United States Will Use John Shebat as Butterflier in Men’s Medley Final


  • July 4th-10th, 2019
  • Napoli, Italy
  • LCM (50m)
  • Live Stream: Olympic Channel (in US), Rai Sport (in Italy)
  • Entry Lists & Live Results

American coaches will use John Shebat as the butterfly leg on their 400 medley relay, in spite of him not being selected to the team individually in the 100 fly.

Relay lineups for finals have been released, and the Americans will use:

3 of those legs were predictable: Ress, Finnerty, and Apple were all the top-finishing Americans in the 100m individual events. The 100 fly was not so clear cut. While Americans Coleman Stewart (52.11) and Jack Saunderson (52.25) were 3rd and 4th, respectively, in the individual 100 fly, Shebat reportedly swam a 51.4 in a time trial this week (no social media photos or videos of this one). Shebat, you’ll recall, swam a 200 IM time trial in a 1:58-low after being disqualified in prelims of the individual event: which was expected to be his only race of the meet.

In prelims, Saunderson split 51.99 on a rolling start – still half-a-second behind Shebat’s flat start. Stewart, meanwhile, swam backstroke on the prelims relay, so if the Americans do medal, both butterfliers will get some hardware regardless.

Stewart’s coach at NC State, Braden Holloway, is the head coach of the US men at this meet, while Shebat’s coach, Wyatt Collins, is also on the staff.

This means that Cal swimmer Bryce Mefford, who also has a coach on staff (Chase Kreitler), won’t get a shot at this medley relay. He finished 5th in the individual event in 54.42; Stewart was a 53.85 in prelims, so results indicate that this decision did, in fact, make the prelims relay faster (though it would have finaled comfortably in either case).

Shebat is generally best known as a backstroker in short course – he was the 2019 NCAA Champion in the 200 back for Texas. He’s also a very good butterflier though, in both long course and short course. His official best time of 52.42 in the 100 fly (in prelims, followed by a 52.46 in finals) was good for 11th place at last year’s US National Championships. He also swam the fly leg on Texas’ medley relay at the NCAA Championships last year.

Meanwhile, the American women will use:

None of those switches were any big surprise, though that means Emily Weiss, the only American to make the individual event final (1:09.10 – 8th place), won’t get a shot at finals. Escobedo also swam in prelims where she split 1:06.78 – several seconds faster than either American raced in the individual.

The Americans had the fastest times in prelims of both relays (the women by a substantial amount). The only real challenge in these finals will be the Russian men for the American men: they swapped out their first 3 legs, including adding Grigory Tarasevich on the backstroke leg and 200 breaststroke World Championship medalist Kirill Prigoda to their relay.


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Have a feeling he’ll do something really fast, like 50mid. His fly looked really good the other day. If he goes, say, 50.5 flying… Does it give US coaches headaches next summer RE Medley order, or will they stick to Dressel 3rd and fastest 100 freestyler not-named-Dressel anchoring?


Hes not gonna drop a second dude

Ol’ Longhorn

He’s also not going to do 51.4.

WV Swammer

If he goes 50.5 I’ll lose my mind


50.mid would be ambitious. If he really went 51.4 flat then you’re looking at 50.8-51.2 flying.

He’s fast. 43.89 on the 400 medley relay and 19.8 on the 200.

WV Swammer

19.8 in the 200 is almost as fast an Dean

Texas Tap Water

Lol no




Did he actually go 51.4 the other day or what? There’s been so many jokes that I don’t know what to take seriously 🙁


I think this is a bad idea. Soon we will have swimmers auditioning for relay spots on Instagram


You want your fastest relay. If the coaches saw him swim a 51.4 and they think he can do that again that’s their call

Right Dude Here

So the 200IM is actually an individual event, and because of that I don’t think the coaches took it into account for the medley relay.


We will have to wait and see. If he really did a 51.4, I would put him in if I was the coach. I recall a similar situation where one of my friends’ teammates time trialed a 50 behind his back to get into a 200 free relay. His teammate got the spot and my friend was booted off. It sucks but hey, a time is a time.


Yeah what if the guy timing the trial is a little quick on his watch. I’m sure that will never happen. But if you have a couple of the official team coaches timing it then maybe it’s okay but still not exact race conditions so they need to be about .5 faster for the switch to be okay in my book


I imagine they were able to get an electronic time on the time trial.

Steve Nolan

They didn’t for his 2 IM, so I’d assume this wouldn’t have, either.

Right Dude Here

Despite the fact that (admittedly unlike Eddie), Wyatt isn’t known for generous hand timing, I imagine either Braden or Chase also had a watch on Shebat.

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Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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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