Dressel Says He Will Lead Off Gators’ 800 Free Relay

2017 MEN’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

Florida junior Caeleb Dressel announced on Twitter that he will be leading off the Gators’ 800 Free Relay to open up the men’s NCAA’s championships.

Updates:

  1.  Former Bolles club teammate Joe Schooling tweeted back at Schooling in a vein suggesting that Dressel was not being serious.
  2. As of a few minutes ago, Florida was the only school not to turn in its relay card, according to an announcement.
  3. Final Update: Dressel did not swim the relay for Florida.

We’re taking Dressel at face value here, and if true, this is an absolute game changer in this relay.  The Texas Longhorns, as the defending championships and with at least three members of the USA’s 4×200 free relay team on this relay, were the prohibitive favorites.  But, as we said in our preview, the Florida squad is very deep in this distance, and with Dressel they can challenge for the win.

No word yet on the exact composition of the rest of the Gators’ relay, but it should include three of the following four:

Mitch D’Arrigo (1:32.69 split at 2016 NCAAs)
Maxime Rooney (1:31.54 split at 2017 SECs)
Jan Switkowski (1:31.33 split at 2016 NCAAs)
Mark Szaranek (1:32.7ish split at 2016 NCAAs and 2017 SECs)

Dressel sports a 1:33.42 lifetime best in the 200 yard freestyle, but a 1:48.39 best in long course.  Given those numbers, along with his 40-point 100 free, and you have to figure  a tapered Dressel should be good for at least a 1:32-low, and almost certainly a 1:31-mid or better.

If Dressel is able to leadoff with even a 1:31.5, that, plus the best splits from above, puts the Gators roughly a 6:07 flat, over a second faster than the Longhorns swam to set the U.S. Open and NCAA records last year.

Update: Dressel did not swim the event, instead giving way to Switkowski, Rooney, D’Arrigo and Szaranek.

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Distance Swimmer

I have a small gut feeling that he may have been trolling people… will be interesting to see how he does though! 1:31??

SamH

I know, I’m not sure what to think either. He is desperately needed on the other relays. Maybe they think they have a real shot at winning and want to load it? Depending on how it goes, maybe he scratches the 100 fly. Certainly throws a wrench into the speculation.

Swimhistorian

If he’s not trolling, though, he may be leading off because he and Troy think he has a shot at the individual record in the 200 free. Given his other times, and how he’s been swimming, it’s certainly not unthinkable.

Attila the Runt

And (presumably) the title “first man under 1:30,” if he’s shown something in training we don’t know about.

SamH

Imagine if he went 1:29, 39, and 17 in the same meet. Dude would straight up win all the votes for swimmer of the meet.

Joe

*rushes to change entry in PickEm contest*

Mkowalski

HAHAHAHA your right

dru

ummmm, so which relay is he not swimming? (considering he’s in 3 individual events)

I guess florida figures this is one of their better shots amongst the relays

Ex Quaker

Yeah, it almost certainly is. With this squad they could take the whole thing if everyone performs. Which relay he’ll sit out is anyone’s guess.

coachymccoachface

Probably 200 Medley? Where they’d miss him least IMO

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