Dressel World Championships Preview: GMM presented by SwimOutlet.com

Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.com

2016 Olympic champion Caeleb Dressel has a potentially huge 2017 World Championships schedule.  What will he swim? What’s possible?  With seven events on the table–before the mix relays–he could be on the blocks all the time in Budapest. Dressel’s answer to this question should make age group coaches and swimmers proud. He says, I’ve done it as an age grouper and at NCAAs. Worlds is no different.

Sure, Dressel popped a great 200m freestyle and performed at a high level throughout U.S. World Championship Trials, but a second taper makes the second competition performance painful–not for everyone, but for most elites. And Dressel is a speed-man.  I’m wondering if he’ll swim mixed relays at all. I don’t see the need. What I’m really wondering is if he’ll swim 100 butterfly. It conflicts with the 50m freestyle–Dressel’s baby.

What do you think Dressel will swim at World Championships? 

Here what I’d like to see from Dressel at 2017 World Championships:

50 Free Dressel Personal Best – 21.53.  We all expected a faster swim at U.S. Trials, and Dressel will surely shave time in Budapest. I’d like to see a 21.26, and I think that wins gold.

100 Free Dressel Personal Best – 47.91. Time for Dressel to be a force here. 47.69 is a fist pumping swim, surely threatens for gold or silver.

50 Butterfly Dressel Personal Best – 23.05. Anything 22, even 22.99, would be great. 50 fly is off my radar to be honest.  It’s a test-your-nitro swim. That’s it.

100 Butterfly Dressel Personal Best – 50.8.   Anything under 50.8 is a success.  Dressel’s mind will be in 50 free mode (and 50 free conflicts with 100 fly). If Dressel swims it, and if he makes the final, that’s a big step forward.  I think Dressel’s more of threat in the 100 fly – globally (aka against Bolles teammate Joseph Schooling) – later in the quad.

What do you think?

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This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.

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IMs for days

I think
50 free
21.3 Medal? Who knows it’s a 50 anything can happen
100 free 47.7 silver or bronze
50 fly 22.8 again who knows its a 50
100 fly 50.6 nasty schedrule conflict with the 50 free. I think alot of people are overlooling that when they talk about Dressel in the event. He could win, but he has a Phelpsian schdrule on the day.


Also remember that until today no one could do a 47 mid 21 low combo on big meets where you can’t take it easy on prelims (Mcevoy did but he didn’t have fast pressure rounds on 2016 trials)


If anyone has the most potential to do it, it’s Dressel. His NCAAs schedule is crazy.

Ex Quaker

The 40.00 at the end of his schedule says everything.

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

…interesting point. I think Dressel has the potential, however.

John Otterbein

He has a vertical jump of 41 inches??? I knew the kid was a stud but I had no idea his raw athleticism was on par with the highest level athletes from other major sports. Woah.


I’d have to see a video of it to believe it that’s a seriously insane hop

Steve Nolan

This isn’t the jump, but it’s a hint of just how dang strong he is: https://www.instagram.com/p/BTwct0kgogg/


195 isn’t too bad for front squat but still doesn’t equate to a 41 inch vertical


pretty sure that’s 265…i think those plates are 25kg each


265 on a front squat isn’t bad.. but that is a hang clean, which is much harder and requires quite a lot of explosiveness. Most guys that can hang clean 265 are way bigger than Dressel. He’s got an absurd power:weight ratio.


Vertical leap is a nearly untrainable athletic quality. And a 41 inch vertical leap is ultra elite. I would have to see a video of that to believe it. Front squats are a very trainable athletic ability. Most healthy men can squat that much with a year of consistent weight lifting.


There have been many studies on the science of jumping, and it has been shown that through strength training, plyometric training, technique improvements, and just plain practice, vertical height can be greatly improved, so I’m curious as to why you call it a “nearly untrainable athletic quality.”

Also, those are hang cleans. Much harder, requiring much more power.


He’s right though, in that while it can be improved, ultimate height is pretty much genetically determined.


Most healthy men cannot front squat 265 pounds with a million years of training.


That’s not true, that’s a pretty pedestrian number. I got up to 290 within a year or so of focussing on lifting after swimming career and I’ve struggled to gain strength compared to most people I train with.

But that’s not the impressive part of the video. It was a clean from the blocks, followed by a power clean from the blocks. The height he pulled it to was the impressive part. I’ve never seen a swimmer move weight like that.


