2018 SZS SECTIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
- July 6-9th, 2018
- O’Connell Center, Gainesville, FL
- Hosted by Gator Swim Club
- Results (will be linked as soon as available)
American superstar and 2017 7-event World Champion Caeleb Dressel swam his first race of the Gainesville, Florida Sectional Championships on Saturday morning in prelims of the 200 free. There he put in a 1:52.26 to qualify 1st for finals, half-a-second ahead of training partner Jan Switkowski (1:52.75).
The last time Dressel swam the event, at the Mel Zajac international in early June, he swam a 1:52.4 in prelims and dropped to a 1:48.7 in finals.
While it’s hard to read too far into what races the versatile Dressel will swim at Nationals based on regular season swims (afterall, he swam the fastest-ever 100 breast and 200 IM at SECs and raced neither at NCAAs in 2018), in what is likely his last meet before U.S. Nationals, he was entered in two races on Saturday: the 100 fly, in which he’s the defending World Champion, and the 200 free, an event that he finished 6th in at last year’s National Championships. He scratched the 100 fly, leaving him with just the 200 free.
While 6th-place usually gets at least a prelims slot at Worlds, Dressel didn’t race on that relay at Worlds, focusing on his other 8 qualified events (which gave him 7 gold medals and a further 4th-place finish). At Pan Pacs, there’s no 50 fly, so if we presume he’s willing to go for 8 races again in a 5-day meet, albeit with no semi-finals, that leaves an opening in his schedule, possibly for the 800 free relay, if not the 200 IM, 100 breast, 200 free individual, or some other event that none of us has even considered yet.
Other Saturday Prelims Highlights:
- Ryan Lochte scratched all 3 entered events, the 200 free, 100 fly, and 400 IM, on Saturday.
- 17-year old local Isabel Ivey qualified 1st through in the 200 free in 2:00.38. University of Florida’s Tori Bindi took almost 5 seconds off her lifetime best to qualify 2nd in 2:03.56.
- 18-year old Canadian Penny Oleksiak, training with the pro group at Florida, qualified 3rd in the 100 fly in 1:02.02 and 10th in the 200 free in 2:05.53. Canada’s Pan Pac Trials run from July 18th-22nd.
- Sterling Crane swam a best time to qualify 1st in the men’s 100 fly in 55.51. That put him ahead of the likes of Polish Olympian Jan Switkowski (55.48) and Maxime Rooney (55.58).
- Miguel Cancel from the Aquakids Sharks qualified 1st in the men’s 400 IM in 4:28.39 – 6 seconds better than he swam in all of 2017 after going 4:26 at the 2016 Olympic Trials.