Dressel Drops 49.76 100 Fly For Third-Fastest Ever, Smashes U.S. Open Record

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

It was another historical performance for Caeleb Dressel in the semi-finals of the men’s 100 butterfly at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, as the 22-year-old unleashed the fourth sub-50 swim of his illustrious career to re-lower his U.S. Open Record.

After getting the monkey off his back on Thursday night, officially qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team by winning the 100 freestyle, Dressel dropped a new U.S. Open Record in the 100 fly heats on Friday morning, clocking 50.17 to break Michael Phelps‘ 2009 mark of 50.22.

Then in the semis, Dressel really let it fly, soaring his way to a time of 49.76, the third-fastest of all-time.

Dressel now owns four of history’s six swims under 50 seconds, with Phelps and Milorad Cavic both doing so once in their epic clash at the 2009 World Championships.

Additionally, Dressel takes hold of a staggering seven of the 10-fastest swims ever.

All-Time Performances, Men’s 100 Butterfly (LCM)

  1. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 49.50 – 2019
  2. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 49.66 – 2019
  3. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 49.76 – 2021
  4. Michael Phelps (USA), 49.82 – 2009
  5. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 49.86 – 2017
  6. Milorad Cavic (SRB), 49.95 – 2009
  7. Milorad Cavic (SRB), 50.01 – 2009
  8. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 50.07 – 2017
  9. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 50.08 – 2017
  10. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 50.17 – 2021

In terms of splitting, Dressel made up nearly all of his ground on the second 50 relative to his prelim performance, closing over three tenths quicker in 26.45.

In fact, that was the reigning two-time world champion’s fastest back-half split ever, with his previous-quickest being the 26.55 he came home in at the 2017 World Championships when he went sub-50 for the first time.

Split Comparison, Dressel’s Sub-50 Swims

Dressel, 2019 Worlds (Semi) Dressel, 2019 Worlds (Final) Dressel, 2021 Trials (Semi) Dressel, 2017 Worlds (Final)
22.83 23.09 23.31 23.31
26.67 26.57 26.45 26.55
49.50 49.66 49.76 49.86

Heading into Saturday’s final, Dressel sits almost a second and a half clear of the next-fastest competitor in the 100 fly field, so it will essentially be Dressel versus the clock, and then seven others duking it out for a spot on the team.

Tom Shields, a 2016 Olympian in both the men’s 100 and 200 fly, qualified second in 51.20, and will have his final opportunity to make a second straight Olympic team in the final.

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The Importer AND Exporter
1 month ago

Awesome to watch! So excited to see what he does tomorrow

Sqimgod
1 month ago

If lochte hopped on USRPT he can probably make the 200 IM in 2022

You Don’t Say
Reply to  Sqimgod
1 month ago

Plus hopped on a scale and made an adjustment in that department.

Scotty P
Reply to  You Don’t Say
1 month ago

I am not going to pretend I didn’t notice that.

Philip Johnson
1 month ago

Although difficult, he could hold the 10 ten performances ever after the Olympics?

T S
Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 month ago

Nah that math doesn’t work. But If he can carry this in to nationals next year and worlds the year after he definitely would. If of course the magic man doesn’t decide to drop some 45s

You Don’t Say
Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 month ago

2009 swims kinda shouldn’t count anyways eh

bkol
Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 month ago

if he swims at least one prelims of either the medley and mixed medley relay he could do it

Mean Dean
Reply to  bkol
1 month ago

Fly goes 3rd, thus not making it an eligible swim.

ShoeBaca
Reply to  Philip Johnson
1 month ago

He’ll own the top six all-time after the olympics. Seven of the top 10. Not sure he will be sub-50 in the heats at Tokyo, but he certainly will be at Trials final, and Olympic semi-final / final.

Flynn Moore
1 month ago

Could we maybe see a 48.xx from him at the Olympics. I think he has something left in the tank…

Sun Yangs Hammer
1 month ago

Statement swim but that statement is

“Sun Yangs Hammer’s predictions got trashed”

Chris Ritter
1 month ago

What isn’t mentioned in the article that’s worth noting is that he didn’t breath the final 6 strokes into the wall. Unreal to watch.

Anthony Preda
Reply to  Chris Ritter
1 month ago

He’s done a couple of last lap no breathers in the 100y freestyle and butterfly.

Chris Ritter
Reply to  Anthony Preda
1 month ago

Every crazier that no one is trying to do the same thing.

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris Ritter
Pvdh
Reply to  Chris Ritter
1 month ago

Pieroni tried in the free and got boomed lol

Anthony Preda
Reply to  Chris Ritter
1 month ago

I think Maxine Rooney tried it on the last lap of a 200 fly, that didn’t work out so well.

To my knowledge, Austin Staab was the first to do a last lap no breather, 100 fly at NCAAs.

David
Reply to  Chris Ritter
1 month ago

He always does that.
It’s his thing

Caeleb’s left suit string
Reply to  Chris Ritter
1 month ago

Funny thing is, he’s done that for a while right, not breathing into the last 10m, BUT this morning in the prelims, he breathed all the way to the finish, and STILL went 50.1. Monstrous, even when his foot’s not all the way on the pedal

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Chris Ritter
1 month ago

i noticed that too ….he looked like a fast train coming home

maxswimmer
Reply to  Chris Ritter
1 month ago

5 strokes*

Joe
1 month ago

I really hope he can pull out the win tomorrow. Long past due and definitely deserves it

fly fly
1 month ago

After 50.17 semi, I’m not surprised. Awesome. Always.

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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