DI Swimming and Diving Championships: Florida's Caeleb Dressel breaks own 50 free record
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. –– The Gators are sending three individuals and two relays teams into Night 2 of the DI swimming & diving championships.
During the preliminary session, senior Caeleb Dressel once again put on a show, swimming the fastest time in 50 free history. His time of 18.11 bests the previous American, NCAA, U.S. Open and UF record of 18.20, all of which Dressel held.
The next fastest performer in the event was over a half second behind Dressel and he takes the top seed into Thursday's final.
Caeleb Dressel just keeps rewriting the record book.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 22, 2018
At today's NCAA championships, the Gators star swam a blistering 18.11 in the 50 free, breaking his own American record — again. pic.twitter.com/TQN0meNPcX
Jan Switkowski and Mark Szaranek both earned their spots in the 200 IM championship final after finishing fourth and fifth, respectively. Szaranek is the defending champion in this event, while Switkowski finished ninth.
Both the 200 free relay and the 400 medley relay will compete in championship finals on Thursday night, with the 200 free finishing third overall and the 400 medley sneaking in at eighth.
200 Free Relay:
During the preliminary session, the Gator relay of Enzo Martinez-Scarpe, Caeleb Dressel, Jan Switkowski and Mark Szaranek won their heat and placed third overall with a time of 1:15.64 to move onto the championship final.
Dressel's split of 17.96 led the way for Florida, while Szaranek followed with a split of 18.94. Switkowski posted a 50 split of 19.12 and Martinez-Scarpe rounded out the Gators with a split of 19.62.
The sub-18 split by Dressel is not his first, but he is only one of two men to ever have recorded a split under 18 seconds (Vlad Morozov, 17.86).
NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!!!!— Gators Swimming & Diving (@GatorsSwimDv) March 22, 2018
The Gator relay of Caeleb Dressel, Jan Switkowski, Enzo Martinez-Scarpe & Mark Szaranek win the 200 free relay with a school record of 1:14.39!!
Caeleb breaks the 50 free record ONCE AGAIN, splitting a 17.81!!!
YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT, 17.81!!!!#GoGators pic.twitter.com/u5ocszZD9i
Ben Lawless swam a 4:16.34 to place fourth in heat 4 of the 500 free, good for 20th overall, while Blake Manganiello followed in 23rd place with a career-best time of 4:15.56.
Khader Baqlah finished eighth in the final heat of the 500 free, posting a time of 4:17.92 to finish 33rd overall.
Andrew Brady competed in heat 5 of the event, finishing eighth with a time of 4:20.78, good for 43rd place. Clark Beach posted a career-best time of 4:21.48 in heat 1 of the 500 free to finish 44th overall.
Switkowski and Szaranek finished fourth and fifth overall in the 200 IM prelims, both advancing to the championship final later Thursday night. Switkowski's time of 1:41.23 was good to win heat 6, while Mark Szaranek was right behind him with a time of 1:41.62.
Grant Sanders finished second in heat 3 with a personal-best time of 1:44.04 to finish 25th overall. Maxime Rooney also recorded a career-best time in the prelim, swimming a 1:45.12 to finish 35th overall and first in heat 2.
Alex Lebed rounded out the Gators in the event, posting a time of 1:46.15 to finish 41st overall.
Dressel made history once again during Thursday's prelims session, posting the fastest time (18.11) to earn the top seed in the final. The senior previously held all of the records with a time of 18.20, which he set in 2016.
Bayley Main recorded a new career-best time of 19.70 to win heat 1 of the 50 free. That time was good for 42nd place overall.
400 Medley Relay:
The 400 medley relay of Michael Taylor, Marco Guarente, Jan Switkowski and Caeleb Dressel finished eighth overall with a time of 3:04.05 to move onto the championship final.
The time was half a second faster than their seed time and put them fourth in heat 2.
Taylor led off with a 46.41 split in the backstroke, followed by Guarente's 53.01 breaststroke split. Switkowski put up a strong fly split of 44.36, while Dressel anchored a freestyle split of 40.27.
Thursday's finals session begins at 7 p.m. ET. Live results and video can be found on the Meet Central page.