Dressel Enters Six Events At U.S. Olympic Trials, Including 200 Fly & 200 IM

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

Upon the pre-scratch psych sheets for the upcoming U.S. Olympic Trials (Wave II) dropping this morning, everyone instantly clamored to see what events Caeleb Dressel had put on his schedule.

Dressel, who has been the world’s most dominant male swimmer since the conclusion of the 2016 Olympic Games, has entered in six events for Omaha, found below:

  • 50 free (#1 seed, 21.04)
  • 100 free (#1 seed, 46.96)
  • 200 free (#11 seed, 1:47.31)
  • 100 fly (#1 seed, 49.50)
  • 200 fly (#9 seed, 1:56.29)
  • 200 IM (#14 seed, 1:59.97)

The first four events on the list above are no-brainers. Dressel is the two-time defending world champion in the men’s 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly, and it would be hard to argue that he isn’t the favorite to win Olympic gold in all three in just over a month’s time.

As for the 200 free, Dressel’s primary motivator to enter that race is likely to put his name in the hat for the 800 free relay, an event in which he hasn’t yet represented the U.S. in on the international stage. Prevailing sentiment is that he’ll give the race a go in the prelims and try to post a time that gives him consideration for the relay in Tokyo, similar to what Michael Phelps did in 2008 in the 100 freestyle.

Dressel owns a PB of 1:47.31 in the 200 free, making him the 11th seed in the event, but it’s pretty wide open at the top, so it wouldn’t be a shock to see him head for the semis and see where it takes him if he feels good about his prelim.

The other two events the 24-year-old has entered are the 200 fly and 200 IM. Gregg Troy‘s swimmers have commonly over-entered events and scratched several in past meets, and it would certainly be a surprise to see Dressel take on either, especially given how the scheduling works out.

If Dressel went for the 200 free final, the 200 fly semis would fall later that same session. Then, the 200 fly final comes shortly after the 100 free semis the next night. And then the 200 IM? There’s only one event separating its semis from the 100 free final.

You can find the full Wave II Olympic Trials schedule here.

If we look back at the 2016 Trials, Dressel entered seven events (50/100/200 free, 100 back, 100 breast, 100 fly, 200 IM) and only ended up swimming four of them – scratching the 100 fly semis and failing to advance out of the 200 free heats.

Dressel qualified for the 2016 Olympic team at the age of 19 in the 100 freestyle, ultimately placing sixth in the Olympic final while adding a pair of relay gold medals in Rio, and he also placed fourth in the 50 free at Trials.

So, while he’s entered six events to keep his options open, and we know he can handle doubles extremely well, it would still be surprising to see Dressel risk Olympic spots in his primary events to tackle additional ones, given how the schedule plays out.

Assuming he does not swim the 200 fly, Dressel could swim all the way through to the 200 free final before any of his other races, so that’s certainly in play. He did race the final of the event at the 2017 World Trials, ending up sixth overall.

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WahooSwimFan
11 days ago

It be great to see what time he could post for a 200 fly, even if he only swam it once.

IM FAN
Reply to  WahooSwimFan
11 days ago

I think his PB is 1:56.2 from the 2019 Atlanta classic, a meet where he went “only” 51.41 in the 100 fly. He also closed in something crazy like 28.8 for his last 50.

Dressel in 49.x 100 fly shape could go… 1:54? 1:53???

Once he’s got the 50 & 100 free records Dressel should change his focus to the 200 free, fly, and IM as well as keeping the 100 free and fly and become MP 2.0, I’m only half joking.

poolboy
Reply to  IM FAN
11 days ago

Idk if he’s looking to be MP 2.0. Knowing the way he focuses on his own race and is so critical of his swimming and not comparing himself, he probably wants to be the only Caeleb Dressel

Irish Ringer
Reply to  poolboy
10 days ago

Given he’s not swimming breast or back on the international level, it overlaps with a lot of the Phelps events so 2.0 comparisons will be around. He’ll have the 50 free in the Olympics and other 50’s for the other years in the cycle.

96Swim
Reply to  WahooSwimFan
11 days ago

200 fly is interesting because it doesn’t conflict with his schedule that much, and isn’t as deep as other events like the 100/200 free and 200IM where just making finals will be a huge accomplishment.

PFA
Reply to  96Swim
11 days ago

Also didn’t Caeleb drop a 1:58 in the 2 fly at the Atlanta classic last month?

Edit: I meant the ISCA meet but yeah dropped a 1:58.74 hard in training.

Last edited 11 days ago by PFA
IM FAN
11 days ago

I’m pretty sure he will scratch the 200 fly and IM but I’d love to see it.

I’m very curious to see what he can muster up partially tapered in the 200 free.

Xman
Reply to  IM FAN
11 days ago

Thats the first event and has no doubles. Go for it…

Now if he gets top 2, the three swims will be a heavy schedule at the Olympics with relays but let’s get there first.

Horninco
Reply to  IM FAN
10 days ago

Like Phelps in 2005, would be great to see him dabble in off events (Phelps did 100/400 free at worlds) during one of these Championship seasons

Would have been really interesting to see Phelps take on a 100 free/back/fly schedule doing USRPT

Xman
11 days ago

When your coach clicks select all on the entry form.

Torchbearer
Reply to  Xman
10 days ago

clicks on “all of the above”….

Toph
Reply to  Torchbearer
10 days ago

Thank you for repeating the joke!

Cate
Reply to  Xman
9 days ago

Lol. best comment

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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