SwimSwam Pulse is a recurring feature tracking and analyzing the results of our periodic A3 Performance Polls. You can cast your vote in our newest poll on the SwimSwam homepage, about halfway down the page on the right side, or you can find the poll embedded at the bottom of this post.
Our most recent poll asked SwimSwam readers which mark set by Caeleb Dressel at his record-breaking 2018 NCAA Championships could fall this season, if any:
Question: Which Caeleb Dressel record is most likely to fall this NCAA season?
- No chance any of them fall – 57.0%
- 100 free (39.90) – 24.1%
- 100 fly (42.80) – 16.0%
- 50 free (17.63) – 2.8%
Dressel’s performance at the 2018 NCAA Championships might well be the best single-meet performance in college swimming history.
Records were not only broken, but obliterated.
When Dressel began college in the fall of 2014, the fastest times ever recorded in his three primary events were as follows: 18.47 in the 50 free, 40.76 in the 100 free, and 44.18 in the 100 fly.
In the last meet of his NCAA career, Dressel did the unthinkable, breaking 18 seconds in the 50 free (twice), going under 43 in the 100 fly, and cracking the elusive 40-second barrier in the 100 free.
The standards set were a notch above what anyone else could conceivably do at the time:
- 50 free – 17.63
- 100 free – 39.90
- 100 fly – 42.80
When the next NCAA Championship meet rolls around this coming March, it will be five years since Dressel’s earth-shattering performance in Minneapolis.
Will any of these records go down?
The majority say no, as the option in our latest poll, No chance any of them fall, received 57 percent of the vote.
If one is to go, most believe it will be the 100 free, where Dressel only went 39.90 at the tail-end of a long meet. Pre-race, commentator Rowdy Gaines was hyping up the possibility of him breaking 39 seconds.
There’s no doubt that Dressel’s performances have raised the bar in the NCAA. It used to be unheard of that we would see a sub-44 100 fly, but three different men did it last season, all of whom return in 2022-23: Andrei Minakov (43.71), Luca Urlando (43.80) and Youssef Ramadan (43.90). Liendo should also be in the same ballpark as these three, given his meters times coming in.
But like the 100 free, the swimmers are still nearly a full second back of Dressel, which is why the 100 fly only received 16 percent of the vote.
A few brave souls picked the 50 free, 2.8 percent, though that record could very well stand five more seasons after this one (if not more).
Seeliger did go 18.27 last season, making him the second-fastest performer in history, but 64 one-hundredths is an extremely long time over 50 yards.
Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Poll, which asks: As we stand here at the beginning of the season, who are you backing to win the 2023 NCAA title in the women’s 100 fly?
The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.