2019 MEL ZAJAC JR. INTERNATIONAL MEET
- May 24-26, 2019
- Vancouver, Canada (University of British Columbia)
- LCM (50m)
- Meet website
- Estimated timeline
- Psych sheet
- Live Stream
- Live Results
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.