Florida’s Caeleb Dressel has had a pretty good week at the Southeastern Conference swimming and diving championships. He posted the two fastest times in history in the 50-yard freestyle Wednesday, set a meet record in the 100 butterfly the following day and helped the Gators to victories in three relays. So it should be no surprise that the sophomore sprinter capped his conference meet — for which he was unrested as he looks ahead to NCAA championships — with another American record on the meet’s final day.
The 19-year-old, who told SwimSwam.com Thursday that he’s had issues with taking his 100 fly out too slow, held nothing back in the 100 freestyle, his final individual race of the weekend. Dressel clocked a time of 41.07 seconds to dip under the American record, held by Olympic champion Nathan Adrian by a hundredth of a second during Saturday’s finals.
VIDEO: Caeleb Dressel Sets American, SEC Meet record with 41.07 100-Free. #GoGators
— Gator Swimming (@GatorsSwimDv) February 21, 2016
The time ranks third all-time in short-course yards — a format only contested in the United States — behind Olympians Vlad Morozov of Russia (40.76) and Cesar Cielo of Brazil (40.92). Both athletes set their marks at the NCAA championships, in 2013 and 2008, respectively. Morozov’s mark stands as the college standard and U.S. open record.
Incidentally, if Dressel is able to translate his yards prowess to the Olympic-sized pool, he’ll likely get to face off in the Olympics with Morozov — and maybe even Cielo, if the 29-year-old world record holder can qualify for the Games hosted by his home country in Rio de Janeiro in August. Dressel will face Adrian at the U.S. Olympic trials in early summer with a Team USA spot on the line.
But before then, he will head to Atlanta for the NCAA men’s championships in late March, where Dressel, and the newly crowned SEC champion Gators, hope he can take his new American records even lower.