Caeleb Dressel, despite being such a huge high school and college swimming star, has not been on my radar as a contender for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials or the 2016 Olympic Games. I come from the Matt Biondi v Tom Jager era, the made-for-tv dash-for-cash pioneers of sprint swimming. Those guys were my captains for a decade on the USA National Team, and they’re big, towering figures. Dressel is not.
Dressel, however, may be more exciting to watch. What he lacks in size, he more than makes up for with sheer turnover power. And he sits right on top of the water, has such a beautiful feel for it. (In fact, of all the male elites, I think Dressel and Will Licon exhibit these qualities the most.)
After’s Dressel’s NCAA 50 freestyle win back in March and his lights-out win at U.S. Nationals in San Antonio, he’s on everyone’s radar.
Predicting the top sprinters in Omaha next June has gotten a whole lot harder. I think everyone’s learned that Cullen Jones is like a polar bear, hibernating until the Olympic season rolls around, and Nathan Adrian‘s a stalwart stock, always improving by inches, claiming a new American record at World Championships in Kazan. Frankly, I’m too insecure about my “sprinting crystal ball” to get after this one. I could easily see the 50m free top-three in Omaha all being slow, seeing the top guys upset. You just never know… I will say this. Dressel, with Coach Gregg Troy at his back, puts down a sub 48 second 100m free in Omaha. Dressel’s on the Olympic Team in the men’s 4×100 freestyle relay.
What are your thoughts on 50m and 100m freestyle in Omaha?
This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by SwimOutlet.com. Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of SwimSwam.com, a Swimming News website.