Tom Shields Swims 51.7 in 100 Fly at Cal-UCSD Long Course Session

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 33

February 08th, 2020 News

28-year old American Olympian and Olympic gold medalist Tom Shields swam a 51.73 in the 100 fly in long course meters on Saturday. Racing another exhibition swim on the 2nd day of competition between the UCSD and Cal collegiate programs, collegians and pros moved from yards swimming on Friday to meters swimming on Saturday.

That’s his best in-season time since the 2015 FINA World Cup series, where he swam 51.3 and 51.2 in Moscow and Paris within a week. Shields, who is reportedly unrested for this meet, swam a 51.59 to win gold at last summer’s Pan American Games in the 100 fly that was his season-best in the event.

Shields split 24.30/27.43 in the swim, which is almost identical to the 24.32/27.27 that he split to win gold at Pan Ams.

World Rankings, Men’s 100 LCM Fly:

2019-2020 LCM MEN 100 FLY

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In that 100 fly, the 2nd-place finisher was German National Teamer Marius Kusch in 51.83. Kusch, who trains with Team Elite in San Diego, was a dominant swimmer at NCAA Division II Queens and last summer swam the 6 best 100 long course meter fly times of his career. His 51.83 on Saturday would have matched his lifetime best coming into 2019.

On Friday, Shields swam a 1:38.80 in the 200 yard fly that was his lifetime best and makes him the 4th-best performer in history.

Other Highlights of the Long Course session:

  • Greek pro Kristian Gkolomeev won the men’s 100 free in 49.53 ahead of Kusch in 49.65. The top collegiate finisher was Cal’s Michael Jensen in 50.11.
  • The only female swimmers were pros (the women’s college teams aren’t participating in this meet). In the 200 free, Gabby DeLoof swam 1:59.99 to out-race little sister Catie DeLoof in 2:02.45.
  • Cal undergrad Daniel Carr swam a 53.64 in the 100 back. That’s just .14 seconds away from his lifetime best that was set at the Pan American Games last summer. That makes him the 3rd-best American in the event so far this season, behind Shaine Casas (53.14) and Matt Grevers (53.54)
  • Abrahm Devine, who is now training with Team Elite in San Diego after attending college at Stanford, swam 2:02.71 in the 200 IM. Backstroke Olympian Jacob Pebley, who has been racing more-and-more IM, swam 2:03.21. He also swam 1:59.54 in the 200 back, his specialty event.
  • Singapore Olympian Zheng Quah, who is a senior at Cal, swam 1:58.02 in his best event, the 200 fly. That’s only 2 seconds away from his lifetime best of 1:56.01.

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3 years ago

*Other highlights…
No mention of Trenton Julian’s LCM 2fly time of 1:57.10 ???

Tom Shield’s Olympic Chances
3 years ago


3 years ago

It’s good but realistically that’s probably not too 5 this year in the US

Reply to  Pvdh
3 years ago

He’s unshaven and unrested. 51.7 is great for now!

Reply to  Brian
3 years ago

More and more people swim really fast at ‘in season’ meets. The days of swimming slowly ‘in season’ then dropping a ton with rest/shave are over.

A few years ago Conger went 51 mid in January, and that was definitely unrested. He’s only been about 0.5 faster rested and shaved.

Hopefully Shields can drop a decent amount when it counts because I believe Rooney was 50.3 last year.

Lane 8
Reply to  ArtVanDeLegh10
3 years ago

(50.68 last year)

Ol’ Longhorn
Reply to  Brian
3 years ago

To buying the unrested part. Of course he’s partially rested. If he weren’t, he wouldn’t have dropped a 1:38 200 fly. It would’ve been more like 1:44. Happy for him, but he’s going to need to drop his best ever time by a lot to make the team is Rooney and Dressel stay in form.

Reply to  Ol’ Longhorn
3 years ago

Definitely. I still think Shields’ best shot is the 200.

Reply to  Brian
3 years ago

He’s not untested and unshaven going near PBs. I get he had a rough few years but you don’t need to blow smoke up his a$$

3 years ago

Yes!!! Go get it, Tom!

3 years ago


3 years ago

Tom! Keep it up. WOOHOO!

Honest Observer
3 years ago

Unrested and unshaved? Awesome. Going public with his self-doubts recently actually seems to have worked to expunge those self-doubts, in a weird sort of way. It’s almost as if they were weighing him down, and now they’re gone. If that’s what it takes, Tom, we’re all here to listen (and I think virtually all of us are rooting for you as well).

Reply to  Honest Observer
3 years ago

i second that whole heartedly

Joel Lin
3 years ago

Tommay Tommy Tom Tommay !

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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