LumaLanes Performance of the Week: Caeleb Dressel’s 17.63 50 Free

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Honestly, was there any doubt that this week’s Performance Of The Week, sponsored by LumaLanes, would go to Caeleb Dressel? The Florida senior sent shockwaves through the swimming world last week with his utterly jaw-dropping performance in the 50 free at the NCAA Division I Swimming & Diving Championships, breaking his own American and NCAA record and moving further past the 18-second barrier.

Taking the record down to an almost unfathomable 17.63, Dressel dropped more than half a second from his old American and NCAA record of 18.20 from 2016. Dressel had actually broken that record in prelims with an 18.11 and then took it lower leading off Florida’s 4×50 free relay in a 17.83 to officially break the 18 second barrier before he finally stopped the clock at 17.63 at night.

For perspective, NC State’s Ryan Held was second in 18.64, finishing 1.01 seconds back for the biggest margin of victory in history. Words don’t really do this swim justice, so take a moment to watch the race video if you haven’t already:

Despite how mind-boggling a 17-second flat start 50 may seem, Dressel admitted in a post-race interview that his goal all along had been 17.6. “I learned from each one,” Dressel said, referring to his drop in each of his 50’s from that day. “The relay this morning, I was 17.9 with a relay swing. There was room to improve there and I learned something from that race. I kind of got the first-race jitters out of the way. I just learned from each one and went with the momentum.”

And Dressel rode that momentum all the way through the meet, becoming the first man under 43 seconds in the 100 fly and under 40 seconds in the 100 free to finish his NCAA career with arguably some of the most dominant performances in the history of college swimming.

Congratulations Caeleb Dressel on earning Swimming World’s Performance of the Week!

Special Thanks to LumaLanes for sponsoring Swimming World’s Performance of the Week.

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Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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