Dressel Takes Down Another Phelps Record: U.S. Open 100 Fly Mark Falls In 50.17

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

After breaking his world record two years ago at the World Championships, Caeleb Dressel snatched away another Michael Phelps record in the men’s 100 butterfly during the sixth day of prelims at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha.

Dressel demolished the field in the 100 fly heats, putting up a time of 50.17 to lower Phelps’ U.S. Open Record (the fastest swim ever on American soil) of 50.22 set at the 2009 World Championship Trials in Indianapolis.

One notable thing about that Phelps swim at the 2009 World Trials was that he set the world record—and it was his first time grabbing hold of that record since he had it for about 24 hours at the 2003 World Championships.

Phelps had gone 51.47 in the semi-finals at those ’03 Worlds in Barcelona, the fastest swim ever, and then Ian Crocker went 50.98 in the final to take both the gold and the record. Crocker lowered it two more times over the years, down to 50.40 in 2005, before Phelps finally reclaimed it in 2009.

U.S. Open Record Split Comparison

If we look at the splits from Phelps’ and Dressel’s swims, it really punctuates their contrasting strategies (largely due to the fact that Dressel is a sprinter and Phelps primary swam 200s).

Phelps, 2009 World Trials Dressel, 2021 Olympic Trials
23.83 23.39
26.39 26.78
50.22 50.17

Dressel produced the sixth-fastest swim of his career and the ninth-fastest of all-time with his prelim performance, giving him six of the nine-fastest ever.

The 24-year-old also overtakes the #1 time in the world this season, moving past Hungarian Kristof Milak, who dropped a 50.18 at last month’s European Championships.

2020-2021 LCM Men 100 Fly

2Kristof
Milak
HUN49.6807/31
3Matthew
Temple
AUS50.4506/17
4Noe
Ponti
SUI50.7407/31
5Michael
Andrew
USA50.8005/14
View Top 26»

At the 2019 World Championships, Dressel broke his first long course world record in the 100 fly semi-finals, clocking 49.50 to extinguish Phelps’ world record of 49.82 set in 2009. Dressel went on to win gold in 49.66, the second-fastest swim ever and his second consecutive world title.

Looking at the men’s 100 fly field as a whole in Omaha, Dressel is essentially a lock to win at this point, qualifying more than 1.5 seconds clear of anyone else in the prelims. Michael Andrew, the only other American sub-51 this season, scratched out to focus on the 200 IM, leaving the second spot wide open. Cal’s Tom Shields and Trenton Julian tied for second this morning in 51.71.

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Paul
5 months ago

WR?

Khachaturian
Reply to  Paul
5 months ago

we can dream now, but we already know that it will come in Tokyo

Rafael
Reply to  Khachaturian
5 months ago

WR “only” or 48?

Jack
Reply to  Rafael
5 months ago

Don’t Rowdy Gaines this up, now.

dddddddd
Reply to  Jack
5 months ago

HE DIDN’T BREAK 48 BUT HE BREAKS 49

Markosha
Reply to  dddddddd
5 months ago

ha ha ha!! got it! 🙂

Rafael
Reply to  Jack
5 months ago

Some people say I´m a hater, and when I try to be optimistic you dare compare me to Gaines? Feeling Sad

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Khachaturian
5 months ago

seems so obvious , he is on his territory below 50

M L
Reply to  Paul
5 months ago

No one on either side of him, so less turbulence. And it might’ve been harder to pace. But he’s clearly in great shape. Not even breathing hard.

Not Tapered
Reply to  Paul
5 months ago

After a 50.17 prelim swim I would say a 49.49 is with reach in the prelims or finals.

WhoGoesHere
5 months ago

Good for Caleb – nice to see another suited record go away.

Beach bum jason
Reply to  WhoGoesHere
5 months ago

Jesus the main reason those suits are gone is because Phelps couldn’t wear them and threatened not to swim anymore in 2009 and beyond so they were banned. Everthing Involves and changes. Back in the day people didn’t swim in suits. They swam in swim trunks. They didn’t swim in specifically designed pools for drafting. They didn’t swim with lane markers. Didn’t swim with Caps. They didn’t swim by shaving. The list goes on. Those suits you talk about was just one of the many changes evolving until Phelps couldn’t use them cause of his contract with speedo. Google is a well of infrowmtuon for you.

