U.S. Nats: Comeback Gains Momentum As Michael Phelps Scares 200 IM World Record

Michael Phelps [Patrick B. Kraemer]

Michael Phelps was under world-record pace in the 200 individual medley through the 150-meter mark and although he fell of the pace, his 1:54.75 clocking at Nationals was the fourth-fastest of his career.

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Michael Phelps was under world-record pace in the 200 individual medley through the 150-meter mark and although he fell of the pace, his 1:54.75 clocking at Nationals was the fourth-fastest of his career.

Comments

aswimfan

A question to americans:

Is college swimming good or not (to elite swimmers or aspiring olympic champions)?

I see tons of controversies lately and there’s growing chorus in saying that elite swimmers should avoid going the college swimming route. Those who are in this camp cited the examples of Manuel, Franklin, Pelton, etc, and cited the examples of swimmers who flourished after they finished college or red-shirting; Hosszu, Schmitt, Di Rado, etc.

But on the other hand, just this past week I see plenty of collegeswimmers had scorching swims: Dressel, Schooling, Conger, Murphy, Kalisz, etc.

It does seem to me, strangely, that college swimming affect female swimmers more negatively than the men.

Is there any truth to this?
Can anyone comment?

AvantSwim

There are hundreds of examples from recent and not-so-recent history of swimmers of both genders, from all over the world, who have clearly benefited from their (usually US-based) collegiate experience on the world stage.

Conversely, there are hardly any swimmers who have succeeded without this background–Phelps being almost the only notable example.

Pro swimming is still in its infancy, so I suspect there will be more swimmers who find success in alternative forums in years to come.

I’d say the proof is there: the US college system is uniquely situated to provide a tried and true venue towards international success.

aswimfan

This is just my opinion,

In general, I definitely think that US college swimming system is great for those who want to get elite training while getting free education. The system give them so many advantages, such as access to world class coaching and training facilities and regular world class racing opportunities, while having no worry about getting funding for their education, lodging and stipends.

Recently I read comments such as:
“It’s not fair that our swimmers have to study in college while competing against professional swimmers in other countries who do nothing but swimming”
This is false. Many top swimmers from other countries were/are studying as well. McEvoy is majoring in theoretical physics, for example.

There’s one garing weakness in the US college swimming system as far as I can see: SCY.
You see, when US college swimming red shirting or graduated, many of them flourished and swimming faster than ever because they were able to focus their train in LCM instead of training and racing in SCY: Shields, Cordes, Leverenz, Dirado, Schmitt, Van derpool wallace, etc etc.

It will be scary how good US swimmers will become if college swimming switch from SCY to LCM. So I think the rest of the world should pray that US college swimming and american swimming in general will keep swimming in SCY 🙂

felix

Well Sun may controversially be the male swimmer of the meet but no doubt who the male swimmer of the week is. Phelps would’ve won 5 gold in Kazan.

AvantSwim

I think SCY has benefits. Again, it has served the US well for decades internationally. The main benefit is honing the ability to race, as well as highlight speed skills and turns. It is a pain in the butt for time conversions and sense for us non American spectators, agreed. But then again, every university and college already has a yards pool–I don’t expect this system to change anytime soon. I did like the NCAA meet around 2004-5 that was done in short course metres–I remember that one well.

Craig Lord

felix, I think Phelps’ efforts outstanding, of course… but he wasn’t there and he swam in time trial conditions far removed from the real deal. Not comparable, even though we know he has so often thrived in big-occasion environment and probably would have done so again… he’s not the male swimmer of the week in my book: a world championship and all the challenge that goes with it is something apart. He opted out in agreement with USA Swimming -0 that’s what we were told – and when you opt out, you opt out. I look forward to seeing him back in the real fray: going to be truly thrilling.

easyspeed

Agree with Felix that Phelps was the male swimmer of the week. What makes it all the more amazing is the conditions were not so great in Texas: too hot!

To answer the question posed by ASF above, you can’t generalize too much and there are many variables to consider.

In the modern era of swimming, I think swimmers that have achieved #1 positions in the world should not participate in the NCAA for training reasons and for financial reasons. The two people who meet that criteria at present are Franklin and Ledecky. From a swimming standpoint, Franklin’s decision was a mistake. However, she maintains it was worth it to her on a personal level to have participated in the NCAA, so there is that. I think Phelps was wise to opt out of the NCAA and Ledecky should do the same. There are many reasons, but the biggest one to me is “if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it.” If you have a good coach swimmer dynamic going in addition to the support of a good training group, she should stay with that. Not to mention, turning down so much money in order to maintain “amateur” status is downright foolish, IMO. But hey, she is a kid and kids do nutty things sometimes, all part of growing up.

