Quiz: Can You Name The Top 20 Swimmers of All-Time In the 50-Yard Free?

Before the year 2005 no one had ever broken 19 seconds in a 50-yard freestyle.

In the 15 years since, we’ve seen 18-second swims become the norm, and even seen a handful of 17s. The title of ‘fastest man in yards’ still carries plenty of prestige. But how many of the fastest men in yards can you name?

We’ve put together a quiz below to test your recall of the top 20 performers of all-time in the men’s 50-yard freestyle. The quiz is up-to-date as of August 2020. We’re specifically looking at top performers, not performances – so each swimmer will only be listed once, even if they have multiple swims fast enough to make the list.

For hints, our quiz lists the year each swimmer put up their best time, plus the college team they were associated with at the time. You have five minutes to name them all. Note: the quiz will accept last names only, though spelling has to be relatively close.

Of course, one man holds the top 13 performances in history in this race. Here’s a look at his career portfolio in the 50-yard freestyle:

  • 17.63 (2018)
  • 17.81 (2018)
  • 18.11 (2018)
  • 18.20 (2016)
  • 18.23 (2016)
  • 18.23 (2017)
  • 18.23 (2017)
  • 18.24 (2016)
  • 18.29 (2016)
  • 18.32 (2016)
  • 18.38 (2017)
  • 18.39 (2016)
  • 18.46 (2017)

If you enjoyed this quiz, check out the other set of quizzes we put together this month. You can follow the link here to find our quizzes on every team to win an NCAA relay title in women’s swimming and in men’s swimming.

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Retired coach
2 years ago

You swimfans are truly impressive with your memories on this test! I wouldn’t be able to come up with the top 20 50 free swimmers on my own team. Well, maybe I could get all 20 times, but names…. probably would need to look through team photos for those!!

Swimnerd
2 years ago

20 of 20. I didn’t realize they had the schools next to it lol 😂

Margaret
2 years ago

What about the women? Next?

Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

Jared, if you really want to screw with people, do top 20 male 100 LCM breastrokers under a minute.

Bub
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

This but unironically

Reid
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

Off the top of my head:
1Peaty
2Shymanovich
3Kamminga
4Van der Burgh
5Wilby
6Rickard
7Duboscq
8Yan
9Dale Oen
10Kitajima
11Koseki
12Shanteau
13Miller
14Wilson
15Titenis
16Borysik (dubious time?)
17Sprenger
18Martinenghi
19The Turkish guy who isn’t Ogretir (also dubious)
20Gangloff

I know the top 19 are under 59 but I can’t think of any others. Barbosa and Prigoda might be the next two after Gangloff’s 59.01?

edit: not quite in order obviously.

Last edited 2 years ago by Reid
Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Reid
2 years ago

Impressive, though I don’t have the energy to check the spelling on 5 of them.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Reid
2 years ago

Ok. I’m intrigued. Now do 200 breast. How many guys make both lists? Also, weird not to see Hansen even make the list.

Reid
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

For some reason the 200 times don’t quite stay in my head, probably because the 200 breaststroke is an unnatural and unholy invention. But I’ll take a crack:

Kitajima
Koseki
Yamaguchi
Watanabe
Chupkov
Wilson
Gyurta
Sprenger
Qin
Prenot
Balandin
Persson
Murdoch
Shanteau
Sato
Jamieson
Cordes
Wilby?
Rickard?
I feel like Titenis broke 2:08 in ’09 so I’ll say he’s 20.

I’m sure I’m missing some.

edit: just checked and it’s Titenis, Persson, and Rickard out. They’re 23, 24, and 25. Kamminga, Stubblety-Cook, and Koch in. Should definitely have gotten Kamminga (most recent) and Koch (world champion). Fina doesn’t have Sato in… Read more »

Last edited 2 years ago by Reid
Reid
Reply to  Reid
2 years ago

Or sorry no, Gangloff isn’t in the top 20 for 100, Cordes is. So that’s only seven in both.

Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

And this goes against Mel’s statement on GMM that the 200 scy is a “sprint” and Dressel would drop some insane time. Though Dressel might, the data don’t support it. Of the top 20 all-time in the 50, how many had a 200 game? Zapple was a 1:30.4 of something. Held was 1:31. That’s about it. Most of the guys on the list would’ve needed an autopsy after a 200 free. 50 free and 200 free are two different sports.

Xman
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

Nathan Adrian had a competitive one, he said it helped with his LC 100 free.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Xman
2 years ago

1:33.

PVSFree
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

A 1:33 was fairly competitive in 2011 though. We’ve forgotten how quickly the 200’s developed since Hass broke that barrier in 2016

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  PVSFree
2 years ago

True, but he did his best time of 1:32.83 in 2014 at Winter Nationals, which would’ve been 5th at NCAAs that year. Again, competitive like he would’ve finales at NCAAs, but not what Mel is talking about —- being THE MAN from 50 up to 200 SCY. I mean Rowdy went 1:33.9 in 1981, Biondi was 1:33 low in 1986, and Burnett was 1:31.6 in 2006. So 1:32 high in 2014 is pretty middling.

Swimmer
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

But most of the guys on that board didn’t have a 1:38 200 im

Horninco
2 years ago

you can just type last names……..

DBSWIMS
2 years ago

14/20
I probably could have done better if 1) I knew I didn’t have to know first names 2) I could spell at all (Gkolomeev and my retarded self typing “Joeseph Schooling” for a good minute.

Last edited 2 years ago by DBSWIMS
SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
2 years ago

totally forgot about Paul Powers.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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