Clay High School’s Caeleb Dressel answered plenty of critics when challenged about his readiness for the upcoming World Championships with three world best times in three wins at the U.S. World …
Clay High School’s Caeleb Dressel answered plenty of critics when challenged about his readiness for the upcoming World Championships with three world best times in three wins at the U.S. World Championship Trials in Greensboro, NC this past weekend.
“I wanted to have a better swim than this morning (prelims), wanted to fix some things,” said Dressel, in an interview after setting the fastest 50 free time of 2022 worldwide with a 21.29 to edge Michael Andrews (21.45) at the United States World Team Trials in North Carolina. “I want to do my part of leading this young team, I’m like one of the older guys on the team (25 years old), but still feeling young and good.”
Also from Clay High, now at University of Tennessee, freshman individual medley specialist Sara Stotler finished sixth in the 200 IM to cap off an astounding freshman year of college. Stotler entered the final seeded seventh after early and improved to 2:15.40 after a 2:16.04 in prelims to take sixth behind winner Alex Walsh, of Virginia, who won in 2:97.84.
Stotler also finished sixth in the C final of the 200 free with a 2:02.22.
From the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Ryan Murphy, who has been with Dressel for most of his career, qualified in the 50 and 100 backstroke.
Dressel and distance swimmer Katie Ledecky reassured the American swim faithful that age and complacency were not part of their makeup with both establishing world bests in their specialties over the four days of competition.
First, Ledecky crushed her fields in the 1500 meters and the 800 meters both freestyles with year best performances that will set up more gold medal expectations at the world championships.
In the 1500, Ledecky, with the world record of 15 minutes, 20.48, won by over 12 seconds to get the world best for the event in 15:38.99. Runnerup Katie Grimes, a 16 year old phenom, also had a best time of the year with a 15:51.36 ranking her number two in the world for 2022.
Ledecky, 25, crushed the 200 free earlier in the competition before doing the same in the 800 and 400 to be a four-event qualifier and Trials winner at the World Championships to be held in Budapest.
Dressel, world and Olympic champion in the 50 and 100 freestyles and the 100 butterfly, ended his four days with a fastest of year 21.29 in the 50 free after best times on the year and top world rank finishes in the 100 free and 100 butterfly.
Dressel, with the American record of 21.04 twice, outsurged rival Michael Andrews in the finals, with his 21.29 to Andrews’ 21.45. Dressel and Andrew finished ranked 1-2 in the world rankings. Andrew had top split in the heats at 21.68 with Dressel at 21.71 for second fastest in prelims.
Andrew, Dressel, Ledecky and Clair Curzan all qualified in four events en route to Budapest with Andrew setting an American record in the 50 breaststroke.
Dressel, in the 100 fly where he is the world record holder at 49.45, beat Andrew with a 50.20 to Andrew’s 50.88. Andrew was second to Dressel also in the 50 fly. Dressel hit a 50.01 in his prelims to established the fastest split of the year.
Dressel and Andrew went 1-2 in the 50 fly with Dressel in at 22.84 and Andrew at 22.87 in one of the closest races of the event. Andrew had the fastest heat time with a 23.09 with Dressel second at 23.16.
Dressel again crushed the field in the 100 free with the only sub-48 second (47.79) winning time of Brooks Curry’s runnerup 48.04. Dressel’s American record is 46.96 with Brazil’s Cesar Cielo owning the world record of 46.91 since 2009.
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