Felix Sanchez

Quite surprised that he’d be ahead of the record and drop off so much. The article claims that on Lochte’s WR swim he motored the final lap like a locomotive, but on that race his lead over Phelps was actually cut on the final 50.

aswimfan

easyspeed, actually hot water helps make for faster swims, as there were reports from San Antonio.
Scientifically, it makes water less dense, and thus fractionally easier to swim through.

aswimfan

easyspeed,

It’s a good thing then that Ledecky is deferring college after Rio and she has wealthy parents to boot, so she doesn’t have to be concerned about monetary needs.

longstroke

I don’t agree with those who say the performances of Michael Phelps were superior to anything we saw in Kazan. He’s produced the world’s No. 1 time in three events. Yes, that is a fact. But Le Clos, Cseh and Ryan Lochte had to contend with hard preliminaries, semis and then the final. Phelps had the luxury of cruising in the heats and leaving it until the final to unleash.

Ger

Here’s the video of the race and post race interviews:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts1Xpb6dfXg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCwp3q08bSw

aswimfan

In a 1993 study done by “The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness,” shows, overall, warmer water increased swimming speeds.

http://mougios.webpages.auth.gr/index.php/en/research/publications.html – research #5

And we know tough swimmers like Ledecky had to wear very thick jackets and mittens right before their swims. While San Antonio, the weather is reported being very balmy and everyone is raving about how great the facility is, and how fast the pool is. Here’s what some say:

Michael Andrew:
“I think it’s a fantastic pool, probably my new favorite outdoor pool I’ve ever raced in! I love the layout of the different pools and how easy it is to get around as well!”
it’s a beautiful pool, feels fast, and at the first sight of it I immediately want to jump in and just go!!!

Peter Andrew:
“It is an absolutely gorgeous facility. Very practical layout, easy to get around between warm-up pools (stress free) and competition pool.
We like the heat; it helps to stay warm after warm-ups. It is not cool in the evenings for finals like in Irvine, so that’s an added plus for fast swimming (helps staying loose and warm). We just take extra care to stay hydrated (and not over-hydrate).
“As far as how fast the pool is, I’ll let Michael answer that, but the results speak for themselves: 100% PB’s – although I credit USRPT for that, a great fast pool definitely helps.”

Eugene

Phelps doesn’t need to be a swimmer of the week because he is already a swimmer of the century.

aswimfan

True that, Eugene…

Phelps has swum world’s fastest times in three events, and we know he can swim in pressure-packed major competitions, which is a super great understatement.

But no need to compare which one is greater swim between those swum in San Antonio by Phelps or the ones in Kazan because they are swum in totally different situation, context, etc.

Craig Lord

Quite so, Eugene

Oliver Kramer

Sorry roy, ridiculous. MP is a so much more versatile swimmer than Katie. Katie has been on top for two years now, Michael for 15.
Nobody is on the same street as the GOAT. “He is up there and we are down here” (A.Popov)

Still not convinced? I have one more for you:

18 – 2 – 2

Eugene

Not sure if joking or just crazy. MP has broken 100500 records in his career.

aswimfan

roy,
I know you are trolling, but here it is:
Phelps had already broken 11 individual WRs before he turned 19, so unless Ledecky break another WR before she turns 19, she has not yet matched Phelps.

aswimfan

roy,
clearly your swimming knowledge is limited. I am a hardcore swimming fan, and I will entertain you if you want to talk swimming stats.

Up until the age of Ledecky now, Phelps were also breaking WR every year, and he also started to break WR at the age of 15, the same as Ledecky.

so on the front, WRs, Ledecky has not matched Phelps yet.

Still want to to continue?

Eugene

Everyone could swim in suits in 2008-2009 and break as many world records as they wanted to.

felix

Stop it Roy

Francene Same

re NCAA: People who say Ledecky should go pro don’t seem to observe her personal character. Money is not everything to her (and I would guess not that important… besides, I think she comes from a very comfortable situation in that regards). She is also very much a team player, and there is no other place in the swimming world that gives you the team experience like elite NCAA swimming… at least on a team with good dynamics, which Greg Meehan seems to have brought to Stanford. The team aspect will likely be yet another motivating factor for Ledecky.

