On Top Again: Caeleb Dressel Goes 1:38 200 Yard IM

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 81

February 15th, 2018 College, News, SEC


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University of Florida senior Caeleb Dressel has stamped his name atop another all-time list with a 1:38.13 in the 200 IM on Thursday at the 2018 SEC Championship Meet. In his first individual swim of the meet (he forsook his 50 free, where he’s also the best of all-time, to swim the 200 IM), he surpassed David Nolan’s US Open, NCAA, and American Records of 1:39.38.

Dressel also broke Texas A&M’s Pool Record of 1:40.49 set by fellow Gator Bradley Ally at the 2009 NCAA Championship meet. The old SEC Meet Record was a 1:41.28 done by Georgia’s Chase Kalisz at the 2017 edition. Kalisz carried on to win the 200 IM and 400 IM titles at the 2017 World Championships.

Dressel built a predictable lead on the record in the fly, and gave it right back on the backstroke (his weakest stroke and Nolan’s strongest). The biggest surprise is how much damage he put on Nolan on the breaststroke leg – neither is primarily a breaststroker, but both have shown that if they pushed the stroke, that they could be among the best in the NCAA.

Then on the freestyle, with the record essentially in-hand, Dressel put down a monster 23.72 split on his freestyle leg and very nearly blew right through to a 1:37.

For comparison’s sake, his time is faster than the American Record in the 200 yard freestyle set in 1972. The runner-up, Hugo Gonzalez of Auburn, not only also broke the Meet Record – he is now tied as the 10th-best performer in history, and was still 2nd by 2.5 seconds.

Comparative Splits:

David Nolan Caeleb Dressel
2015 NCAAs 2018 SECs
Fly 21.67 21.03
Back 24.32 25.01
Breast 29.21 28.37
Free 24.18 23.72
Total Time 1:39.38 1:38.13

Fastest Performers, All-Time, 200 IM:

  1. Caeleb Dressel, 2018 – 1:38.13
  2. David Nolan, 2015 – 1:39.38
  3. Will Licon, 2016 – 1:40.04
  4. Ryan Lochte, 2007 – 1:40.08
  5. Josh Prenot, 2016 – 1:40.14
  6. Ryan Murphy, 2016 – 1:40.27
  7. Bradley Ally, 2009 – 1:40.49
  8. (TIE) Michael Phelps, 2010/Marcin Cieslak, 2014 – 1:40.58
  9. (TIE)Mark Szaranek, 2017/Hugo Gonzalez, 2018  – 1:40.67

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4 years ago

The article says Bradley Ally went 1:40.09, but it is Mt listed in the Top 10 times. Shouldn’t it be?

4 years ago

Whatever happened to David Nolan? He probably could have swam the IM at worlds this past summer

A$AP wat
4 years ago

not crying in the club i swear.

Reply to  A$AP wat
4 years ago

In club penguin

4 years ago

I want to hear someone criticize my buddy Gregg Troy …

He Gets It Done Again
4 years ago

Remember when he signed with Florida and some people were like “WTF, that’s not a sprint program!” Guess it didn’t need to be…

4 years ago

Dressel almost breaks 1:38. Lol

4 years ago

It’s crazy that this was an easy call

4 years ago

It’s crazy to think how much untapped potential Dressel may have in other LCM events. What a monumental talent.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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