Dressel Is First Man Since 2007 To Own Records in 100 Yard, SCM, and LCM Fly


Not since 2007 has one man simultaneously owned the fastest times in history in all three variations of the 100 butterfly: short course yards, short course meters, and long course meters. That man was Ian Crocker.

Today, Caeleb Dressel becomes the first man since Crocker to simultaneously own the fastest times in history in the 100 butterfly in short course yards, short course meters, and long course meters following his World Record performance in the 100 SCM butterfly at the ISL Grand Final in Budapest.

In the first men’s race of the day, Dressel squared off with the now former World Record holder Chad le Clos as well as the now former American Record holder, Tom Shields.

Le Clos set the previous World Record in December 2016 in 48.08, though Dressel blew it away with a stunning 47.78. Le Clos and Shields also put up some of the fastest times in history, clocking in at 48.45 and 48.47, respectively. Le Clos is now the second-fastest man in history while Shields remains the third-fastest, passing Russian Evgeny Korotyshkin but being passed himself by Dressel, but enough with today’s events, let’s look at the historical significance of Dressel’s performance.

In 2002, Ian Crocker broke the NCAA, U.S. Open, and American Record in the 100 fly for the first time, clocking a 45.44. In 2004 Crocker would lower this mark to a 44.72 at the Big 12 Championships. In the year between, Crocker became the World Record holder in the 100 LCM butterfly at the 2003 World Championships in Barcelona, also earning the title of first man under 51 in the race.

The 2004 NCAA Championships were held in a short course meters pool, making it impossible for Crocker to lower his yards record any further that season, though it gave him the opportunity to go after something greater, the World Record.

At the 2004 NCAA Championships, Crocker squared-off with then-World Record holder in the 100 SCM butterfly, Serbian Milorad Cavic who swam for Cal-Berkeley. Crocker broke Cavic’s record in both prelims and finals, first registering a 49.77 to become the first man under 50, and then taking it down again to 49.07 in finals, beating Cavic by almost 2 seconds.

With this, Crocker had completed the trifecta and now owned the 100 butterfly records in all three pools. Crocker would hold this esteemed position until March 2007 and the NCAA Championships when his yards time was bested by Venezuelan and Arizona Wildcat Albert Subirats with a 44.57. Just a couple of weeks later, Subirats would win the bronze medal at the 2007 World Championships behind Crocker, who took silver, and Michael Phelps, who won gold.

Below is a table with the years that Crocker held the numerous records in the 100 butterfly. It’s worth noting that Crocker broke the World Record in the 100 LCM butterfly three times, the 100 SCM butterfly two times, and the American, NCAA, and U.S. Open records in the 100 yard butterfly two times. (It is also true that Crocker broke the NCAA and U.S. Open Records in the 100 SCM butterfly twice since those races took place at an NCAA Championship, but let’s keep things simple.)

As the table shows, Crocker was the fastest 100 butterflyer in history in all three pools simultaneously from March 2004 to March 2007.

Crocker’s Records & Reign (Simplified)

Course Years Held
SCY 03/28/2002 – 03/16/2007
SCM 03/26/2004 – 11/07/2009
LCM 07/26/2003 – 07/09/2009

This table shows the duration of time for which Crocker was the fastest in history in each venue of the 100 fly and for simplicity has omitted each time he broke his own records. The table below tracks Crocker’s record progressions over the years.

Crocker’s Record Progressions

2002 2003 2004 2005
SCY 45.44 X 44.72 X
SCM X X 49.77 | 49.07 X
LCM X 50.98 50.76 50.40

Crocker truly assaulted the record books in 2004, first lowering his own yards record, then breaking the World Record in SCM twice in one day, and then again at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials in Long Beach where he demolished his year-old LCM record.

By comparison, Caeleb Dressel has broken the American, NCAA, and U.S. Open Record in the 100 yard butterfly twice, the World Record in the 100 LCM butterfly once, and the World Record in the 100 SCM butterfly once.

Dressel’s Records & Reign (Simplified)

Course Years Held
SCY 03/24/2017-
SCM 11/21/2020-
LCM 07/26/2019-

As of this writing, November 21, 2020, Dressel is simultaneously the fastest 100 butterflyer of all time in all three pools. He will have to keep these titles for 2 years, 11 months, and 18 days in order to match Crocker’s reign as the ultimate king of the 100 butterfly.

Dressel’s Record Progressions

2017 2018 2019 2020
SCY 43.58 42.80 X X
SCM X X X 47.78
LCM X X 49.50 X

Like Crocker, Dressel’s first record to fall to another swimmer is most likely to be his SCY mark at 42.80 since the NCAA is a pressure cooker of insanely fast swimming. Dressel’s LCM record is probably safest, and he stands the best chance of lowering it between now and the next ISL season. He is unlikely to ever swim a 100 SCY butterfly fully tapered again, so it’s difficult to see him lowering his best time of 42.80 in yards, though pros do occasionally surprise us with spectacular yards swims. As for his brand new SCM record, it’s probably safe until at least the next ISL Final or FINA World Championship (SCM edition). World Records are sometimes beaten in FINA World Cup competition, but the time he put up today is so far ahead of everyone else who has ever swam the race, it’s safe to wager it’ll probably stand for a while.

Watch a video of Dressel’s race in the tweet below.

Dressel 100 LCM Butterfly WR – 49.50 – 2019

Dressel 100 SCY Butterfly NCAA, U.S. Open, American Record – 42.80 – 2018

Dressel 100 SCY Butterfly NCAA, U.S. Open, American Record – 43.58 – 2017


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4 months ago

Crazy to think he could also own this incredible feat in 50 / 100 free

4 months ago

Honestly I don’t see anyone breaking the yards record within the next decade.

Reply to  Bfunk
4 months ago

The SCM one is more likely to go down before the yards one is even close to getting touched.

X Glide
Reply to  Bfunk
4 months ago

We’re still looking for the next person who MIGHT go 43 and mans went 42. His time is on a different planet on that one

Reply to  X Glide
4 months ago

Yeah I’m pretty sure his yards record is comprised of the fastest first 50 (19.99) and second 50 (22.81) splits of all time

Reply to  Pnw
4 months ago

makes sense for a record that’s a full second faster than even the #2 performer all time. Over a 100 yard swim that’s silly af

Reply to  Bfunk
4 months ago

All 3 records should be safe for 10+ years. He’s the only one who could break them.

Reply to  run-dmc
4 months ago

10 years is a long time in swimming. 10 years ago, Dressel’s best time in the 100 yard fly was a 56.09.

Tea rex
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 months ago

This Heilman kid could be pretty good some day

Reply to  Bfunk
4 months ago

Agree definitely.
Disagree with author that SCY is first to be broken. I don’t care that NCAAs is a fast meet. Nobody has been within a bodylength of that record. SCM is only .3 clear of the world.

Reply to  swimgeek
4 months ago

If Minakov still goes to Stanford he might get close

4 months ago

Beautiful. That is a work of beauty. Pure art.

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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