With 1:54.3 200 Fly, Urlando Becomes Fastest American Since Phelps in Rio

2019 MEL ZAJAC JR. INTERNATIONAL MEET

After having earned four personal bests thus far at the 2019 Mel Zajac Jr. International Meet, DART Swimming’s Luca Urlando has done it again: earning yet another lifetime best of 1:54.35. That time shatters the 17-year-old’s previous best time of 1:55.21, which was achieved at the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships, by almost a full second.

Among other things, this gives us perspective on just how much swim fans were spoiled by Phelps’ dominance and skill in his pet event. Cutting over 3.5 seconds off of the 200 fly world record over his career (1:55.18 when Phelps first broke the WR to 1:51.51 as it stands today) Phelps truly set the bar for the mid distance event, a bar that is still tough to match years after his departure. Since Phelps won gold in the 200 fly at the 2016 Olympic Games in a time of 1:53.36, no American has been under 1:54 in the 200 fly.

With his swim in Vancouver, Urlando becomes the fastest American in nearly 3 years. Here are the fastest times from every major national and international competition post-Phelps:

2017 Nationals/World Champ Trials: Jack Conger, 1:54.47

2017 World Championships: Jack Conger, 1:54.88

2018 Summer Nationals/Pan Pac Trials: Justin Wright, 1:54.63

2018 Pan Pacs: Zach Harting, 1:55.07

2019 Mel Zajac Jr. International: Luca Urlando, 1:54.35

 

Reported by Eamonn Keenan.

Not only did he obliterate the meet record of 1:58.12, which was established by the University of Calgary’s Adam Sioui in 2008, but that time is also the third fastest time in the world this year. His 1:55.76 from the 2019 Speedo Sectionals – College Station meet rendered him currently ranked sixth, which made him the fastest American in the world this year. As of right now, the second fastest American in the world is Caeleb Dressel, who out of nowhere posted a 1:56.29 at the 2019 Atlanta Classic.

With the times he’s been throwing down combined with a rapid rate of improvement, Urlando has established himself as a primary contender for a 2020 Olympic bid, particularly in the 200 fly. If he had swam that exact time, Urlando would have won this event at the 2016 US Olympic Trials, beating out both Michael Phelps‘s 1:54.84 for first, as well as Tom Shields‘s 1:55.81 for second.

 

58
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

58 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
phatswim
3 years ago
Jeff
3 years ago

I think he will win silver at Tokyo behind Milak and ahead of Seto in the 200 fly.

Andy
3 years ago

Really mean teaser–I thought you had video of his race😢

Another Swim Mom
Reply to  Andy
3 years ago

Go to 50:30 on this link for video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3U9WuHxsfs

Swammer
Reply to  Another Swim Mom
3 years ago

Just watched the race and I’m pretty sure he can get under 1:54 this summer pretty easily.

A$AP Pocky
3 years ago

The fight between Luca, Milak, and whichever Japanese butterflier decides to show out in 2020 is going to be borderline cataclysmic

Rafael
Reply to  A$AP Pocky
3 years ago

Do not leave kenderesi out

A$AP Pocky
Reply to  Rafael
3 years ago

Good point Rafa. This could be the race of 2020.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  A$AP Pocky
3 years ago

I think Kalisz is in the mix by then. 1:56 (in the same heat as the truly legendary 1:56 swim) coming just a couple of weeks after going 5 seconds off his 200 IM time, puts him about 1:54 mid-high now, and he always comes up big for Olympic years. Plus he’s getting a lot stronger now that he’s finally hit puberty.

Rafael
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
3 years ago

Puberty? He is like.. 14?

Brownish
Reply to  A$AP Pocky
3 years ago

I think WR will be closer to Milak than anybody else.

The Ready Room
3 years ago

Steve Nolan with the big troll!!

The michael phelps caterpillar
3 years ago

LUUUUUUUUUUCAAAAAAAA

Editor
3 years ago

“They see me trolling…”

swimmer23
3 years ago

this kid just went 2 seconds faster than Dressel and he’s a JUNIOR in high school. What are you talking about?!

Jack
Reply to  swimmer23
3 years ago

Do you hear a whizzing sound just over your head?

sven
Reply to  swimmer23
3 years ago

It’s true. I did a polynomial regression using his previous times and was able to deduce that he will go exactly 1:50.69
comment image

sven
Reply to  sven
3 years ago

Interesting aside– according to my model, if he swims it for a seventh time, he will go -55.96 seconds.

Togger
Reply to  sven
3 years ago

Only Dean can break the space time continuum.

As Einstein theorised, e=MC(Farris)

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  sven
3 years ago

Thank you. A guy who gets it.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  sven
3 years ago

Now do polynomial for Schooling’s practice 100 fly.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  swimmer23
3 years ago

Not to mention the brief —- I heard he was in a brief.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  swimmer23
3 years ago

Man, you (and 39 others at last count) really fell into that one. Twas a social commentary on the hype.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

Read More »