University of Florida swimmer Caeleb Dressel was named the 2018 SEC Male Athlete of the Year in a vote by the league’s athletics directors. Dressel becomes the 9th swimmer, on 10 occasions, to be named SEC Athlete of the Year for either gender. The women’s award went to South Carolina basketball player A’ja Wilson.
In Dressel’s senior season (2017-2018), he won 3 individual NCAA event titles, bringing his total up to 9 (out of a maximum possible 12). He also added another title in the 200 free relay, all while becoming the first person under 18 seconds in the 50 free (having done it twice on the same day at NCAAs – 17.63, 17.81) and under 40 seconds in the 100 free (39.90).
In total, he came away from the meet with the fastest-ever time in three events, also swimming a 42.80 to win the 100 fly by more than a second-and-a-half.
Dressel finished his NCAA career with 10 NCAA titles, which is the most in Florida men’s history. He also earned 28 All-America honors, which is the most possible and makes him the first Florida man to achieve the feat (Shaune Fraser had 27).
He was named the 2018 CSCAA Swimmer of the Year for his efforts, making the third-straight season in which he won that honor, after sharing it as a sophomore and junior. H was the SEC Male Swimmer fo the Year 3 times, the SEC Male Swimmer of the SEC Championships 3 times, was a 4-time selection to the SEC Academic Honor Roll, and was a 4-time First Team All-SEC selection.
Internationally, Dressel is a two-time Olympic champion, both on relays in Rio, and last summer won 7 gold medals in 8 events entered at the World Championships.
All-Time Swimming Winners, SEC Athlete of the Year
- 2018 Male Athlete of the Year – Caeleb Dressel, Florida
- 2012 Female Athlete of the Year – Allison Schmitt, Georgia
- 2005 Male Athlete of the Year – Ryan Lochte, Florida
- 2005 Female Athlete of the Year – Kirsty Coventry, Auburn
- 2000 Female Athlete of the Year – Kristy Kowal, Georgia
- 1994 Female Athlete of the Year – Nicole Haislett, Florida
- 1993 Female Athlete of the Year – Nicole Haislett, Florida
- 1988 Female Athlete of the Year – Dara Torres, Florida
- 1984 Female Athlete of the Year – Tracy Caulkins, Florida
- 1981 Male Athlete of the Year – Rowdy Gaines, Auburn