Jordan Crooks Demolishes 50 Free Semi-Final Field In 20.31, Tying #4 All-Time


It’s truly been an international breakout this week for Cayman Islands native Jordan Crooks, who has parlayed his success in the NCAA over the last 15 months into a phenomenal showing at the 2022 Short Course World Championships.

Crooks is staking his claim as one of the best sprint freestylers on the planet, and that was on full display on Friday in Melbourne, as he reeled off two of the fastest swims ever in the men’s 50 free.

The 20-year-old first clocked 20.36 in the prelims, breaking the Cayman Islands National Record by well over a second to move into fifth all-time in the event.

Then, in the semi-finals, Crooks dropped down to 20.31, tying Russia’s Vladimir Morozov for fourth on the all-time performers’ list, just 15 one-hundredths shy of the world record held by Caeleb Dressel (20.16).

All-Time Performers, Men’s 50 Freestyle (SCM)

  1. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 20.16 – 2020
  2. Florent Manaudou (FRA), 20.26 – 2014
  3. Roland Schoeman (RSA), 20.30 – 2009
  4. Vladimir Morozov (RUS)/ Jordan Crooks (CAY), 20.31 – 2017 / 2022
  5. Ben Proud (GBR), 20.40 – 2021
  6. Amaury Leveaux (FRA), 20.48 – 2008
  7. Cesar Cielo (BRA), 20.51 – 2010
  8. Fred Bousquet (FRA), 20.52 – 2009
  9. Evgeny Sedov (RUS), 20.59 – 2014

All-Time Performances, Men’s 50 Freestyle (SCM)

  1. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 20.16 – 2020
  2. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 20.24 – 2019
  3. Florent Manaudou (FRA), 20.26 – 2014
  4. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 20.28 – 2020
  5. Roland Schoeman (RSA), 20.30 – 2009
  6. Vladimir Morozov (RUS)/ Jordan Crooks (CAY), 20.31 – 2017 / 2022
  7. Vladimir Morozov (RUS), 20.33 – 2018
  8. Vladimir Morozov (RUS), 20.39 – 2018
  9. Vladimir Morozov (RUS) / Ben Proud (GBR), 20.40 – 2019 / 2021

The previous Cayman National Record stood at 21.73, set by Brett Fraser in 2013, but Crooks had actually gone under that to the feet in the 100 freestyle, flipping in 21.70 in the prelims, 21.63 in the semis and then 21.32 in the final, where he ultimately tied for sixth place in 45.77.

The margin Crooks has over the field heading into the 50 free final is significant. He qualified 45 one-hundredths clear of second-place Ben Proud (20.76), the defending champion, and his winning time from the second semi was six-tenths quicker than what Kyle Chalmers needed to touch first in the first heat (20.91).

Crooks was the fastest man over the first 25 meters by a small margin, out in 9.83 to inch out Szebasztian Szabo (9.87), but it was the back half where he made all the difference, specifically off the turn.

Crooks was underwater longer than anyone else by a significant margin and popped up well ahead of the field coming off the wall. His second 25 split of 10.48 was more than three-tenths quicker than the next-fastest, which was Chalmers at 10.79.

Currently in his sophomore year at the University of Tennessee, Crooks became the fastest NCAA freshman ever in the SCY version of the 50 free (18.53) last season, and this year, he moved into a tie for #2 all-time after blasting an 18.27 in November.

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5 months ago

Didn’t he do this in the heats of the 100 too and get 7th lol?

People saying he’s coming for Dressel’s 17.63 and 39.90 is comical

Reply to  Andrew
5 months ago

First major meet for the kid. Gotta get figure things out somehow. Experience is the best teacher

Last edited 5 months ago by Curious
5 months ago

Ugh, just been working his ass off and things are falling into place🤞I hope this man’s 19.99 for Gold!

Reply to  B1Guy!
5 months ago

Manaudou Silver – 20.5

Honest Observer
5 months ago

And let’s not forget, that was a 20.31 with a horrible eat-the-wall finish. A better finish alone could get him down to WR territory. That said, talk of a 17.63 seems a little premature; Dressel’s yards record is significantly better than his SCM record.

Reply to  Honest Observer
5 months ago

And let’s not forget… he had one heck of a long glide of a turn too. That WR is in huge danger.

Reply to  BigBoiJohnson
5 months ago

Looking at his start he is the last to enter the water and looks like his legs were separated. He could improve 0.1-0.2 just by nailing the start.

5 months ago

You can demolish the field in a final. In a semi it is called using more energy than necessary.
Extremely impressive swims. I hope he leaves with a gold medal to show for it.

Reply to  Hank
5 months ago

I disagree. I believe he was conserving energy by swimming for a lesser period of time than his competitors.

Gen D
Reply to  Hank
5 months ago

energy management will come with experience

Reply to  Hank
5 months ago

Dude it’s a 50. If you’re not giving it your all, you’re not making it back. You don’t really get to hold back until you get into the longer races.

5 months ago

I’d guess he can break 18 in scy.

5 months ago

Might this mean that the first Dressel NCAA record to go down will be the 50? Which is definitely his most impressive time

Reply to  Davide
5 months ago

To me the 100 goes down first, just because I think his 50 was “peak” and his 100 was “just past peak.”

Reply to  Braden Keith
5 months ago

I honestly think his 100 fly record is going to go first for 2 reasons. There’s more guys closer to that record then the 100 free and also, the 1 free is at the end of an already grueling meet meaning that the times aren’t likely going to be as quick as you would expect. I think a few guys could get closer to the 1 free record but I don’t see that record going down for a few years. But I do see someone getting very close to that 1 fly record this season.

Reply to  PFA
5 months ago

The 100 free was also at the end of the meet for Dressel too. It’s always on the last day. Everyone that swims it is tired. And the majority of A finalists are swimming a lot of relays too. So it’s a pretty even playing field.

Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
5 months ago

If not this year for crooks, maybe him or caribe next year.

Imagine popovici going to tenesse also..

Reply to  PFA
5 months ago

who is going to get close to 100 fly record this year?

Reply to  chazoozle
5 months ago

The big 2 are Minakov and Ramadan I would also have said Urlando but he’s out.

Reply to  PFA
5 months ago

Minakov would have to race in the NCAA this year to break a record.

Reply to  chazoozle
5 months ago

maybe thomas heilman 😭

5 months ago

wow this is a lot faster than I thought he would be so far but I guess going 20.3 isn’t far fetched with him already going 18.2 in yards could potentially give Dressel’s record a big scare tomorrow.

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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