Caeleb Dressel Puts Together Epic Day; Two World Records and American Mark


Caeleb Dressel Puts Together Epic Day; Two World Records and American Mark

His talent is well known to the world, so the fact that Caeleb Dressel can still leave mouths agape only speaks to the ridiculous level of that skill set.

An argument can be made that Dressel produced the greatest single-day performance the sport has seen in the short-course pool on Saturday, when the International Swimming League held the first day of its Grand Final at the Duna Arena in Budapest. In the span of two hours, Dressel blasted a pair of world records and added an American standard while elevating the Cali Condors into first place in the team standings.

There was much anticipation concerning Dressel and what he might pull off over the weekend, and the American star certainly delivered on the expectations. Dressel jumpstarted his session by becoming the first man to break the 48-second barrier in the 100 butterfly, a 47.78 the new world record, and added a world record of 20.16 in the 50 free. For good measure, Dressel went 45.18 in the 100 freestyle to shave .02 off his own American record.

“I really enjoyed the sport today,” Dressel said. “I enjoy all aspects of it but this whole bubble so far, I’ve really, really enjoyed the sport of swimming. It’s taken it to a new relationship with the water – thanks to the ISL and just being surrounded by it. I mean that. It’s like an amusement park for swim nerds. I am definitely a swim nerd, so I have really enjoyed it so far but we have one more day.”

Although the entire session spanned two hours, Dressel crammed his trio of records into a 75-minute window. The achievement speaks to his recovery ability and the work he has put in under coach Gregg Troy and during the six-week Budapest Bubble. The scary thing? There’s probably a lot more to come on Sunday, when the ISL crowns its Season Two champion.

Dressel’s American record in the 100 free arrived on the leadoff leg of the 400 freestyle relay, so he will get another chance at that standard when the individual 100 free kicks off Day Two. It figures that a fresh Dressel will make a run at the world record of 44.94, set by Frenchman Amaury Leveaux in 2008. Leveaux’s record is the second-oldest in the short-course record book.

The 100 freestyle, though, will be just the start for Dressel, who is expected to contest the 100 individual medley and 50 butterfly, world records in each of those events also within reach. With Dressel in better form than last weekend, when he broke the world record in the 100 I.M., that standard is likely to be taken even lower. As for the 50 butterfly, the target will be Nicholas Santos’ 21,75 from 2018.

How Caeleb Dressel performs, and whether he can secure some Jackpot points, will go a long way in determining if the Cali Condors can capture the team title. The Condors head into Day Two with 267 points, 27.5 clear of Energy Standard (239.5). The London Roar sit third with 1995. Points, followed by the L.A. Current with 177 points.

Energy Spark

Energy Standard put together a spectacular day in relay competition as three of its squads registered the fastest times in history. Because the relays featured competitors from various countries, they are not eligible for world-record status, but are nonetheless impressive.

In the women’s 400 free freestyle relay, the quartet of Siobhan Haughey (50.94), Pernille Blume (51.59), Femke Heemskerk (51.29) and Sarah Sjostrom (51.55) combined for a time of 3:25.37. The effort could have been much faster, but Sjostrom was about a second slower than she is capable, an indication that she was monitoring her output in order to remain effective throughout the session.

Meanwhile, the men’s 400 freestyle relay stopped the clock in 3:02.78, the first performance under 3:03 in history. Energy Standard benefited from the combination of Evgeny Rylov (46.09), Kliment Kolesnikov (45.25), Chad Le Clos (45.40) and Florent Manaudou (46.04). The United States owns the official world record at 3:03.03.

Energy Standard’s third superb relay outing came in the 400 medley relay, where Kolesnikov (48.58), Ilya Shymanovich (55.38), Le Clos (48.53) and Manaudou (45.79) combined for a time of 3:18.28. Kolesnikov’s leadoff leg established a world record for the 100 backstroke.

Ryan Murphy’s Law

The runnerup in the 200 backstroke early in Day One, Ryan Murphy returned to the pool later in the day and recorded an American record of 22.54 in the 50 backstroke. That performance took .09 off the record Murphy set in 2018. The win was one of three on the day for the L.A. Current, which also received a victory from Beryl Gastaldello in the 100 butterfly and a first-place finish in the 200 individual medley from Andrew Seliskar.

One of the biggest showdowns on Sunday will be the matchup between Kolesnikov and Murphy in the 100 backstroke. Based on his world record, Kolesnikov has the advantage, but Murphy has been known to rise to the occasion, evident in his Olympic victories.

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