You front squat 290? What’s your back squat and deadlift — 400 and 475?


I think almost any healthy man with adequate nutrition who truly focused on front squatting 265 could reach that goal in less than ten years without deviating too much from something as simple as 5×5. A 265 power clean regardless of blocks or hang or ground is crazy explosiveness. If you can pull that off and weigh less than 200 pounds you probably have an absurd vertical. 41 is elite but why not, I bet most the guys in the 50 finals at D1 NCAAs are in the 30s and we’re talking about someone who is clearly better than everyone off the start. Would be interesting to know what guys like Manaudou, Adrian, Schoeman, And Tandy could hit in the… Read more »


It’s a hang clean. Totally different, way more challenging.


Clean from blocks technically. Similar positioning but from the hang would be if he pulled it from the floor and then lowered it back to his knees. You get a bit more of a stretch reflex from that, going off the blocks goes from a dead stop.

Attila the Runt

I think Schooling just messed himself after watching that video.


His last 50 free at Nationals.


Not many can touch the flags from the blocks. https://www.instagram.com/p/6rFXLXt18A/?taken-by=caelebdressel

E Gamble

Follow him on Instagram. He dunks a basketball with ease.


41 inch vertical??!??!? I’ve always wondered what it is, and I know it has to be impressive because of his ridiculous start. But 41 inches is a bit hard to believe. That would be the best of the NBA and NFL combines in most years and put him up there in the top 10 or 15 ever recorded.


If we’re looking at a bell curve, 41 is well toward the good end, don’t get me wrong, but not unbelievable. Especially having seen the kid race for the past few years. It’s apparent that he is one of the most athletic swimmers out there. The NBA combine record is only 38 inches, but that’s because basketball players don’t train explosiveness quite as much, nor do they need to train their vertical jump much since the rim is only 10 feet up and most of them are well above 6 feet tall. A 41 inch vertical is totally believable when talking about a world class athlete who trains for explosiveness and clearly has one of the best starts of all… Read more »

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Michael Jordan – 44 or 46 inches. Anything over 40 inches looks like floating.


Michael was the King of High floating in the air and very high as well . The Air Jordan Era was fabulous to watch ( 92 ,93.94 )


Mel, it would be awesome if you could somehow get ahold of more combine type stats of the elite sprinters, like I know Manaudou and Bousquet got up to around 300 on the bench press. Stuff like max pull ups, vert, etc. Always been curious about that, not that it’s the most important thing with swimming but just would be fun to compare the best swimmers with other sports. Floswimming brought a lot of clarity to what the best teams were doing dryland wise and I think a lot of people appreciated that insight.


If we’re looking at a bell curve 41 is in the flat section. You’re confusing the best athletes at the combine with “good” athletes. They are the best of the best in the most competitive leagues in the world, in sports that select for explosiveness and athleticism and that reward big numbers in these tests with multi-million dollar contracts (whether football or basketball players NEED huge vertical jumps is debatable, but they are included in their job interview so you best believe that almost all of them will focus at least a little bit on performance in that specific test). The NBA Draft combine record is 46 inches. The best from recent years at the NFL is 45 inches. But… Read more »


I might be off, but I guess to me this is like a water polo player or triathlete saying they go 1:37 in a 200 free, or sub 4:20 in a 500.

Like… yea… you might be really good at swimming for a competitor in those sports, but you don’t go those times by accident without more dedicated training.


Pretty true. I played water polo against one of those guys – Matt Biondi. And that was…interesting.

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

I believe it, 100%. (And I believe Schooling went 50.7 100m fly in practice.) I think the top swimmers on earth do incredible things.


I’m starting to believe it a bit more after seeing this:

Power cleaning 120, pulling it that high, with those skinny legs… yea that’s some explosive power.

Steve Nolan

It could be off a running start, too. I know the NFL measures from a dead stop, not sure on NBA. Can knock a couple inches off in your comparisons if that’s the case.

But either way, the dude is a hell of an athlete. Just look at how much farther he jumps than everyone else on his starts, it’s not unbelievable.


NBA measures standing and “max” vertical jumps. Standing, the highest was 36.5 inches (which is more than enough to dunk a ball when you’re 6’8″), while with a run-up it was 44.5.


About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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