SwimSwam Pulse: 72% of Voters Say Dressel Could Break 1:30

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 for Dressel’s predicted time in a hypothetical 200 yard free:


Question: What would Caeleb Dressel go in a 200 yard free at NCAAs?

  • 1:28 or faster – 19.1%
  • 1:29 – 53.7%
  • 1:30 – 18.6%
  • 1:31 – 6.1%
  • 1:32 or slower – 2.5%

In the wake of Caeleb Dressel‘s American record assault on the 200 IM and 100 breast, we asked fans what the all-time great sprinter could do in a 200 freestyle.

In an astounding show of confidence, almost three quarters of voters said they thought Dressel could become the first man to break 1:30 in the 200 yard free. More than half picked 1:29 as Dressel’s likely time, while another 19% actually suggested he could go 1:28 or faster.

Dressel’s lifetime-best as of now is 1:33.42, put up last February at a Last Chance meet. For reference, that was a week after he was 18.4/41.2 in the freestyles and 44.2 in the 100 fly at SECs. About one month after his Last Chance 200 free, Dressel would go 18.2/40.0 in free and 43.5 in fly.

Currently, only three swimmers in history have broken 1:31 in the 200 free. On the other hand, it’s hard to doubt Dressel, especially after his absurd SEC performances. In fact, a hypothetical 200 free actual bears some similarity to his 200 IM from SECs. Fans had speculated about what Dressel could go, wondering if he could be 1:39. He destroyed those predictions with a 1:38.13 that is more than a full second faster than anyone in history.

If swimming fans are lucky, we might get to see this debate resolved within the next few weeks. Dressel could theoretically lead off Florida’s 800 free relay on day 1 of men’s NCAAs, though that would require him to drop one of the other relays where he’s fairly vital. Dressel pranked us all a pretty good one last year by tweeting that he would be leading off the relay, then ultimately not swimming the event. So this year, we’re not holding our breath. But we’re also not ruling anything out until the relays are actually in the water.


Below, vote in our new A3 Performance Pollwhich asks voters for their thoughts on Katie Ledecky’s chances of becoming the first woman ever under 15 minutes in the mile at NCAAs next week:

Will Katie Ledecky break 15 minutes in the mile at NCAAs?

View Results

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Founded in 2004, A3 Performance has a history of developing quality, innovative products at a great price. A3 Performance is the fastest growing brand of competitive swimwear in the United States, driven to innovate the sport of swimming and motivated to help swimmers reach their goals. We are The Performance Swimwear Company.

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

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Phelps swims 200 breast rio

I think Dressel can break 1:30. If he is capable of swimming 40.0, I can see him splitting 42 high and 47.

A non-e mouse

I wanna what the people that voted for 2.5% 1:32 or worse were thinking


Maybe they pressed the wrong button lol

Coach MM

They should definitely lead him off in the 800free relay. They have a better chance of placing higher in that relay than any other relay.


Problem is they’re probably second at worst without him. And Dressel is easily worth that on the other relays.


I think the words you meant to type was “at best”

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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