As far as sticking with a coach she knows: I understand that idea, but she has done well with two very different coaches, and Greg Meehan at Stanford appears to be quite a good coach.

Lastly, college swimming in the US is one of the greatest life experiences. No money can ever replace that.

re Male Swimmer of the Week: I’d say Phelps for a variety of reasons. Not only form an objective standpoint was he faster in 3 events in 3 straight days (Worlds may have had semis, but were spread of 8 days. Phelps did it 8 straight days). But also, if you noticed, it was quite windy in San Antonio for the 200 IM finals, making it far less ideal conditions.

aswimfan

roy,

you are changing the goalposts.
First, you said about ledecky’s 10 WRs
and then when I mentioned Phelps had more at the same age, you said about ledecky breaking WRs every year
And then when mentioned Phelps did it too, now you are mentioning quality of WRs.
It doesn’t matter if you think Ledecky can go 8:02, the fact is she has not.

Also, if you learnt anything about swimming history, you would have known that female swimmers generally reached their peak at younger age. Not only in the past, but it still applies today.
There’s no guarantee that Ledecky will keep breaking WRs, but the reality is that Phelps kept breaking WR every year until he was 24 yo.
I will be very surprised if Ledecky can match that.
The fact that Phelps broke WR at 15 yo is incredible. Only very few other men have accomplished global achievements at such young age, in fact only one: Thorpe winning worlds at 15 yo. meanwhile in there have been countless women olympics champions or world champions or WR holders at 15-16 yo.

Also, due to women having less depth than men, men’s WR get broken quicker than women, if you learn about swimming history you’d know that. The longest standing ever men’s textile WR is Thorpe’s 400 WR at 13 years and running, but there are many more women’s WRs which are 13 years or older: All Evans records, Egerszegi’s 200 back, Mary T’s 100 and 200 fly etc.

Ledecky may keep breaking records and winning golds for another decade, but until that happens, she is still nowhere near Phelps when it comes to swimming achievements.

Felix Sanchez

roy,

Phelps had broken WRs in five different individual events before 2008 and the arrival LZR suits.

The period aswimfan is referring to, was well before that, with Phelps turning 18 in 2003.

Francene Same

@roy: don’t know if you were on this site a year ago, but I was telling people she’ll threaten 8:00 (and I clarified meaning 8:03-8:04) before she was done. Everyone, even Craig, said that was ridiculous. Funny how others are now saying that all over the internet.

aswimfan

yeah felix sanchez, don’t think roy got it.

For the sake of equal comparisons, I was referring to 2001-2004 when Phelps was 15-18 yo

Felix Sanchez

Francene Same,

Being from a wealthy family and liking the idea of an NCAA team environment are simply not good enough reasons to stay amateur. That is what she’s doing by the way; people talk about going pro as if that was the active decision to be made, the active decision Ledecky is really making is to retain her amateur status – for very weak reasons.

If someone from any other walk of life were to let the ‘great life experience’ of amateur team sport interfere with a million dollar career they would be roundly ridiculed – and rightly so. That’s certainly regardless of her families wealth.

NCAA swimming is a great institution and still has a place, but a very few people are simply too good for it. Ledecky most definitely is one.

AvantSwim

I believe Phelps has 29 WRs to his credit, as well as the medal haul.

Your comparison is unfounded, roy, and actually unfair to Ledecky: 15 years on for Phelps, 3 for Ledecky.

Francene Same

@Felix: It is certainly your right to believe life is about making oodles of money, but it is certainly Ledecky’s right to believe that going to a place like Stanford University and getting the life experience of being part of such a special environment is more important. Money cannot buy the experience she’ll have there.

I think you are massively underestimating the value of such an experience, but I guess it really comes down to what you value more. Ridiculing someone for not valuing money above all else seems, in my view, just plain ignorant.

aswimfan

Couldn’t Ledecky get into Stanford without going through athletic scholarship route?

This is what I don’t understand. Proponents of college swimming seem to present the “either or” scenario: professional swimming or college education.

Why can’t Ledecky swim professionally while studying in Stanford?

aswimfan

Roy,

Look, what you presented is your opinion of what ledecky can do.
However, they are not real until Ledecky swim them.

Felix Sanchez

Francene Same,

You’re being unjustifiably rude.

There is a big difference between valuing money above all else, and understanding that it should be the driving factor in career decisions. At no point was I ridiculing Ledecky, but only pointed out, that outside of our swimming bubble, a similar decision would be seen as utterly ridiculous.

