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:
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.