IRVINE, CA – With seven world titles already on his resume from just a year ago, swimmer Caeleb Dressel was stunned last week with just one win in four tries at the Phillips 66 USA National Swim …
IRVINE, CA – With seven world titles already on his resume from just a year ago, swimmer Caeleb Dressel was stunned last week with just one win in four tries at the Phillips 66 USA National Swim Championships in California. Dressel’s lone victory secures him a spot on the 2018 Pan Pacific Games American team.
Dressel, the world champion of the 50 free, 50 fly, 100 free and 100 fly, plus three relay titles, suffered through a surprising sixth in the 100 free on the opening day.
“Just a bad swim,” said Dressel, in a post swim interview on Swimswam.com. “You can’t avoid it in this sport. I’ve had of couple of good meets back to back so it’s kind of refreshing to have just a really bad swim.”
Dressel, with a 47.17 mark that stands as the American record set at the FINA World Championships almost a year ago to the day, had the second fastest opening 50 meters, but fell off the pace quickly to finish in 48.50 with winner Blake Pieroni taking the gold medal in 48.08.
“It’s really bad, going 48.50, but who knows if I got third, I may not have won the 100 fly,” said Dressel, who recently signed a pro contract with Speedo. “I got better as the meet progressed.”
Dressel battled with 19 year old Michael Andrews, the meet’s high point award winner with wins in the 100 breast, 50 free, 50 fly and 50 breaststroke, pushing Dressel to second place in both the 50 free and 50 fly. Dressel finished ahead of Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian in the 50 free with the top three all timed under 22 seconds. Dressel holds the American record at 21.15.
For Andrew, he became the first male since Michael Phelps in 2008 to win at least four titles at the same national championships or Olympic Trials. Phelps won five.
“I do feel like my swimming has gotten really strong and that’s kind of where I increased that gap [with Caeleb Dressel] in the back half,” said Andrew.
In the 50 fly, with Dressel again the American record holder at 22.76 seconds, Andrew took the win at 22.93 with Dressel at 22.97.
Dressel did exact some revenge with a thrilling win in the 100 butterfly over veteran Jack Conger with Andrew taking third. Dressel finished in 50.50 with Michael Phelps holding the world and American record at 49.82 dating back to 2009.
Also swimming in California was Bolles and Auburn University grad Ashley Neidigh, an Orange Park resident, who took 10th in the 1500 freestyle in 16:23.62 and 15th in the 800 meter freestyle in 8:36.57 with Olympic champion Katie Ledecky winning in 8:11.98. Ashley Twichell won the 1500 in 15:55.68. Neidigh also finsihed 19th in the 400 free in 4:12.57.
Sherridon Dressel, Caeleb Dressel’s younger sister, also a Clay High state champion and a sophomore at University of Florida, competed in the 100 free free (81st 57.11), 50 back (23rd 28.96) and 100 back (39th 1:02.27).
Dakota Mahaffey, also a Clay High state champion and also at University of Florida finished competed in the 200 back (65th 2:06.03) and 200 free (54th 1:50.92).