At no point did I say that life was all about making money. However, neither is it all about swimming in the NCAA. You say that money can’t buy the experience she’ll have there. Well certainly she could replicate the vast majority of that experience without staying amateur. She could easily pay for her own education, and no doubt they would be happy to have her train there. She could even go the Phelps route of being named an assistant coach and get involved with the team. The only thing blocked to her would be competing at a level she is well beyond. That may be a fun experience, but is not the basis for such a major decision.

Francene Same

@Felix:

Didn’t say you ridiculed her. I was answering your interpretation of what you said other people would do.

I don’t think I’m being rude… or certainly didn’t mean to be. I do think it is sad that people think it is so important to make millions upon millions of dollars. I think it sadder that anyone would think another human should feel that way. If she was from the inner city and desperate for money I would imagine her motivations would be, quite understandably, different. If she gets an education from Stanford, though, she’s not going to have financial issues if she doesn’t want to have financial issues. Right or wrong, that is judged heavily when going into the work force.

As far as getting the experience, no, being an assistant coach is not the same… at all. And in my view, and apparently hers, it is the basis for such a major decision.

@aswimfan: Ledecky was one of 3 (I think) ever “super early admissions” to Stanford, though it was contingent upon her continuing to get good grades through the end of high school. Stanford has early admissions, like most schools now, but hers was in a separate category. Stanford will not revoke the admission if she doesn’t swim for Stanford, and has a policy of not revoking her scholarship if she swam even one year (though most athletes who do not continue usually surrender the rest of their scholarship if they can afford to do so). So yes, it is possible.

No one but Katie can speak for Katie, but from what I know she, and her family, value the opportunity to be part of that team than any amount of money. And while I understand for the quite poor there is obviously more value in money because you cannot even have opportunities without a base-level of money, perhaps most of society could learn a thing-or-two from her about what is important to value.

Francene Same

Re Ledecky vs. Phelps:
I agree with aswimfan that it is only roy’s opinion as far as what times Ledecky will do, yet I also tend to agree that Ledecky’s times are more untouchable. Certainly the 800/1500 times. Maybe the 400, at least for awhile.

But yeah, until she’s done it for a lot longer it is pretty hard to say she’s quite the same legend. But I wouldn’t bet against her.

commonwombat

One can mount strong arguments for & against NCAA. Like everything, it will work for some/not for others.

For international swimmers; to take that route can depend on a number of factors. Firstly what priority they give swimming or education ? If it is education, are the universities in their home countries comparable/better or worse than the US colleges on offer ? The other important factor is the swimming infrastructure in place in their home countries.

The universities in offer for those in the UK/ Australia & some western European countries will, for the most part, more than measure up to 99% of the US colleges with major swim programs. Whilst there is no “college sports systems”, almost all institutions “accommodate” top level athlete/students. Furthermore, the swim infrastructure is such that only a very small % take the US collegiate route.

For the US swimmer considering tertiary education; again it will boil down to where their short-medium term priority lies. Is education the key priority with swimming just a side-line OR are they aspiring to an elite/international swimming career ?

Whilst we have the Cals & Stanfords which are both elite academic schools & have elite sporting programs; many elite academic schools place far less emphasis on “athletics” and compete at lower levels or only Division 1 in specific sports. Conversely, a large number of college sport powerhouses are only middling rank academically.

There are some very clear examples of international swimmers who’s development was massively enhanced in the NCAA, yet there are at least the same number who’ve ‘disappeared without trace’/development stalled for whatever reasons.

Sometimes programs just “aren’t right”. Sometimes coaches & swimmers just don’t “gell”. Even for US swimmers from other parts of the country, some may find the new environment “alien” & fail to settle.

The issue of SCY is somewhat of “the elephant in the room”; outside the world of NCAA these times have no meaning as there is no known way of accurately quantifying them in “real world” LCM terms.

This is not demeaning them; and for a goodly number of NCAA swimmers; that is as far as their horizons extend. For the elite or aspiring elite, it IS an issue.

As a note, I DID complete a Masters degree at a US university. It was NOT on a NCAA scholarship; the sports that I did play at representative level were not NCAA (cricket & field hockey).

Felix Sanchez

Francene,

No one is saying that it’s important to make millions of dollars. However, turning down millions of dollars is a major decision, for which a rational agent should have a sound reason. Maintaining ones amateur status to compete in NCAA competitions is simply not a good enough reason.

