WATCH: Florida’s Caeleb Dressel swims fastest 50-yard freestyle … in history

By Adam Silverstein
March 23, 2018
WATCH: Florida’s Caeleb Dressel swims fastest 50-yard freestyle … in history
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Image Credit: The Alligator

A bevy of talented, Olympic medal-winning swimmers have come out of the Florida Gators athletic program, but Caeleb Dressel is making a case to not only one day be the best Florida swimmer of all-time but also the fastest ever in a pool.

On Thursday, Dressel won his fourth straight NCAA Championship in the 50-yard freestyle by setting an American, NCAA, U.S. Open and Florida record. He swam the race in 17.63 seconds. Sound impressive? Try this on for size. He beat the previous record, 18.11 seconds, by nearly a half-second. Even more impressive? It was his own record that Dressel broke, and he set it just hours earlier in the day.

Dressel owns all 10 of the fastest 50-yard freestyle times in history.

The race is swam at 50 meters (54.68 yards) on the international stage, and Dressel holds the United States national record with 21.15 seconds at the 2017 World Championships last summer. The world record of 20.91 seconds has not been touched since 2009, but Dressel will surely give it a go at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Earlier Thursday, Dressel broke another record by becoming the first man in history to break 18 seconds from a flat start in the lead-off leg of the 200-yard freestyle relay, posting a split of 17.81 seconds.

The two-time Olympic relay gold medalist holds world records in the 4×100 meter mixed freestyle and medley relays along with American records in the 50-meter and 100 meter freestyle and 50-meter butterfly. He also holds American records in the 100-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard individual medley.

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