SwimSwam Pulse: 60% Think We’ll See At Least Three Men Sub-19 Before 2023

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 how many men in the NCAA will break 19 seconds in the 50 free by the end of the calendar year:

Question: How many men will break 19 seconds in the 50 free before the start of 2023?


  • 3+ – 60.4%
  • 2 – 26.1%
  • 1 – 8.7%
  • Zero – 4.8%

Although no one is expecting the all-time record to go down anytime soon, there’s no doubt the men’s 50 freestyle depth as a whole has gotten faster in recent seasons in the NCAA.

We specifically saw a big jump in this regard last season, where 16 men broke the 19-second barrier, surpassing the previous highest total in a single campaign of 10.

Men Sub-19 In The 50 Free, Last 10 Seasons

Season Sub-19 Swimmers Top Time
2021-22 16 18.27, Bjorn Seeliger (Cal)
2020-21 9 18.33, Ryan Hoffer (Cal)
2019-20 4 18.87, Ryan Hoffer (Cal)
2018-19 8 18.58, Ryan Hoffer (Cal)
2017-18 10 17.63, Caeleb Dressel (Florida)
2016-17 9 18.23, Caeleb Dressel (Florida)
2015-16 5 18.20, Caeleb Dressel (Florida)
2014-15 4 18.64, Kristian Gkolomeev (Alabama)
2013-14 5 18.80, Bradley Tandy (Arizona)
2012-13 2 18.63, Vlad Morozov (USC)

However, despite 16 men dipping under the barrier last season, only one did so prior to the start of the new year.

While this shouldn’t necessarily be a surprise, given teams peak for NCAAs (and the conference championships to a lesser extent), you would think we’d see more than just one swimmer go 18 during the mid-season invites, which generally produce some very fast times.

Texas’ Cameron Auchinachie, a fifth-year senior last season, dropped an 18.80 at the Minnesota Invite last December, but he was the only one. Bjorn Seeliger (19.06) and eventual NCAA champ Brooks Curry (19.09) were within a tenth of doing so, but saved their best for the postseason.

Only one swimmer cracking 19 seconds in the first half of the season has become a trend—it’s now happened in seven straight seasons.

The fastest mid-season swim we’ve seen came from Caeleb Dressel, who clocked 18.66 at the 2017 Purdue Invite in the lead-up to his pair of sub-18 swims at the NCAA Championships later that season.

So with such a loaded field of sprinters this season, from Seeliger and Curry to up-and-coming sophomores like Jordan Crooks and David Curtiss to incoming freshman Josh Liendo, how many men will go sub-19 prior to 2023 this season?

We’ve already seen Crooks go 19.36, which was one of the fastest early-season swims ever. On Thursday, Seeliger overtook him by going 19.29, and Curry (19.45), Michigan’s Bence Szabados (19.59) and Liendo (19.69) have already been quick this year as well.

According to our most recent poll results, more than 60 percent of readers believe that we’ll see three or men dip under 19 seconds prior to the start of 2023.

On top of that, more than 26 percent think we’ll see two, meaning that 86 percent believe that this season will feature the most men sub-19 mid-season ever.

Just under nine percent think the trend will continue and we’ll only see one, while just under five percent are no fun and picked zero.

Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks: Who is your favorite for the 2023 NCAA title in the men’s 1650 free?

With Bobby Finke graduating, who are you favoring to win the 1650 free at men's NCAAs this season?

View Results

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A3 Performance is an independently-owned, performance swimwear company built on a passion for swimming, athletes, and athletic performance. We encourage swimmers to swim better and faster at all ages and levels, from beginners to Olympians.  Driven by a genuine leader and devoted staff that are passionate about swimming and service, A3 Performance strives to inspire and enrich the sport of swimming with innovative and impactful products that motivate swimmers to be their very best – an A3 Performer.

The A3 Performance Poll is courtesy of A3 Performance, a SwimSwam partner.

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In shock
3 months ago

It’s been 4 years since Dressel went 17??!?!?!?!? Holy. Crap.

Swim fan
3 months ago

We could get close to 10 at midseason meets I think.

maximum mchuge
Reply to  Swim fan
3 months ago


3 months ago

Any word on that UVA men’s sprint group? Don’t know how a team that broke an American record last season in the 200 free relay isn’t getting any mentions…

3 months ago

Seeliger’s 19.29 this week — I assume that was unsuited, right?

montz sticks
Reply to  SwimGeek
3 months ago

prolly it was a dual meet

3 months ago

Brooks, Crooks, and Seeliger probably will at mid-season invites. I’m sure there will be a few others too.

Last edited 3 months ago by Chad
3 months ago

Nice to see what Auburn freshman Makinen can do in the SCY pools…..

3 months ago

Just a little detail missing here Caeleb has the fastest time ever in the first half of a season from the Purdue invite from 2017 in 18.66.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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