Swimming

Luca Urlando Becomes First Man Sub-44 in Both 100 Butterfly and 100 Backstroke

2022 NCAA DIVISION I MEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS

With his incredible 43.35 backstroke leadoff in the 4 x 100 medley relay Friday, as well as his 2nd-place effort in the 100 butterfly earlier in the session Friday evening, which clocked in at 43.80, Georgia sophomore Luca Urlando is now the first and only man to swim under 44 seconds in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke.

Before delving into the history of breaking 44 in the 100 fly and 100 backstroke, let’s first take a quick look at the 45-second barrier.

While it is quite common now to see men posting 44-high or 44-mid in the 100 fly and 100 back, just 15 years ago this was a rare feat, then Arizona’s Albert Subirats came along. In 2007, Subirats became the first man to ever break 45 in both the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke. At the 2007 NCAA Championships, Subirats won the 100 butterfly in 44.57, and then later won the 100 backstroke in 44.83. Furthermore, Subirats took his fly out in a 20.81, and also posted a 20.61 backstroke split as the leadoff swimmer for Arizon’s 200 medley relay in prelims (the relay would be DQ’d in finals, along with 3 others). Nonetheless, that also made Subirats the first man to go sub-21 in both the 50 butterfly and 50 backstroke.

Now for some more recent history to further put Urlando’s accomplishment into context.

No man had ever broken 44 in the 100 yard backstroke until Ryan Murphy‘s incredible campaign at the 2016 NCAA Championships, which took place at Georgia Tech, the very pool they are being held this year. Murphy led off Cal’s 4 x 100 medley relay in a blistering 43.51, destroying the former NCAA, U.S. Open, and American Record by over half a second. He would later take that record down to 43.49 in the final of the individual 100 backstroke. Texas’ Joseph Schooling would come very close to cracking 44 in the 100 butterfly at the same meet, but would fall just short, winning the NCAA title and resetting the NCAA and U.S. Open Records to 44.01.

About 7 months later, following his first Olympic Games, Tom Shields blasted a 43.84 in the 100 yard butterfly, also at Georgia Tech, erasing Schoolings U.S. Open and pool records, as well as finally taking down Stanford’s Austin Staab‘s long-standing American Record of 44.18, set in 2009.

About 3 months later, both Schooling and Florida’s Caeleb Dressel would swim sub-44 for the first times in their careers at the NCAA Championships. Dressel defeated Schooling, taking his year-old NCAA Record, while also robbing Shields of the U.S. Open and American Records in the race. Dressel’s time of 43.58 would stand for another year until he lowered it to the current 42.80 at the 2018 NCAA Championships. Schooling, meanwhile, would also swim under Shields’ time with a 43.75, which was only just eclipsed by Stanford’s Andrei Minakov with a 43.71 in his title-winning performance Friday evening, which also reset the Stanford program record, now formerly held by Staab.

While 3 men all within a few months of one another burst into the 43s in the 100 butterfly, it wasn’t until 2019 that anyone else joined Murphy with another 43-second 100 backstroke. Enter Dean Farris and Coleman Stewart.

At the 2019 NCAA Championships, Harvard’s Farris blasted a 43.66 to win the NCAA title in the 100 backstroke and become the then-2nd-fastest performer all-time. Stewart posted a 43.98 in the 100 backstroke to place 2nd to Farris and become just the 3rd man under 44 seconds at the time. While Stewart has brought his time down to a 43.62 since then, Farris’ lifetime best remains 43.66.

If the 2020 NCAA Championships had not been cancelled due to Covid, perhaps Stewart would have become the first man sub-44 in both race, but he would of course go on to lower the World Record in the 100 SCM backstroke at the beginning of the 2021 ISL season in Naples, Italy, so his career has still gone pretty well.

The 2022 Men’s NCAA Championships has been nothing short of incredible, with new and unexpected records coming seemingly every evening. We are down to the final day, which will feature the 1650 freestyle, the 100 freestyle, the 200 breaststroke, 200 backstroke, and the 200 butterfly where Urlando will have a very realistic shot at claiming his first individual NCAA title, if he can get past Louisville’s Nicolas Albiero, the reigning NCAA Champion and 2nd-fastest performer all-time in the 200 butterfly. Finally, things will cap off with the 4 x 100 freestyle relay, awards will be given out, and the meet will end. We will then begin to speculate how fast these swimmers will be in long course, who will make the 2022 World Championship team and in what events, etc. March is a great month to be a swimmer, swim fan, swim parent, or swim coach.

Top 100 Male Swimmers, 100 Yard Fly + 100 Yard Back

Per USA Swimming Database, 2007-Present

Among the more interesting names missing from this list are Derek Maas, who ranks 101st: he’s one of the best 100 breaststrokers in the NCAA right now, and Aaron Peirsol, who would be on the list if we extended the list to all-time (which we would love to do, but which USA Swimming’s database can make challenging to do), would be 77th with a 45.02 100 back/47.06 100 fly.

