Race Video: Watch Caeleb Dressel And Tom Shields Go 1-2 In The 100 Butterfly


Caeleb Dressel was the heavy favorite to win the 100 butterfly at the 2021 US Olympic Trials as defending world champion and world record holder.

Dressel started things out strong in the prelims with a new US Open record of 50.17 to take out Michael Phelps‘ mark of 50.22 from 10 years ago in Indianapolis. He followed up his heats swim with another US Open record in the semi-finals, getting under 50 seconds for the third time in his career with a 49.76 to continue leading the field.

All eyes were on Dressel in the final of the men’s 100 butterfly as speculation grew as to whether or not he could get under the 49.50 world record that he set 2 years ago at the 2019 World Championships. Ultimately, he didn’t manage to crack the world record again and posted a 49.87 in the final to win gold and add the event to his Olympic lineup.

Concurrently with the Dressel storyline, a battle occurred over the 3 rounds of the men’s 100 butterfly. Tom Shields and Trenton Julian began by tying each other for second behind Dressel in the prelims, each hitting a 51.71. Later that day, Shields pulled ahead during the semi-finals with a 51.20 as Julian fell to 5th with a 51.70.

Shields went into the final as 2nd seed to Dressel but still needed to look out for Julian who would be looking to improve, along with Coleman Stewart (51.54), Danny Kovac (51.61), Luca Urlando (51.77), and Zach Harting (51.99) who were all within striking distance.

Tom Shields managed to pull off the second-place finish in the final and qualify for his second straight Olympic team, hitting a 51.19 which is his fastest time in the event in 5 years.  Shields will now have a shot at improving upon his performance from the 2016 Olympic Games where he placed 7th overall in the 100 butterfly with a 51.73.

Watch Dressel and Shields pull it off here with their top 2 finish in the 100 butterfly final, as well as Dressel’s 49.76 US Open record during the semi-finals, courtesty of NBC Sports:


  1. Caeleb Dressel (GSC), 49.87
  2. Tom Shields (CAL), 51.19
  3. Luca Urlando (DART), 51.64


  1. Caeleb Dressel (GSC), 49.76 US
  2. Tom Shields (CAL), 51.20
  3. Coleman Stewart (WOLF), 51.54
  4. Danny Kovac (UMIZ), 51.61
  5. Trenton Julian (SMSC), 51.70
  6. Luca Urlando (DART), 51.77
  7. Zach Harting (CARD), 51.99
  8. Tyler Sesvold (BAMA), 52.06

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1 year ago

Only three people have ever swam the 100m butterfly in less than 50 seconds, and two of them only did it once in their entire career (Phelps and Cavic). Dressel’s now done it 5 times. He’s looking untouchable in this event.

1 year ago

What happen Giles Smith? I thought him like sprint butterfly.

Michael Mooney
1 year ago

Shields just gets better with age. If not for that floater turn Caleb would have had a new WR ..

1 year ago

I’m very impressed by Shields. He definitely had some lows during this cycle. Oddly, I think he’s one of few veterans who benefited from the extra year… last year this spot probably would’ve been someone else’s.

Reply to  Thomas
1 year ago

Rooney is the first one who comes to mind.

Reply to  Thomas
1 year ago

Shocked Rooney didn’t final in 100 fly, 100 free, or 200 free. Really hope he can eventually put together a good performance when it counts.

Bobo Gigi
1 year ago

Race video for people outside of USA

Sun Yangs Hammer
1 year ago

So glad BeefyT made the team