Ultra Swimmer of the Month: Jack Alexy

Ultra Swim Swimmer of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based swimmer who has proven themselves over the past month. As with any item of recognition, Swimmer of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one athlete whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a swimmer who was visibly outperforming other swimmers over the month, or one whose accomplishments slipped through the cracks among other high-profile swims. If your favorite athlete wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.

While it might not have been a perfect World Championship performance for the United States in Fukuoka, the team did have several bright spots, both expected and unexpected, that helped them win 38 total medals.

One of the surprises of the meet for the U.S. was Cal sprinter Jack Alexy, who followed up a breakout NCAA season with a superb summer that culminated with five medals last week.

After breaking Caeleb Dressel‘s National Age Group Record for 17-18 boys in the 100 freestyle at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2021, clocking 48.69, Alexy was off form in the event at the 2022 International Team Trials, failing to earn a second swim after placing 24th in the heats in 49.97.

But things have changed for Alexy over the last 12 months. After his highest individual finish as a freshman was 23rd, he broke through at the 2023 NCAA Championships as a sophomore, joining the elite sub-41 club in the 100 free to earn a runner-up finish while also placing sixth in the 50 free with numerous 18-point swims.

That success translated into the long course pool in late June, as the New Jersey native lowered his best time in the 100 free for the first time since those 2021 Olympic Trials at U.S. Nationals, firing off a time of 47.75 in the prelims before winning the final in 47.93.

That earned him an individual spot on his first World Championship team, and he parlayed that success with a runner-up finish in the 50 free, setting a new PB of 21.63.

Despite the breakthrough at Nationals, the 20-year-old managed to ramp things up even further in July, resetting his newly-minted lifetime bests on the sport’s biggest stage.

Alexy managed to sneak into the 100 free final at the World Championships despite a botched start, as his streamline broke immediately off the start and he had to rally back from an early deficit.

He set a new PB of 47.68 in the heats, managed to clock 48.06 in the semis to advance to the final in eighth, and then challenged Kyle Chalmers for gold in the final, ultimately earning the silver medal in 47.31 to become the second-fastest American in history.

Alexy went on to add a second individual silver medal to his resume in the 50 free, steadily progressing through each round to touch second in the final in a best of 21.57, and he also proved to be an incredibly valuable asset to the U.S. relays.

Personal Best Progression

Event Entering U.S. Nationals U.S. Nationals World Championships
50 free 22.09 (2023) 21.63 21.57
100 free 48.69 (2021) 47.75 47.31

He split 47.56 on the American men’s bronze medal-winning 400 free relay, led off in 47.68 on the mixed free relay that won silver, and finished things off with a sizzling 47.00 anchor leg on the men’s 400 medley relay at the conclusion of the meet, giving the U.S. its first relay gold of the meet (the women won the medley relay in the next heat).

All told, Alexy has really found his footing training at Cal under coach Dave Durden, and figures to be a force to be reckoned with both domestically and internationally for the foreseeable future.

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Underachieving swimmer
6 months ago

After he went 40. this season in yards given his puny underwaters, it was pretty evident he would explode this summer… but my expectations were surely not the only one’s that were shattered.

Congratulations Jack 👏

owen
6 months ago

something tells me swimswam commenter Andrew does not like this guy very much

Anonymous
Reply to  owen
6 months ago

Dislikes every Cal swimmer except Andrew Seliskar – what’s up with that?

https://swimswam.com/aaron-shackell-swims-156-07-200-fly-breaking-andrew-seliskars-meet-record/#comment-1252785

Admin
Reply to  owen
6 months ago

SwimSwam commenter Andrew really only likes one program.

But he doubly hates Cal.

DCSwim
6 months ago

Alexy is kind of a testament to how well the US pumps world class swimmers. None of the guys who swam the 50 and 100 last year made the team? No problem. Jack’s here to get two silver medals AND become the second fastest American 100 freestyler ever

Andrew
6 months ago

His linsanity run will be over soon!

Christopher
Reply to  Andrew
6 months ago

What are you talking about?

Andrew
6 months ago

Should’ve been faster in the 4 free relay…

Christopher
6 months ago

That progression is nothing short of incredible. He could challenge the WR next year if he even improves a little bit. Some people just get into their zone suddenly. He’s long and lean so that certainly helps.

NJ representing!

Bub
Reply to  Christopher
6 months ago

He leaves a lot on the table with his start and underwaters. He cleans those up and he’s really dangerous

Christopher
Reply to  Bub
6 months ago

very fixable but yes, you’re right.

Andrew
Reply to  Christopher
6 months ago

Could challenge for a WR? I want whatever your smoking.

First, Alexy should challenge for a sub 47.5 split in the 4 free relay, that would be a great first step

James Beam
Reply to  Andrew
6 months ago

Andrew, always positive ray of sunshine.
Andrew- what was your best split in the 400 free relay at Worlds?

Ryan
Reply to  Andrew
6 months ago

I mean he split a 47.00 from a relay start so like one mediocre swim isn’t a reason to crush arguably Team USA’s biggest breakout swimmer of the year

Christopher DeBari
Reply to  Andrew
6 months ago

You’re a fool. He went 47.3 and with turns that could easily be improved with repetition and a good coach. You either aren’t a swimmer or know jack about what you’re talking about, or both.

Money?
Reply to  Andrew
6 months ago

What was his split and reaction time in the 400 med?

Ryan
Reply to  Christopher
6 months ago

Easily one of the strongest and most powerful over-the-water swimmers I’ve seen. Fixing his start will certainly help in the 100, but I think it could make him dominant in the 50

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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