Of course I accept that being an assistant coach isn’t the same as being a competitor, but we have to add that possibility along with all other aspects of student life still open to the pro in order to make sure we are clear on what exactly is being given up. People who use the ‘special experience’ argument often try to incorporate it with all aspects of student life.

Mike Ball

1.) Michael Phelps is the GOAT. End, stop, period. Eight Gold in Beijing, the performance in Melbourne… Heck, what he’s done this past week in San Antonio! If he’s working hard – and it sure looks like he is – he’ll crush Rio.

2.) Katie Ledecky’s times are transcendent and absolutely amazing. That said, they’re on par, I think with Mary T’s butterfly swims from the early 80’s. Those times stood for a couple decades and Katie’s will, too. Someone will break them, though. It is the – glorious – nature of the sport.

3.) The challenge with NCAA swimming is, I think, three-fold: First, SCY: Too much emphasis on the underwaters and your stroke gets short and chopped up. Plus, the season is ultra-intense and it’s out of synch with the international calendar. I also think the NCAA rules surrounding professionalism are stupid as h@ll and completely driven by the revenue sports, men’s basketball and American football.

Yozhik

Roy you are my Hero. Don’t take seriously such stupidity like “100500” or super tough arguments like “your swimming knowledge is limited”. The fact that people are trying to compare by magnitude of success the achievements within much more developed male competition against ones in female field; the successful 15 or so years career with one that just started, this fact is amazing by itself. Ask opinion of any contemporary male elite swimmer would they compare themselves with Ledecky. Besides Sun I am sure what the answer would be. And may be Sun will say the same.
And finally ask Phelps and Ledecky who they think is greater. I am not sure how they will put it politely but I more than positive about what they will think about it. – What a bunch of morons.

AvantSwim

Felix, you write: “Maintaining ones amateur status to compete in NCAA competitions is simply not a good enough reason.

Who says? “Good enough” for who?

I’m not sure how you presume to understand the mind or reasons of another. Clearly, at least at this point, Ms. Ledecky has other plans than the ones you have for her, and has expressed her collegiate interest. Good enough for me.

commonwombat

Mike, you are 100% correct re the NCAA rules re professionalism plus the crazy industries that are college basketball & college football. What is obscene is the fact that the highest paid state employee in over 30 US states is either a college football or basketball coach !!

It would be fair to suggest that Phelps WILL be extremely competitive in Rio; albeit a contracted program to the past. Almost certainly the butterfly events, strong probability 200IM; freestyle relays dependant on the US standard at Trials.

easyspeed

@ASF: you are making the mistake of focusing in one one variable and disregarding others. Warm air and water temperature are more taxing on the body and as a result, make it more difficult to swim fast and will produce a net loss (overriding the gains you cite) in performance in comparison to a pool kept at ideal competition temperatures. Same is true in running. Would also be true if pool and air too cold, but that rarely if ever happens. I can tell you from personal experience: swimming in the heat sucks.

Felix Sanchez

AvantSwim,

It’s just my opinion in an Internet discussion. As long as we’re clear what we are sharing opinions about:

The best swimmer in the world maintaining their amateur status for the possibility of some day competing in amateur competitions.

I do not presume to understand the mind of anyone else, but I believe that to be a terrible decision. You may disagree, but the fact that the agent in question has made one choice is certainly no rhetorical golden bullet. Eighteen year olds make bad decisions all the time (on countless occasions worse than this).

AvantSwim

Fair enough, Felix. And true, people of all ages make bad decisions.

Lennart van Haaften

I’m still disappointed that Phelps wasn’t allowed to compete at Worlds. Regardless whether he’d have won several events (I think he wasn’t even qualified for the 200 fly originally), he could easily have medaled in a lot of races given there are 5 relays and increased his lead in the all-time WC medal leaderboard. Lochte is only 6 medals away now (33 vs 27) and I wouldn’t be surprised if Lochte still competes in 2017. He has a legitimate shot at Phelps’s tally assuming Phelps retires (again) after Rio.

Ger

Phelps did 2:12:68 in the breaststroke prelims this morning which is not too bad for a part timer doing his weakest stroke. Might even improve in the final as long as he doesn’t scratch.

aswimfan

easy speed,

I don’t how bad the conditions in San Antonio is, but I will have to go with all the accounts of people who are actually there. I have not heard them complaining the weather negatively affect their performance. On the opposite, every account claims that the facility and condition support fast swimming.

aswimfan

yozhik,

it is your own hero that attempted to compare Phelps to Ledecky. he was the one who introduced ledecky to this conversation about Phelps.

