Following Phelps: Carson Foster Breathed Every Stroke in 200 Fly Pool Record

by Michael Hamann 30

July 08th, 2022 National, News, Records

2022 SPEEDO SOUTHERN SECTIONALS

  • July 7-10, 2022
  • Lee & Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center, Austin, TX
  • LCM
  • Live Results
  • Also on Meet Mobile as “2022 ST TXLA Speedo Southern Sectionals”

Rising University of Texas junior Carson Foster sent shockwaves through the swimming world last night, throwing down a 1:53.67 200 fly stunner at the Speedo Sectionals in Austin. The swim marked a nearly five second drop from his lifetime best, made him the 3rd fastest American ever in the event and was just hundredths off of the bronze medal swim from last month’s World Championships in Budapest. 

The swim was also notable in that it broke Michael Phelps’ last remaining pool record at the famed Texas Swim Center. In 2001, Phelps set his first-ever World Record in the 200 fly at Texas, swimming a 1:54.92. He later returned to Austin to lower his pool record to 1:54.79, the record that Foster broke last night. 

In the process of breaking Phelps’ pool record, Foster’s swim had a notable similarity to the GOAT’s signature style: breathing every stroke during the race. While Phelps did not breathe on his breakout strokes from each wall, Foster’s only stroke where he didn’t breathe was the very first stroke of the race. 

So is this a specific strategy implemented by Foster and his Texas coaches in what many had considered an “off” event coming into the meet? Texas head coach Eddie Reese has publicly commented that he finds value in having non-breathing strokes during fly races, so the every-stroke pattern was a surprise to some. 

In comments to SwimSwam, Texas associate head coach Wyatt Collins seemed to confirm that they had viewed the 200 fly as more of an off event for Foster that hasn’t received much attention in training or strategy thus far. The approach going into the race was “let’s see what we can do,” and the resulting breathing pattern was more of an instinctual move by Foster, as opposed to a specifically prescribed strategy.

After last night’s massive swim, Collins hinted that the 200 fly will come more into focus for Foster. Collins commented that many of the world’s top 200 flyers, including current World Record holder Kristof Milak, breathe frequently with only occasional non-breathing strokes. The Texas staff views this as a model for Foster going forward, and likely will work on implementing a breathing pattern with occasional non-breathing strokes, especially on the front half of the race. 

An unexpected potential breakout star in the men’s 200 fly is a welcome surprise for the US National team, as the Americans have struggled in the event since Phelps’ retirement after the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The Americans have not had an individual medalist in the event at the Olympics or long course World Championships since Phelps retired, and the most recent non-Phelps medalist was Tom Malchow at the 2003 World Championships, where he finished with the bronze. 

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Boganville
4 months ago

The 50 is one thing but the 100 & 200 are quite another.

Tim Morrison
4 months ago

Wouldn’t you direct your every other breath flyers to breathe every stroke ?

Stephen
4 months ago

Goat?? Malik’s record??

Cate
Reply to  Stephen
4 months ago

GOAT=Greatest of All Time. You’re welcome

choosy
Reply to  Stephen
4 months ago

Milák, not Malik

Peaty55Paris
Reply to  Stephen
4 months ago

Do we really need to explain why Michael Phelps is the GOAT and will always be the GOAT?

swimmrer
4 months ago

the 100 back pool record might go down tonight

East Coast Swammer
4 months ago

I dont like it… I mean i am am a huge fan of texas swimming but Carston is always in second

Erik
Reply to  East Coast Swammer
4 months ago

You want to try that again?

Cate
Reply to  East Coast Swammer
4 months ago

Uhhhm what??

Snarky
Reply to  East Coast Swammer
4 months ago

Must be a UVa alum

Peaty55Paris
Reply to  East Coast Swammer
4 months ago

Bruh what?

Joe
4 months ago

The 200 fly is a very hard event, breathing every stroke let’s you have more oxigenación in the final 50 of the race, if you breathe every other stroke you get tired earlier and you last 50 will be very hard

oldswimdad
4 months ago

there’s some logic to breathing every stroke on the 200 vs 100s. This forces a bit more of an undulation in the stroke which helps keep the hips up in the last 50m. I’d be curious to see a comparison of splits by 50 between Carson’s new best vs his prior to see where he dropped time.

Justhereforfun
4 months ago

It probably makes a lot more sense in the 200 to breathe every stroke. Has Phelps or Bowman ever given an explanation for breathing every stroke in the 100 as well?

Mr Piano
Reply to  Justhereforfun
4 months ago

Bob said that Phelps’ torso was so long that he didn’t get the best undulation unless he was breathing every stroke

anonymous
Reply to  Justhereforfun
4 months ago

Bob said on video that breathing every stroke uses less energy in his opinion.

Krazy
Reply to  Justhereforfun
4 months ago

Bowman has said breathing every stroke in fly gave Phelps a better rhythm overall. He’s also said he prefers 1 up/1 down breathing but it didn’t suit Phelps at all.