[RACE VIDEO] Tom Shields Becomes First Man To Break 44 Seconds In 100 Fly SCY

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Olympian Tom Shields flew to a new American and U.S. Open Record in the men’s 100-yard butterfly while swimming in finals of the men’s 2016 AT&T Winter National Championships.

Shields dashed to a time of 43.84 in the fly to become the first man to ever post a sub-44 second swim. The previous American and U.S. Open records were split between Austin Staab (44.18) and Joseph Schooling (44.01) respectively.

Comparative splits:

  • Tom Shields (Dec 2016): 20.57/23.27 – 43.84
  • Joseph Schooling (Mar 2016): 20.46/23.55 – 44.01
  • Austin Staab (Mar 2009): 20.56/23.62 – 44.18

After the race Shields commented that he felt his chance at becoming the first swimmer under 44-seconds was dwindling as he watched NCAA stars Joseph Schooling, Jack Conger, and Caeleb Dressel edge closer to the existing records.

Watch the full race here:

After the race, Shields spoke with Swimming World’s David Rieder about his swim and how it felt to finally break the record that he had pursued for so long. He also previewed what might be to come at next week’s Short Course World Championships.



  1. Peter Smith

    Dig it brother, “Rocket Man”…..I thought I was fast with a 50.07 back in 1972……

  2. Bryan Hardman

    So, I know I’m not fast but Matt Nahrstedt and Nick Zeckets you would be better contenders! ?

  3. Pat Kennedy

    Absolutely awesome. What a phenomenal swim.

  4. Lance Ford

    Wow… that is sick! Way to go Tom!!

  5. David Ades

    What a picture of power on the go. In my day they were still trying to break a minute

  6. Helena Pastierova

    This is really awesome! Congrats Tom! ?
    I’m just thinking if it would make the difference in the 50m long pool…

  7. Sammy Gregory

    Sienna Prowse Mustafa Ali Orcun ummmmm wtf?

  8. Scott Montgomery

    Super impressive. Well earned and deserved! Great job, Tom.

  9. Neil Morgan

    How widespread are SCY meets? Is it mostly just the US? Most of our pools are either SCM or LCM.

    • Peter Scott

      Mostly USA traditionally all NCAA pools are 25yards. All College, University and school historically have 25yrd pool. Other parts of the world is metric and most pools for competition are 25m or 50m internationally. Some pools in USA have movable bulkheads that can make 25yd, 25m or 50m pools. So yes 25yds racing is mostly an American thing and not international

    • Peter Scott

      In UK back in the 70’s most of the pools were 25yds, when I was racing there. Now mostly replaced by the 25m

    • Rich Davis

      Peter Scott are you kidding? We had a school meet in 1979 in a 33 1/3 yard pool, lol. Built in central London in the 1800’s. There were other pools with really strange measurements too. I think we won the London Schools relay championships in a 45 yard pool too.
      However, our school had a 25m tank.
      Thanks for the memories I hadn’t thought about this for a long time.

    • Charlie Bowman

      We had a 33&1/3 yard, a 25 yard, a 25 meter, 50 meter, and a 44 yard pool on our circuit. You never knew how your times were going to correlate. The 44 yard pool was supposed to be 50 yards but the city council thought they could save a buck and shortened the pool and building on the plans prior to construction

    • Peter Scott

      I swam in Scotland in those days. Yes there was a 33 and 1/3 pool in Dundee. You swam 3 lenths for a 100. Now in fact the trend is sometimes to build useless play pools that you can’t race or train in.

    • Peter Scott

      In the 70’s most of my training was in 20yard pool (approx)??.

    • Peter Scott

      70’s back in the day all indoor pool training. Now my training in 25 and 50m pools all outdoor??. Also open water training in the sea year round and no need for wet suit…it is a big difference????

    • Rich Davis

      Peter Scott this is happening in Canada. 24m pools so the city won’t have to host swim meets!

    • Rich Davis

      Peter Scott we had a 20 yard pool too. It had 2, 5 yard shallow ends and the deep end was in the middle?

    • Peter Scott

      Yes and kidney shaped pools as well.??

    • Peter Scott

      We used to use the comparison tables that approximately converted times from different pool lengths. Unfortunately they don’t cater for 24m pools, kidney shapes, and wave pools with artificial beaches etc????

  10. Kyle Starling

    Wow! So incredibly freaking fast!

  11. Gabriel Lebeuf

    LOL Anthony C-Castonguay comment ça va ton fly toi ?

  12. Ari Fulgino

    Jorge Da Costa Pinto Neves Filho

  13. Kurt Litchfield

    Wow!! May not last log with Schooling and Conger waiting in the wings, but FIRST is FIRST…congrats, Tom Shields!! Amazing!!

  14. Ian Ballantyne

    Jake Fisher Colin MacQuarrie Erik Hamsteak McCague Matt Koken

    • Colin MacQuarrie

      I would have been first if I hadn’t partied so much

    • Erik Hamsteak McCague

      I wouldn’t mind that time doing freestyle especially all the disappointment over the last 4 years. I hate all of you

  15. Jeffrey Luci

    My excitement will be tempered until I see that he doesn’t have platinum blond-dyed hair.

  16. Adrian Lisowski

    Sam Park Edvin Alijagic his underwater though??

    • Betsy Luminais

      Stephanie Shupe that’s fast … for freestyle!?

  17. Jennifer Peterson

    Christopher Peterson and Alex Peterson – notice who is starting?

  18. Rian Marco Tirol

    If Im not mistaken joe already broke 44 on a relay but i guess relays dont count

  19. avatar

    Did you all see Tom swim butterfy in the 50 free earlier this week? He didn’t win but he was right up there. He stayed underwater for 2/3 of each length, just as he did for the 100 fly. Is it legal (in free) to swim a whole lap underwater – if so, and he works on that, he might set another record. And he might force a rule change ala Lochte.

  20. Garth Neilson

    Paige Andrew Tylor Andrew Lauren Fletcher

  21. Roman Sander

    Marius Aac S ist er leider 1 Zehntel schneller als du 🙁

  22. John Pishko

    Wow Jeff, at first I thought that was a picture of you a few years ago!

Author: Taylor Brien

Taylor Brien is the Assistant Operations Manager and a staff writer at Swimming World. A native of Bettendorf, IA and a 2015 graduate of Illinois College, she has covered a variety of events since joining the SW team in 2015, including the NCAA Championships, World Championships, Olympic Trials, and 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

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