymoron.


Name some examples of multi events swimmers:
Townley Haas 100/200/400free doesn’t count its freestyle.
Jack conger 100/200free 100/200fly would count if he didn’t bomb every season and make a senior team in multiple events.
Tyler clary : 200fly 200bk 400IM would count different strokes ….

At a world level on Male side……

samuel huntington

OK, you say Texas can’t train swimmers to succeed in multiple 200s at an international meet. but who exactly can do that? I can think of Phelps, Lochte, LeCLos, Larkin, and Clary and that’s it. Kalisz and Prenot kind of sort of. I think it is just exceedingly difficult to succeed in multiple 200s at the same meet.

25 free champ

He’s got a good point. I’m trying to think of a Texas swimmer making WC or Olympics in more than 2 events. Have they ever had a swimmer do that?

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name

You’re talking about an absurdly limited list. Men who have made the Olympics in 3+ events (top 2 in an event, ignoring the lower relay members for the most part):
Phelps ’04 ’08 ’12 ’16
Lochte ’08 ’12
Dolan ’96
Stewart ’92 (3rd in the 200 free)
Biondi ’88

So the question is, basically, has Texas had the best individual swimmer in the US in an Olympic year in the past 30 years? The answer to that is no. But it’s roughly a sample size of 1 guy every 4 years.


and Mark Spitz ’72 🙂

but it is also true that none of them come from University of Texas


Your right, my post was merely an observation and thought as to what he could/will become. Looking at his talent you would like to think he could become a world class versatile swimmer.
But when you look at how Texas has produced its Olympic champions its just interesting. Someone like Carson reminds me of a Kosuke Hagino.


I’m not sure what your point is. You are predicting that Foster won’t realize his potential at Texas but he would if he trained elsewhere? One thing you that counters your arguement in my mind is that the Texas swimmers do pretty well converting their short course swims to long course and they do it at a higher rate than elsewhere. I guess Carson has already shown that ability. What was your point again? Texas would have ruined Hagino and Seto like they did Schooling!


Absolutely. The number of swimmers that can even be competitive in multiple distances of the same stroke is continually declining – so much depth these days. As you said, it takes a special talent to be internationally competitive in multiple strokes.

Love to Swim

Seto, Hagino, Dirado, Beisel, Hosszu, Belmonte, Baker, Ruck, etc etc


“Hansen could not make a team part from brs.”

Well duh, breastrokers in general don’t tend to be internationally competitive in anything other than breaststroke (it’s so different/specialized compared to pretty much everything else) – the closest you get is someone like Shanteau/Prenot in 200IM – especially in the most competitive swim country in the world.


Firstly … breaststrokers
Secondly …. your basically saying breaststrokers are limited and less versatile.
Mostly true based of facts but let’s not limit any breaststrokers to feel that is the road they are destined for.
Ricky Berens
Dave Walters
Garret Weber gale
Jimmy feigen
Tate Jackson
Brett Ringhold
Won’t ever make a team in anything but 100/200free.
So there not internationally competitive in anything else.

About Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant

Anne Lepesant is the mother of four daughters, all of whom swim/swam in college. With an undergraduate degree from Princeton (where she was an all-Ivy tennis player) and an MBA from INSEAD, she worked for many years in the financial industry, both in France and the U.S. Anne is currently …

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