Coach Gregg Troy and Caeleb Dressel sat down for a press conference at the University of Florida to address the media about the upcoming U.S. Olympic Team Trials. One of the main points of interest was Dressel’s event program, and whether or not he would focus only on the 50 and 100 freestyle.
“I don’t think it’s any top secret he’s gonna swim the 50 and the 100 freestyles,” said Troy. “He’s qualified in the 100 fly, 200 free, and 100 breast. We’ll play around a bit with those. We’re training all of them because it’s kind of the whole wax that fits together, and we’ll make that decision when we’re about 8 to 10 days out. But there’s no doubt where the focus is.”
While Dressel’s best chance at an Olympic bid seems to be in the 50 and 100 freestyles, he has shown potential across several other events. One of the most viable events for him outside of the sprint freestyles would be the 100 fly. At NCAAs, Dressel scared Austin Staab’s American Record in the 100 yard fly, dropping his personal best time to a blistering 44.40. His long course best is a 52.96 from a Florida sectionals meet, though, so he’d have to drop from that to make it into the final.
Said Troy, “The 100 fly would be a tremendous event for him. I think he could do tremendously well but it backs up with the 50 freestyle I believe, so we have a little bit of a problem there.”
Compared to the 100 fly, Dressel is very likely to make the final in the 50 free and has certainly been in the conversation for an Olympic bid. Dressel won U.S. Nationals with a 21.53 last summer, and has continued to showcase his speed throughout the NCAA season, setting a new American and U.S. Open record of 18.20 in the 50 yard freestyle.
The 100 breast and 200 free seem to be less likely events for Dressel. He did add the 100 breast to his program at U.S. Nationals last summer, swimming a respectable 1:02.26, but that’s not on the same caliber as his other events. His 200 free best is a 1:48.64 from 2013 junior nationals. He may have an outside shot at a relay spot in that event, and Troy has expressed confidence in his 200 free potential.
“He’s real versatile. Unfortunately, this being an Olympic year, I don’t think we’ve seen everything he can do. Because we didn’t explore some of those other areas because his best skill set is speed at the moment,” said Troy. “I feel pretty certain that if he swum the 200 freestyle at the NCAA meet that he would’ve been outstanding. Probably every bit as good as the guys that won.”
Video of the press conference will be available shortly.