Swum
Reply to  Beach bum jason
5 months ago

Well I guess we’re all gonna swim in lake I guess

fluidg
5 months ago

2009*

run-dmc
5 months ago

That was a precisely crafted statement directed toward Milak.

Attis76
Reply to  run-dmc
5 months ago

And what does it say exactly?

Konner Scott
Reply to  Attis76
5 months ago

“See you in Tokyo”

dresselgoat
Reply to  run-dmc
5 months ago

I think it just felt super easy and even he was confused

Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

“Dressel takes down another Phelps record”
Let’s see if he can also win 3 golds and 1 silver in that event.

Khachaturian
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

swimming has became a lot more competitive and specialized, it is going to be MUCH MUCH MUCH harder to keep a winning streak

JimSwim22
Reply to  Khachaturian
5 months ago

So swimming got specialized from 73′ to 04′ then again after 16′? I think we always have specialists them the true geniuses come along who are elite across the board. BoBo is right that Phelps is still the GOAT. Dressel is awesome though and I hope he keeps rolling on Tokyo!

There's no doubt that he's tightening up
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

Cmon you don’t have to do Dressel like that haha. Everyone comes out bad when you compare them with Mr 23 Olympic golds.

Guess you think Milak is also a scrub in the 200 fly until he wins 3 golds and 1 silver? Lochte might be the 200 IM WR holder, but the noob doesn’t have 4 Olympic golds does he?

Mr Piano
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

Bobo, Phelps is the GOAT, but can we recognize Caeleb’s accomplishments? 49.50 in a textile suit, world champion… this is Dressel’s event now.

Beach bum jason
Reply to  Mr Piano
5 months ago

Google is your friend too. Phelps never wore the most tech friendly suits in 2009 because of his contract with speedo and he threatened not to swim anymore and the suits were banned. Plus he also swam the 49.86 after 6 months of not training.

Philip Johnson
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

In this modern era, just to go back to back in an event is very difficult. Three times I say is nearly impossible.

Milak in the 200 fly is a good bet however.

Rafael
Reply to  Philip Johnson
5 months ago

100 Breast for Peaty.. But Milak seems way more dominant

Mr Piano
Reply to  Rafael
5 months ago

People are slowly catching up to Peaty. Breaststroke has always been the least optimized stroke, and Peaty has lead the way as a pioneer. But Milak right now reigns supreme over the rest of the world by multiple seconds.

Joe
Reply to  Mr Piano
5 months ago

Peaty is still over a second better than the next best time ever…

dresselgoat
Reply to  Mr Piano
5 months ago

I don’t think the other top swimmers can swim it like Peaty. It will be awhile before anyone gets to 57 low let alone 56

Jeremiah
Reply to  Rafael
5 months ago

No one is catching up, one man finally broke 58 peaty is already in the 56’s lol

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Philip Johnson
5 months ago

until someone comes and challenges him …within 3,4 years …anything is possible today

Spectatorn
Reply to  Philip Johnson
5 months ago

To medal in 4 Olympics is more about longevity… dominance at one point may not be a good indicator. This is a general statement and consideration. Not specific for any swimmer or event.

For Dressel, is he 24 now? For him to medal in 4 Olympics, that put the last one at age 36… That maybe harder to overcome.
By that logic, Milak is 21 and medal at 33 is hard but maybe still possible.

Jack
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

Come on, man. The headline wasn’t “Phelps wasn’t better than Dressel, after all!” When you break a Phelps butterfly record, it’s a big deal. And it’s a big deal…because of how unbelievably good Michael was in the stroke. Nothing here was taking away anything from how spectacular Michael’s 100 fly was.

And Dressel doesn’t have to do what Phelps did to be really, really special.

pvdh
Reply to  Jack
5 months ago

lol yall gotta understand something with Bobo coming back….dude is the most irrational person youll ever see in the comments. you gotta learn to accept it

dresselgoat
Reply to  pvdh
5 months ago

I for one am glad that silly goose is back. At least his irrationalness is endearing compared to Steve Nolan or Rafael.

Pvdh
Reply to  dresselgoat
5 months ago

Hey Steve is a G

Not Tapered
Reply to  Bobo Gigi
5 months ago

Phelps the goat for sure, bit give Caleb his due respect.

Eric the eel > Phelps
5 months ago

Great swim Caeleb Dressel

MikeYoung
5 months ago

Would have loved to see Michael Andrew swim butterfly as well

Rjcid
5 months ago

Shields has a shot! Sawweet.

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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