full_name
100 Back
100 Fly
Total

1
Urlando, Luca
43.35
43.80
87.15

2
Stewart, Coleman
43.62
44.46
88.08

3
Burns, Brendan
44.15
44.54
88.69

4
Shields, Tom
44.86
43.84
88.7

5
Casas, Shaine
43.87
44.91
88.78

6
Albiero, Nicolas
44.54
44.32
88.86

7
Jiang, Alvin
44.60
44.50
89.1

8
Kusch, Marius
45.09
44.32
89.41

9
Grevers, Matt
44.49
44.94
89.43

10
Conger, Jack
45.32
44.35
89.67

11
Stokowski, Kacper
44.04
45.72
89.76

12
Farris, Dean
43.66
46.17
89.83

13
Fantoni, Gabriel
44.70
45.18
89.88

14
Kaliszak, Luke
44.91
45.18
90.09

15
Murphy, Ryan
43.49
46.85
90.34

16
Godsoe, Eugene
44.75
45.63
90.38

17
McHugh, Matt
45.07
45.35
90.42

18
Hoffer, Ryan
45.58
44.85
90.43

18
Waddell, Zane
44.10
46.33
90.43

20
Ramadan, Youssef
46.58
43.90
90.48

21
Taylor, Hill
45.17
45.40
90.57

22
Vazaios, Andreas
44.81
45.81
90.62

23
Dressel, Caeleb
47.83
42.80
90.63

24
Ortiz, Miguel
45.48
45.17
90.65

25
Lochte, Ryan
45.34
45.44
90.78

26
Staka, Chris
45.02
45.78
90.8

27
Hensley, Noah
45.48
45.33
90.81

28
Crocker, Ian
45.97
44.90
90.87

28
Tribuntsov, Ralf
44.95
45.92
90.87

30
Phelps, Michael
45.50
45.40
90.9

31
Whyte, Mitchell
44.64
46.32
90.96

32
Subirats, Albert
45.91
45.08
90.99

33
Schooling, Joe
47.28
43.75
91.03

34
Carter, Dylan
45.77
45.27
91.04

35
Hayes, Aiden
46.31
44.75
91.06

35
Sequeira, Aaron
45.72
45.34
91.06

37
Bohman, Bryce
45.43
45.64
91.07

38
Hesen, Ben
44.72
46.38
91.1

39
Koga, Junya
44.86
46.25
91.11

40
Held, Ryan
46.49
44.79
91.28

41
Buff, Scotty
45.89
45.40
91.29

41
Darmody, Kip
45.03
46.26
91.29

43
Austin, Matthew
46.47
44.89
91.36

44
Cox, Tony
45.42
45.95
91.37

45
Barone, Kyle
45.30
46.09
91.39

45
Hein, Daniel
45.26
46.13
91.39

47
Dobbs, Chatham
45.58
45.85
91.43

48
Quah, Zheng
46.41
45.06
91.47

49
Izzo, Giovanni
45.58
45.92
91.5

49
Kammann, Bjoern
45.93
45.57
91.5

51
Grimm, Anthony
45.44
46.09
91.53

51
Lewis, Sam
45.93
45.60
91.53

53
Mefford, Bryce
45.03
46.51
91.54

54
Staab, Austin
46.83
44.72
91.55

55
Blyzinskyj, Jack
45.41
46.23
91.64

56
Fletcher, Sean
46.11
45.54
91.65

56
Stoffle, Aidan
45.36
46.29
91.65

58
Seeliger, Bjorn
44.58
47.11
91.69

59
Menke, Matthew
44.66
47.05
91.71

59
Grier, Sean
45.71
46.00
91.71

61
Nolan, David
44.78
46.97
91.75

62
Berens, Ricky
46.28
45.54
91.82

63
Oslin, Connor
45.08
46.76
91.84

64
Rysemus, Logan
45.89
45.98
91.87

65
Glass, Will
46.48
45.40
91.88

66
Dale, Taylor
45.42
46.48
91.9

66
Gydesen, Mathias
46.07
45.83
91.9

68
Tarczynski, Marcin
46.02
45.89
91.91

69
Ramirez, Daniel
46.28
45.67
91.95

70
Whitaker, Aaron
45.90
46.06
91.96

71
Andrew, Michael
46.50
45.47
91.97

72
Wyher, Tommy
45.93
46.05
91.98

73
Switkowski, Jan
47.51
44.49
92

74
Shebat, John
44.35
47.66
92.01

75
Spinazzola, Luca
45.40
46.65
92.05

76
Cheah, Geoff
46.36
45.71
92.07

77
Bretscher, James
46.49
45.61
92.1

78
Ng, Wesley
45.73
46.40
92.13

79
Dolan, Jack
45.35
46.81
92.16

80
Ress, Justin
45.33
46.92
92.25

81
Manoff, Blake
46.77
45.50
92.27

82
Alexander, Nick
45.93
46.35
92.28

83
Stollings, Tim
46.73
45.57
92.3

84
Samuels, Brady
46.68
45.66
92.34

85
Sansoucie, Andrew
47.57
44.86
92.43

86
Bonetti, Brock
45.64
46.81
92.45

87
Loughran, Marco
45.61
46.86
92.47

88
Seliskar, Andrew
46.89
45.59
92.48

89
Chaney, Adam
44.35
48.14
92.49

90
Molacek, Jacob
46.91
45.59
92.5

90
Thomas, Mike
46.19
46.31
92.5

92
Cragin, Cole
45.56
46.95
92.51

93
Montesi, Jack
45.81
46.72
92.53

94
Thoman, Nick
44.07
48.47
92.54

95
Sofianidis, Nikos
46.00
46.56
92.56

96
Crooks, Jordan
47.25
45.33
92.58

97
Lierz, Harrison
46.69
45.90
92.59

97
Ryan, Shane
45.66
46.93
92.59

99
Rooney, Maxime
47.79
44.83
92.62

100
House, Grant
46.80
45.84
92.64

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