WATCH: Florida’s Caeleb Dressel Crushes 200 IM in a Blistering 1:40.61


Florida’s Caeleb Dressel had an explosive performance on Thursday night at the Purdue Invitational. Dressel, who typically makes headlines with his sprint free and butterfly performances, turned his focus to the 200 IM individually on day 1. He demolished his best time in the event, dropping 2 full seconds en route to a 1:40.61 victory. His time was 6 hundredths faster than what it took to win NCAAs last season.

Check out a video of Dressel’s race here courtesy of Martin Plummer:

Dressel finished body lengths ahead of the field, which included reigning NCAA champion Mark Szaranek and All-Americans Jan Switkowski and Vini Lanza. Dressel trailed slightly at the halfway point, but kicked it into another gear on the breast leg and really turned on the gas on the closing freestyle split.

Dressel’s Splits by 50:

  • Fly- 22.28
  • Back- 25.62
  • Breast- 29.15
  • Free- 23.56
  • Final Time- 1:40.61

Dressel blew away the former Pool Record, which stood at a 1:43.09 done by Dylan Bosch in 2016. He came very close to breaking the SEC Record of 1:40.49 done by Florida’s Bradley Ally in 2009. His performance makes him the 9th fastest swimmer in history. With Dressel making his way onto the list, half of the all-time top 10 are current or former Gators.

All-Time Top Performers – Men’s 200 Yard IM:

Place Swimmer Time
1 David Nolan 1:39.38
2 Will Licon 1:40.04
3 Ryan Lochte 1:40.08
4 Josh Prenot 1:40.14
5 Ryan Murphy 1:40.27
6 Bradley Ally 1:40.49
7 Michael Phelps 1:40.58 (T-7)
8 Marcin Cieslak 1:40.58 (T-7)
9 Caeleb Dressel 1:40.61
10 Mark Szaranek 1:40.67

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Anyone watching this guy come up as an age grouper is not at all surprised by this. He has four strokes, the best underwaters in the world, and is a gamer when the lights come on.

Caeleb will win 8 golds in Tokyo

50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 200IM, 400 free relay, 400 Medley relay, 200 freestyle, 800 free relay.


he doesn’t even have to swim 200 free, he can just swim 400 mixed medley

Caeleb will win 8 golds in Tokyo

In that case, 9 golds. And the most impressive Olympic performance in history


Phelps won 8 golds in 7 world records. Unless dressel breaks world records in all those it won’t be more impressive, especially when one of the golds would be in a gimmick event


I think dressel has a pretty good shot w the records. He’s already .04 off the 100 fly and two tenths off the 100 free, by 2020 I would doubt him breaking several records


Yeah the best performance in history if he achieves that but the added mixed medley relay distorts the imagined gold count. Phelps would have had more if he had the mixed medley relay to swim.
Adding events kinds if distorts comparisons between different generations.

das swimmer

Phelps had relays that Spitz didn’t have in ’72 so you believe Spitz is still top ever?


a) same relays in ’72 and all of Phelps Olympics – 400 medley, 400 free, 800 free

b) I don’t think anyone is arguing Spitz was better than Phelps, at least I wasn’t. I was pointing out that adding events has not distorted comparison between different generations in the past and so shouldn’t now


Mark Spitz would have had 8 medals if the 50 free had been swim in ’72 and quite possibly 8 world records…one can always argue that adding events distorts comparisons but the reality is that adding events changes the way swimmers prepare for a meet. Just because he could have swum a mixed relay given the opportunity doesn’t mean phelps would have ( schedule, fatigue, interest) he could have swam either of the backstrokes to add to a medal count as well


I think phelps would have swum the mixed medley relay if it was available his time in addition to his other events because of his crazy endurance and recovery. I think he might have skipped prelims and semis and just swum finals.


Available during his time I meant


You might be right, My point was simply that the sport changes and we continue to compare across generations. If there weren’t semis in the shorter events we may have seen Phelps pull 10 golds (both back strokes) or maybe he would have done the 400 free. A different event order could have had similar results. Ultimately, I doubt Caleb is going to swim a program that will net him more than 7-8 medals. (50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 200 IM and 4 relays- maybe only 3 depending on what happens in the 200 free world over the next 2.5 years.)

Tea rex

Spitz was an underdog for 100 free gold – would have been a major underdog for 50 free.

Relays in general distort things… How many golds could schooling (or morozov, or condorelli, or ruck, etc) have if they stuck with American citizenship?


If you want to add another wrinkle into this debate, how do you account for the fact that phelps had to swim more races to get his overall medal count? Back in 72, there were no semi finals in the 200s. Phelps had to swim additional races that spitz didn’t in a world that, quite frankly, had far more competitive international athletes than Spitz.


Man if somehow Phelps could’ve kept motivation for some All Time, But No Really and just put it all on the line, he could have tried for both backs and the 100 free in 2012. Not saying he’d win 11 gold medals, but maybe 9, or at least medals in more events for a bigger legacy.

Caleb Dressel Will Get 7 gold medals in Tokyo

Well in order to get 9, it would have most likely been the 200 back. Those 3 200 backs could have sent him over the edge for the 200 im final and 100 fly semi, now having to swim 3 times in 1 hour. Even if he beat Lochte in the 200 im there was still the 100 fly final. It would have been epic to see if he was committed London.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona and the University of Florida. She got her M.S. in Criminology from Florida State and seems exceptionally confused about which team she should cheer for during the college football season. Lauren is currently a coach at Loggerhead Aquatics …

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