Dressel’s World Leading 100 Fly Sets Up Gutsy Schedule In Budapest


Four years ago, a 16 year-old Caeleb Dressel was already being acclaimed as the future of American sprinting and drawing comparisons to guys like Tom Jager and Matt Biondi.  The hype was real, and so were the times.  Check out the bio for all the details, but suffice it say that Dressel was throwing down scorching times throughout his junior year and into his senior year of high school, including becoming the youngest ever to break 19 seconds in the 50 free (yards).

When he announced he was committing to Florida, many fans were skeptical, and the skepticism remained after an extended break his senior year of high school and relatively lackluster results as a NCAA freshman (“only” won the 50 free), but right now it’s looking like the right call.

Rolling on from the momentum that came with a tremendous NCAA season, this week Dressel has qualified in the 100 free, the 4×200 free relay, the 50 fly, and tonight, the 100 fly.  With the 50 free coming up Saturday, Dressel is looking at a World Championships schedule that appears, umm, busy, to say the least.  There’s no guarantee that he’ll make the 50 free — Nathan Adrian looks as solid as ever, and Anthony Ervin and Cullen Jones, although quiet most of this year, are always dangerous.  But if Dressel does qualify in a fourth individual event, this is what his schedule could  look like in Budapest:

  • Sunday – 50 fly (prelims), 50 fly (semis), 4×100 free relay (finals)
  • Monday – 50 fly finals
  • Tuesday – off
  • Wednesday – 100 free (prelims), 100 free (semis)
  • Thursday – 100 free (finals)
  • Friday – 50 free (prelims), 100 fly (prelims) 4×200 (prelims), 50 free (semis), 100 fly (semis), 4×200 (finals)
  • Saturday – 50 free (finals), 100 fly (finals), mixed free relay (finals)
  • Sunday – 4×100 medley (finals)

That’s roughly 17 potential swims and 8 medal chances.  It’s not clear whether he’d swim on either mixed relay.  Women typically swim fly and free on the medley, and he could be left off the mixed free relay, depending how how seriously the USA takes it.  It’s also not clear whether or not he swims both prelims and finals in the 4×200 free relay.  Regardless, Friday looks particularly grueling, with six possible swims, triples in both the morning and evening sessions, and there’s another potential triple on Saturday.

It is possible?  Sure.  Dressel is 20 (almost 21) years old and Florida coach Gregg Troy is known for putting its swimmers into beastly shape.  In 2013, another Gator, Ryan Lochte crazily swam three events in one night at the 2013 Barcelona World Championships.  He won the 200 back, made top eight in the semis of the 100 fly, and wrapped up the evening with a 1:44.98 split on the gold medal 4×200 for Team USA.  That was the day before his 29th birthday.

Should Dressel go with this schedule, assuming he makes it the 50 free?  That’s much more debatable.  FINA doesn’t do sprinters any favors with having the 50 free and the 100 fly on the same night, and after Dressel’s world-leading time in the 100 fly tonight, you’ve got to wonder if the 50 free may be the event to get dropped, if one has to go.

Dressel’s best time in the 50 free is a 21.5, and Ben Proud has already gone 21.3.  While Dressel presumably should drop some time in the 50 as well, the fastest event in swimming is always something of a crapshoot.  Dropping the 50 free would eliminate all of his possible triples.

Why not drop the 100 fly, especially with Joe Schooling currently the presumptive favorite?  Dressel’s 50.8 in the 100 fly, meanwhile, is already the fastest time in the world by a few tenths of a second.  While the Singaporean’s 100 fly textile world record is about a half second faster than Dressel’s time from tonight, we know that Schooling took a lot of time off after Rio.

Dressel went head-to-head against Schooling in both the 50 free and the 100 fly at NCAAs, and came away with victories both times.  At this point, you have to wonder if Dressel isn’t in Schooling’s head just a little bit, and if Dressel doesn’t want to be there.  Surely, Dressel would relish the chance to race (and beat) his former Bolles club teammate, right?

In an interview after the session, Dressel claimed that, for now, he’s just focused on swimming the 50 on Friday, and that he hadn’t even looked at the schedule for Budapest yet, but he didn’t seem fazed.  “I don’t want to limit what I can do.”  We haven’t even invoked the name of yet another famous American swimmer who took on massive schedules at Worlds and the Olympics, but his book was titled No Limits, a mantra that seems to be a common theme among the legends of the sport.

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Ouch…. Friday might leave a mark. I believe in Dressel though. He’s got the guts to leave it all out there and not look back.


I love Dressel! He can do whatever he puts his mind to but I think ultimately it would be smart to avoid that 4X200 free relay all together and I bet you the coaches push for him to do so, however it would be a pretty easy chance at a gold medal if he swam on the prelims of the relay but but honestly he should avoid it all together and I can’t help but feel the coaches will feel the same way come Budapest


I like that the 50 is before the 100 fly ( assuming he makes it in the 50 free) the 50 won’t tax him and it will really warm that speed up and get himready for some fly. Nothing he hasn’t done before


He’s gonna be hurting that Friday. Though he’s probably not swimming finals.


On the relay


I really hope and expect he doesn’t swim the 4x200FR at all.


So do I. The 4x200FR is his weakest event on current showing, and the team is just as fast without him. I want to see how fast he can go in the 100m Fly and Free. He should be on the podium for both.

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