Are you sayiing your hero is a moron?

Eugene

Ledecky has narrow specialization compared to Phelps. Mid-long freestyle only. While the dude did it all – from 100 free to 400IM on the highest level. Katie is more like women’s Grant Hackett, not Phelps.

commonwombat

Yes, on evidence to date she hasn’t the range of Janet Evans who was also claimed Olympic Gold in 400IM. Evans was never 200 Olympic or World Champion (silver 91 Worlds) but then again, there’s no certainty Ledecky will win the 200 in Rio. The 4×200 only entered the World & Olympic program near the end of Evans’ career.

easyspeed

I have written this elsewhere but it bears repeating. People who live outside the USA need to understand this: the college swimming experience is idealized here in America. Growing up you hear that your ultimate goal is to swim in college. That the college years will be the best time of your life. That if you don’t swim in college you will regret it someday. To quote one swimming writer, “that’s where you will make the friends that will be the bridesmaids at your wedding.” Not to mention, it is natural for teens to want to be around same age peers; they are the most important people in your life at that time. So while the behavior of Missy and Katie (declining millions) might seem psychotic to some, this is the reason behind their decisions.

Pro swimming is a relatively new phenomenon. The coaches and senior swimmers controlling the sport now, NCAA was all they knew.

The new path needs to catch on and become accepted as well. You can skip college swimming and still get a diploma, still be part of a team and still make friends. And you WON’T regret it.

easyspeed

*senior administrators

commonwombat

Easyspeed, it’s the “college dream” for most young Americans albeit for the vast majority, college debt is a distinct problem thereafter. For many swimmers, or athletes, there is the scholarship, or part scholarship, aspect; albeit with it’s own “fine print”.

Attending “the right college” CAN be a door opener in many professions however, as I stated earlier in this thread, most of the top ‘academic schools’ (with some well known exceptions) have lesser emphasis on sports. Unless you had a major profile/public name as a college sportsperson; if it was a middling academic school; you’re no further ahead than any other college grad from a mid-low rank school.

commonwombat

Greatest of all time in any sport or art form is effectively impossible to classify given how the sport/art form evolves over time as do the techniques, technologies and equipment available.

All one can ever be is the best of one’s time. Both Phelps & Ledecky fit that bill; as did Janet Evans, Johnny Weissmuller, Shane Gould, Dawn Fraser, Duke Kahanamoku & others before them.

Markj

The amazing thing to think about is that Phelps could very realistically win 6 more Olympic Medals next year, a lot of them gold . . .
Question: How many National Titles (and Olympic Trials Titles) has Phelps won now? I remember reading that Tracy Caulkins won more than 70; had Phelps surpassed that mark yet?
Thank you,
MJ

Felix Sanchez

Commonwombat,

Of course that’s true, but it doesn’t hurt to discuss it and reach conclusions. The problem with the ‘greatest’ question comes when people start to take the answer far too seriously, and not only believe there to be a real answer, but view the ‘greatest’ tag as the ultimate goal, rather than the achievements themselves.

Ger

Laura Sogar was interviewed after her win in the 200 breaststroke at the U.S. nationals and referred to turning pro after swimming at college and difficulties she faced:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErsNW2bQTMI

Danjohnrob

@Markj: According to Wiki Tracy Caulkins won 48 National Titles (that doesn’t include NCAA titles). I am 100% sure that Phelps surpassed that number prior to London because I remember reading an article about that. I’m guessing he has 57, but I’ve done a search online and been unable to confirm that number, sorry.

Ger

Danjohnrob, here is a BBC report of Phelp’s races at this year’s nationals. It notes 55 national titles: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/swimming/33840258

Craig Lord

Ger, I think 55 is a touch shy … can’t check right now but in the fullness…

Craig Lord

Yozhik, I have your email, thanks, and will reply the week after next.

Danjohnrob

@Ger: Thanks for your help! I don’t mean to disagree with the BBC, but I’m certain that Phelps won 4 events at the 2012 Olympic Trials and three at LC Nationals in San Antonio. 49+7=56. He didn’t win any in 2014 and didn’t compete in 2013. That leaves 2011; I’m just not sure if he ended that meet with 49 or 50, but I agree with Mr. Lord that 55 is at least 1 title short of the correct number.

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