Caeleb Dressel Swims 400 IM at Gator Distance Meet on Saturday.

Gator Distance Meet

  • Saturday, January 26th
  • Cecil Aquatics Center, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Results on Meet Mobile @ “Gator Distance Meet”

The Gator Swim Club, both post-grads and high school students, took a trip up to the Cecil Aquatics Center in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday for a special Gator Swim Club distance meet which had only 3 events: the 400 IM, the 500 free, and the 1650 free.

Among the attendees was one Caeleb Dressel, who swam the 400 IM. There, he finished 2nd in 3:48.84.

Dressel, who showed an unbelievable event range in college (he at different points in his career had the fastest-ever times in the 50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 100 breast, and 200 IM in yards), always alights imaginations with what he might be capable of in events he didn’t swim while at Florida. On Saturday, we got a taste of his capabilities when swam an event that was unusual even for his varied lineup: the 400 IM. He finished 2nd in the race in 3:48.84 – about 3 seconds behind Mark Szaranek. The Scottish-born Szaranek took silver int he long course 400 IM at last year’s Commonwealth Games.

Dressel’s previous lifetime best in the 400 IM was a 4:18 that he swam back in 2011 when he was just 15 years old. He had 5 previous officially-registered swims in the 400 IM, all of which came in 2011 or earlier.

Other highlights of the meet:

  • One of the newest additions to the Gator Swim Club pro group Kenneth To was 4th in the 400 IM in 3:50.38. To, an Australia by birth but who now competes for Hong Kong internationally, is an IMer, but focuses more on the 100 and 200 IMs internationally.
  • Peyton Werner, a senior at Bucholz high School in Gainesville, swam a 15:59.64 to win the men’s mile. That’s his best time by nearly 8 seconds and his first sub-16 in the event (he hadn’t been a best time in the mile since 2015). We haven’t seen any public college commitment for Werner yet.
  • Lillie Nesty, the 12-year old daughter of 1988 Olympic champion and current University of Florida men’s head swimming coach Anthony Nesty, swam a 5:33.62 in the 500 free.
  • Andrea D’Arrigo, an Italian-American who now plans to represent the United States, swam a 4:19.76 in the men’s 500 free. Poland’s Jan Switkowski was 2nd in 4:25.91.



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Caeleb Dressel’s Bandana

Good, should prepare him for a 50 free

Ol' Longhorn

Loses 50 free at summer Nats, Pan-Pacs, and SCM Worlds, so let’s train up to a 400 IM. smh. Meanwhile, Proud is going a 21.7.

Caeleb Dressel’s Bandana

Although I believe his accident was the major hinderance this summer, I do think he overtrained leading up to it.


Ol’ Longhorn, don’t prod those “aerobic base” old codgers. Back in their day, well, you don’t even wanna know . . .

Ol' Longhorn

I was there. Never too much aerobic base for that 21 second event.


You’ve had an axe to grind against Caeleb since this summer, but you are looking waaaaay too much into what is essentially an early-season intrasquad meet. He is from Green Cove which is not too far from Cecil, and it was a great opportunity to get quality racing in against tough competition.

Ol' Longhorn

The “axe to grind” has not been about Caeleb, but against the absurd hype machine that has had him as the next MP (actually better than MP) after a bunch of NCAAs and one great LCM summer —- which was a long time ago in racing terms. It’s like the Schooling syndrome all over again, only for an American. First he’s not training enough, then too much, then distracted, then in practice, whatever. Even had Gold Medal Mel predicting super 100 fly at LCM Worlds, because the extra rest was going to do Schooling good. And according to the hype, everything — including swimming the 400 IM — is just perfect prelude to the final anointment of his greatness when… Read more »

Caeleb Dressel’s Bandana

He might, but then he also might be Alexander Popov 2.0. He had 1 bad season. It doesn’t undermine any of the amazing swims he has had in the past 5 years. He is a rare talent; the great ones always find a way.


Chase Kalisz who?




Back of the napkin math would mean that CK would need to go 18.98 in the 50 (+ 7.225%) to deliver an equally impressive “off-event comparison”. I don’t ever remember “pure” sprinters longing to swim a 400 IM let alone go 3:48. Impressive swim.

How much can CD bench???

Why all the down votes? We know how CD swims in season. Kalisz is more the type of swimmer who can drop best times, or be right on top of his times, any old week. 3:48 is pretty impressive.

Caeleb Dressel’s Bandana

As long as he doesn’t get in a motorcycle accident, this year could be really exciting

bear drinks beer

I’m tired of how disrespectful swimswamers are for Kalisz. He’s the current defending world champion in both IM events. People have been talking about Dressel winning 200 IM at trials/ Worlds/ Olympics when he has never shown anything impressive in LCM IM events. Just stop the hype please.


How does chase not have a suit sponsor?

bear drinks beer

Are we judging the achievements of swimmers by their sponsors? Joseph Schooling is a way better swimmer than Dressel then.


doesn’t MP unofficially give him gear so Chase can keep wearing Mizuno suits?


Probably partly because of his entire academic scandal case while still at UGA

Old Man Chalmers

and yet tyr kept lochte after his suspension for the iv infusion?


I like this. At this time of year nothing wrong with this even if you are more of a 100/50 guy.


Exactly. Even Michael Phelps experimented with events that he didn’t specialize in, like in 2005 when he attempted the 400m freestle at the World Championships. Didn’t make the final, but he swam it.

Caeleb Dressel’s Bandana

He bombed a lot of races in 2005. His personal best was 3:46 from 2003. His goal was to be able to swim a 3:39 in 2008

Ol' Longhorn

This would be like Phelps swimming the 50 free. 400 free has a lot of similarity to — I don’t know —- the 400 IM? Sheez


I actually like CD doing this bc it shows his fitness. He’s not just training for 21 sec – he’s training for 3 rounds of 3-5 races – plus relays. That said, the MP 400 free was very diff. MP had just set the 400 Free Am Rec. in 2003. And he’s best in history in the other 400m event. Doing 4free in 2005 was hardly a stretch for MP.

Jay ryan

He set the AR in the 400 free once i think 4:45.7 early 2000’s


Phelps didn’t swim the 50


He did swim the 50m butterfly in a smaller event once. Didn’t win it, but he swam it.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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