Dressel Scratches, Apple False Starts Men’s 200 Free


Following several unexpected, eyebrow-raising performances on the men’s side of the meet last night, the surprises continued this morning in heat 11 of the men’s 200 freestyle, where Caeleb Dressel opted to scratch the event, and potential A-finalist Zach Apple was disqualified for a false start.

Coming off of a disappointing sixth place finish in last night’s 100 freestyle, Dressel did not compete in the 200 freestyle this morning, likely seeking to save energy for his better events in the remainder of his potentially grueling schedule, including the 50 butterfly later in the preliminary session.  Dressel’s incredible senior short course season at the University of Florida (which included the fastest 200 yard IM in history by a wide margin) and his track record of demonstrating incredible stamina across multiple races have fueled speculation among many that Dressel may try at least one of the 200 distances this summer.  However, it’s important to note that he has not competed in the 200 freestyle in a major international meet since the 2013 World Junior Championships where he competed on the 4×200 freestyle relay.

In the same heat as Dressel’s scratch, Zach Applewho secured a Pan Pac team berth on the 4×100 freestyle relay last night with his 4th place finish in the individual 100 freestyle, was disqualified for a false start.  That removes the future Indiana Hoosier from contention in tonight’s 200 freestyle, where he had qualified for the A-final in the 5th place position based on his time.  While more known as a sprinter, the combination of this morning’s swim and his 1:31.18 lifetime best in the short course 200 yard freestyle shows Apple’s potential in the long course version of the event.

Other notable names on the scratch list included 200 yard freestyle NCAA All-American Bryce Mefford, former 200 yard freestyle National High School record holder Tom Shieldsand star high school swimmer Carson Foster. 

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good move by dressel… we’ve seen him in the past get faster as a meet goes on when he’s in heavy training. I would guess that he didnt taper quite as much as was necessary to start off the meet on the right foot and will get faster as the meet goes on. The goal at this point should be to make the team in one event and then focus on whatever schedule you want at pan pacs.


Yeah, no way in hell he was gonna contend (or even final) in the 200 after seeing how his stroke looked in the 100. He was fighting the water hard and had a piano drop moment at the end (very unlike Dressel). It’s obvious he wouldn’t be able to sustain a 200 free. I think he’ll be better off in the 50s. Even dead tired his start got him a half body length lead on the field last night.


I saw Dressel swim the 200 free at the Speedo Sectionals in Gainesville three weeks. Went 1:52 in prelims & 1:53 in the final for 6th. Don’t know where he was with his taper at that point, but he didn’t look sharp at all. Not surprised he scratched today.

Love to Swim

It’s not gruelling when he is likely to swim only 50/100 fly and 50 free.

Whenever I see “gruelling”, I’ll take a look at Ledecky and Leah Smith.

Steve Nolan

Just because one race is longer than another doesn’t make one necessarily harder than another.

Love to Swim

I am saying 50/100 fly and 50 free without semis is not gruelling.

If you think it’s gruelling, then more than half swimmers in this meet have gruelling schedule.

sane swim parent

Just because a 1500 is longer than a 50 doesn’t make it more grueling? Ha. Spoken like a sprinter.


You’re pushing your body to its absolute max effort so that by the time you finish the race you are equally as exhausted. One is more lactic acid-based (fast-twitch muscles over a shorter duration) and the other is cardiovascular exhaustion (slow-twitch muscles over a longer duration), but again, ~100% of your body’s immediate energy stores are used by the end of each race. The only argument I could see being made are the amount of calories that one burns, but a given swimmer’s level of exhaustion after an all-out 50 and an all-out 1500 are subjectively the same. On a more objective note, I’d even go as far as to say that if you were to ask a 50 swimmer… Read more »


Anyone that’s swam an all out 1500 at a high level knows that recovery time is much longer than a 50, no question. That’s why you don’t have semis for the 400 on up at the Olympics and 1500 final is the day after prelims. The “objective note” is sprinter propaganda not backed by common sense or science.


Alright guys calm down we can settle this like men. Drop your pants and I’ll come back with a ruler.


Sprinting a 50 is very easy. Just hold your breath for the entire distance. It’s not like you have to train to do that.


I heard the speedo suit hugged his waist and thighs too tightly and it caused him to tighten up at the 75 mark.

About Morgan Priestley

Morgan Priestley

A Stanford University and Birmingham, Michigan native, Morgan Priestley started writing for SwimSwam in February 2013 on a whim, and is loving that his tendency to follow and over-analyze swim results can finally be put to good use. Morgan swam competitively for 15+ years, primarily excelling in the mid-distance freestyles. While …

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