Tom Shields Sets Pair of American Records in 100/200 SCM Butterfly

Tom Shields wasn’t satisfied with setting just one American record at the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup Series last Wednesday. To remedy this, Shields continued his tremendous year with new American Records in both the 100 and 200 SCM Butterfly at the Berlin stop, with times of 49.01 and 1:51.31 respectively.

His 100 butterfly just nipped the previous standard of 49.07 that had been established by Ian Crocker back at the 2004 NCAA Championships, when the meet was contested in short course meters.  Shields took first over South Africa’s Chad Le Clos (49.48) and Germany’s Steffen Deibler (49.72).

Here is a comparison of his splits with Crocker’s:

Ian Crocker ’04: 22.76, 49.07 (26.31)

Tom Shields ’13: 23.06, 49.01 (25.95)


Though Shields was out a full three-tenths slower than Crocker, Ian was always known for his opening speed, while Shields has established himself as one of the best and most consistent underwater swimmers in the world.  This likely is the primary reason why Shields was able to come home so strongly, as his 25.95 was nearly a full three-tenths faster than the second 50 of Chad Le Clos (26.21), who is also renowned for his monster closing speed.

In the 200 meter butterfly, Shields just clipped his own record from last Wednesday (1:51.38), with a 1:51.31 effort that was good for 4th place.  He finished 4th behind Le Clos (1:49.90), Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski (1:50.43), and Japan’s Daiya Seto (1:50.96).

Here is a comparison of his splits:

Tom Shields Eindhoven ’13: 25.03, 53.71 (28.68), 1:22.49 (28.78), 1:51.38 (28.89)

Tom Shields Berlin ’13: 25.11, 53.74 (28.63), 1:22.54 (28.80), 1:51.31 (28.77)


Shields swam a very similar race to the one he completed in Eindhoven, but had a little more left in the tank going into his last 50.  As he already held the 50 meter butterfly American Record from last December in Istanbul, he is now the American Record holder in all three butterfly distances.

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hope his success converts to LCM, would love to see him make team for Rio ’16

bobo gigi

We say that for more than 4 years now. But it’s definitely possible. It’s wide open in the men’s 100 fly in USA now. He has 3 years to be ready.


He is always SO CLOSE. I think he just has to realize that he is one of the big boys now and he can beat them at World Trials/Olympic Trials. He ends up going really fast times, just at the wrong meet.


With the number of 18 and under swimmers already at or approaching the “A” cuts, the competition could get very interesting!


Congrats to Tom and coach Durden on a job well done!

About Varun Shivakumar

Varun Shivakumar hails from Hoffman Estates, IL and swam competitively for 16 years. He swam both backstroke events at Northwestern University, and ranks fifth in the school’s All-time performances list in the 200 yard backstroke. Representing NASA Wildcat Aquatics, he also competed in the 2012 Olympic Trials in Omaha, NE …

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