Ryan Held Breaks U.S. Open Record With 47.43 In 100 Free


In yet another breakthrough swim for the U.S. men’s sprint scene, Ryan Held busted a U.S. Open record with a 47.43 in the 100 free at prelims of U.S. Nationals.

That’s a massive swim for Held, and makes him the #3 American in history in the event. It also stands up as the U.S. Open record, or the fastest swim done by a swimmer of any nationality while on American soil. Held’s previous best time was just 48.26, which was 13th in American history.

Top American 100 Freestylers In History

  1. Caeleb Dressel (2019) – 46.96
  2. Dave Walters (2009) – 47.33
  3. Ryan Held (2019) – 47.43
  4. Michael Phelps (2008) – 47.51
  5. Nathan Adrian (2012) – 47.52
  6. Jason Lezak (2008) – 47.58
  7. Maxime Rooney (2019) – 47.75
  8. Garrett Weber-Gale (2008) – 47.78
  9. Zach Apple (2019) – 47.79
  10. Jimmy Feigen (2013) – 47.82
  11. Blake Pieroni (2019) – 47.87

Maxime Rooney also cracked the top 10 this morning, going 47.75. Five of the top eleven U.S. swimmers in history have hit their best times this year alone, and six of the eleven are still active.

It’s also a bounce-back swim for Held after a rough outing last summer. Held was 48.26 at Olympic Trials in 2016, making the American Olympic team and ultimately winning gold as part of the finals 4×100 free relay. He split 47.79 (prelims) and 47.73 (finals) in Rio. But last summer, Held went just 48.65 and missed all the major U.S. travel teams.

His 47.43 this morning is the second-fastest time among all Americans this season, and only behind American record-setter (and textile world record-breaker) Caeleb Dressel‘s 46.96 from Worlds. The other individual Worlds entrant was Blake Pieroniwho went 47.87.

Held moves up to #3 in the world ranks this year, behind only Dressel and Kyle Chalmers and tied with Vladislav Grinev:

2018-2019 LCM MEN 100 FREE

View Top 27»

The American sprint scene suddenly looks extremely crowded. Dressel is head and shoulders ahead of the field, but several others have stepped up in a big way this summer. Held’s swim is the biggest, but Pieroni’s swim was also a lifetime-best, and his first time ever under 48. Meanwhile Zach Apple went 47.7 individually at World University Games and split 46.8 at Worlds on a relay. Dean Farris split 47.0 at World University Games, and Nathan Adrian split 47.0 at Worlds.

Held has switched up his training base twice over the past six months. In February, he moved from NC State (where he competed in college) to Indiana to join the burgeoning pro group there. Then, when IU sprint coach Coley Stickels was hired away to head up the Alabama program, Held followed Stickels there.

The move seems to have paid off. Held should be all but locked in to the U.S. National team, and now looks like a top contender for next summer’s Olympic team, though the competition for spots hasn’t been this fierce since the 2008 U.S. team that set a legendary world record.

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Lane 8
1 year ago

And considering the fact that it’s only prelims…

1 year ago

These guys are making 47 seem not impressive but it’s super fast

Reply to  Bruh
1 year ago

What’s insane is that last year, hardly anybody broke 48 and a 48.00 was good for 6th in the world. This year, we’ve a guy go 46, a 47 zero and more 47 mid to highs than you can shake a stick at.

You wonder if just one of those guys can have a big Olympic year and go 47 low/46 high with the two big names. It feels like an event primed for an upset in Tokyo.

Reply to  Bruh
1 year ago

Making Pieroni’s comment that it would take a sub 48 to make the US Olympics team look even more like a possibility.

Mr Piano
1 year ago

Bronze at worlds

Reply to  Mr Piano
1 year ago

Excuse me, Mr. Piano, but if you don’t mind laying off Ryan on his last 50 tonight, it would be much appreciated by the swim community. Tom shields too. Thanks in advance!

Reply to  DMacNCheez
1 year ago

I think Michael Andrew took Mr. Piano home to CA.

Reply to  Snarky
1 year ago

Michael Andrew is in Tokyo.

Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

What did we get for him in exchange?

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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