Dressel Breaks Phelps’ 100 Fly Pan Pac Championship Record In 50.75


American Caeleb Dressel won his first gold medal of the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in the men’s 100 fly, breaking Michael Phelps‘ meet record in a time of 50.75.

Phelps had set the Pan Pac standard back in 2010 at the Championships in Irvine, clocking a time of 50.86. Dressel’s 50.75 takes that down by just over one-tenth of a second, and gives the reigning World Champion his sixth career swim under 51 seconds. Dressel went 50.50 at U.S. Nationals which is currently the fastest time in the world this year.

Comparing their splits on these swims, it’s clear how different the two swim this race, with Dressel being more of a 50/100 swimmer and Phelps primarily a 200m swimmer who can go up to 400 and down to 100.

Pan Pac Meet Record Split Comparison

Phelps, 2010 Dressel, 2018
24.03 23.35
26.83 27.40
50.86 50.75

Dressel won the World Championship title last summer in a time of 49.86, falling just .04 shy of Phelps’ 2009 world record (49.82). The 21-year-old also tied Phelps’ all-time record for gold medals won at a World Championship with seven, though Dressel did it with the addition of the mixed relays.

This was Dressel’s third medal of the meet, adding to a pair of bronze’s won in the 100 freestyle and the mixed medley relay. He’ll have a shot at another later in the session in the men’s 400 free relay, and he’ll also be in the hunt in the men’s 50 free and the 400 medley relay on the final day.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

9 Comment threads
32 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
30 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Michael j. Mooney

A so so time .back half weak…he does not seem himself. Not sure what the problem is..

Old 80s Swimmer

Overtrained. He looks thin and drained….


Agreed. You can tell from watching, especially on the underwater that he just doesn’t have that pop and power he did last year. I’m not concerned though, he’ll be back next year


Yeah, there’s no reason to worry. Even Phelps had his off-years.

Science Geek

Phelps always manged to come through at International meets. Even untrained or whatever. I love Dressel and hope this is a blip but I do remember Lochte not swimming as fast as everyone thought he would quite often. I hope Troy and company learn the right formula.


can’t compare Phelps era and himself to Dressel . period . There is no magic formula to be on top all the time it seems ….we better accept that and understand where he is now .


He did just beat Phelps’ Pan Pac record. I know his 100 free wasn’t the best but I’d still say this constitutes as him managing to “come through” at an international meet

Coach Mike 1952

And the time change…. brutal for most except maybe Chase Kalisz


Murphy has been the standout performer in the men’s side IMO.

Ol' Longhorn

MA. Lifetime bests in 100 back (by a lot), 100 fly, and came through (only one to) with a good split on the mixed medley.

Michael j. Mooney

Do you think he needs a new sprint coach? Will he be different in World’s??


Even if it is off year, it shouldn’t drop that much.. Year 2017 is just too magical for him. Time to be back to square.


Gregg Troy would say he needs to swim more 400IMs


Not tapered on a Phelps type 4 year plan


So apparently Dressel had a motorcycle accident in June (acc. to NBC).


Dressel breaks the meet record, guy is obviously over trained, need to switch to usrpt… right? Y’all realize that he is in super aerobic mode while training, as he should be for a good taper in 2020. He probably is barely doing the amount of anaerobic work that he will be doing the final year before the Olympics. I think everyone needs to realign their expectations. Team USA swims fast when it matters. What seems more important to swimmers, many gold medals at pan pacs, or many gold medals at the Olympics?


Dressel is amazing and swimming fine. To your point though it would be a great discussion or work for researchers to look at, but I question whether anyone is on a several year buildup/taper regimen. I could be wrong, but I just don’t buy this idea. I think a world class sprinter can build up and taper many times a year. But it would be great to discuss with the coaches whether they are on some kind of a several year cycle. If it took more than a season to build up we’d see more college swimmers dropping out more than the year before OTs to train.


They definitely train on a four year cycle. A lot of the coaches have talked about it before, especially Greg Troy. The reason you don’t see kids dropping out is because it’s entirely possible to train and go to school at the same time. A four year cycle doesn’t mean you never taper, tapering and going fast is part of the cycle. Lilly King actually even said in one of Cody Millers recent videos that she only tapers every four years. I don’t think we should take that literally, but these extra fast people are definitely training on a four-year plan.

Michael j. Mooney

So much time between Olympics. Next year i think he will smash WR’s


True, but this is his only chance to try a slate of events beyond 100 free, 100 fly and 50 free at an international taper meet pre-Olympics.

He seems fairly serious about 200 IM and 200 free based on interviews, but if he’s going to swim them in 2020, that will be the first time he ever does that at a big, international meet. If he does it, it will be a risk whether he can recover in time for everything.

It seems a bit of a missed opportunity from that point of view.


I mean, I guess fast being relative to the time, Matt Biondi won gold in the 50/100 and bronze in the 200 in Seoul ’88. He set the world record in the 50. But you are right, not under 22, but no one had ever been at that point.

Ol' Longhorn

No, but they need to make a decision whether he is a 100 and 50 swimmer (which he is LCM), and train accordingly, or whether to consider this foolishness of 200 free and 200 IM. No one ever that swam a fast 200 free or 200 IM could break 22 in the 50 free. Phelps couldn’t do it if he had fins on. They need to quit trying to make him Lochte and focus what he can be a GOAT in. And it’s not going to be 9 events.

Love to Swim

IIRC, Cameron McEvoy swam 1:45 and 21.5 in 2016


Exactly. And look where he ended up in both events. Ol’ Longhorn’s point just made.


At 1998 World Champs Klim medalled in the 200 free, 100 free, 100 fly and 50 free. Obviously not sub 22, but that was an exceptional time then.

Only example I can think of swimming a world class 50 through 200 over a prolonged period is PVDH, but he was a pure freestyler (he went 22.03 in the 50 in Sydney, and won the 100 and 200).

Love to Swim

Video of the race



A screener? I would like to watch the race video, but can hold out for the real thing.


Pretty embarrassing screen name about now, don’t you think?


His name was Seth Rich

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!