Ryan Murphy Describes Why He Enjoys the Roller Coaster of Taper


Reported by Nick Pecoraro.


  • Meet Record: 1:55.94, Ryan Murphy (CAL), 2016
  • Wave II Cut: 2:00.81
  • Wave I Cut: 2:02.99

Top 3:

  1. Ryan Murphy (Cal Aquatics), 1:56.14
  2. Bryce Mefford (Unattached), 1:58.16
  3. Daniel Carr (Unattached), 1:59.62

Dropping 5.77 seconds from his smooth morning swim was Ryan Murphy, splitting 27.20/28.99/29.55/30.40 at 1:56.14. Murphy was just a hair of his top American time this season of 1:56.04 from PSS San Antonio. Cal teammate Bryce Mefford took second at 1:58.16, ranking third in the US behind Shaine Casas (1:58.04).

Cal’s Daniel Carr placed third with a sub-2:00 effort of 1:59.62, swimming ahead of top-6 finishers Dynamo’s Ian Grum (2:00.25), SwimAtlanta’s Keegan Walsh (2:00.38), and Florida’s Clark Beach (2:00.43).

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3 years ago

It’s probably The Field > Murph in the 100 back, but I don’t know that there’s any one swimmer with a better chance to win. I guess that makes him “the favorite” in my book. In the 200, he’s further off, but there are fewer real contenders so his chance to win is probably just as good. 3:1? 4:1?

3 years ago

He swam two perfect races in Rio to win gold and achieve his childhood dreams.

This time around he’s got even more competition. He’ll need some PBs to get both golds again.

I hope the tapers go well. I’m sure he’s put in the work to be ready.

Reply to  Marklewis
3 years ago

I feel like people write him off way too much based on the fact that his best year during the last quad was 2018 and 17 and 19 worlds he was just OK by his lofty standards. If he had swam the times in 2019 that he did in 2018 everyone would be picking him again.

Reply to  Riccardo
3 years ago

I think this is true. Even in the 200back, Rylov hasn’t pushed the times to territories that are outside of Ryan’s abilities, despite the fact that he’s drop something like 0.7 in his 100back.

I do think it’s the drop in rylov’s 100back that suggests to my that Rylov hasn’t been swimming the 200back anywhere near his potential.

Reply to  John26
3 years ago

Until 2019 Rylov’s 100 back was lacking behind his 200, which was strange because his 50 back is always very good yet he almost always tried to back half his 100 (basically even splitting a bunch of 52’s since Rio). He finally started going out well under 26 for the first 50 which is what brought his 100 down to the 51.9 -52.1 range. I definitely think he’ll be 1:52 in Rio and the 200 is definitely his race to lose at this point. If Murph is on in the 100 I think he wins, Xu and Rylov have never swam their fastest 100 of the season in the 100 back finals but it would also be pretty incredible to… Read more »

Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
Reply to  Riccardo
3 years ago

Rylov would win the 2 back in Gwangju even if Murphy swam his 2018 time (which is also his current pb), but the margin would be small. (1:53.40 v 1:53.57).

Last edited 3 years ago by Casas 100 back gold in Tokyo
3 years ago

Of all the major “stars” of the swimming world, I think Ryan Murphy is my favorite — by a mile. While character judgments done from afar are always suspect, he strikes me as a superstar who 1) seems to have NO guile whatsoever; 2) his modesty concerning his achievements always hangs ‘in perspective’; 3) he never tires of saying he can improve, but with a sincerity I find authentic; 4) he ought to be sitting on the IOC and FINA when his swimming days are over.

3 years ago

For real. He carries basically 0 weight of being someone who swept the backstrokes and set a world record at an Olympic Games.

3 years ago

He’s too genuine (and morally intact) to be in FINA. Maybe IOC though, but honestly I see him using that Haas business degree for more good elsewhere.

Reply to  Deepblue
3 years ago

Wow townley got a school named after him. Kinda bummed it wasn’t the communications department tho

3 years ago

Totally agree. I’m not saying other pro swimmers don’t do this but the way Murphy has built his brand and holds himself really reminds me of other superstars across other sports. Yeah other pro swimmers have endorsements but the way Murphy goes about it gives off a really “professional” vibe. In other words, you can tell he is actively seeking to collaborate with other brands to build his and the sport of swimming. Ex. Men’s fitness, Goldfish, etc.

3 years ago

Dressel comes to mind too. Both are humble, thoughtful, and overall great representatives of the sport.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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