Gators, Dressel Make Splash on Day One of NCAA Championships

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Photo from Will Pantages

By Will Pantages

IOWA CITY, IA – Behind a historic effort from freshman Caeleb Dressel, the University of Florida men’s swimming & diving team stands third following the first day of competition at the 2015 NCAA Championships. This week’s meet is being held at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center Natatorium in Iowa City, Iowa.

UF has scored 108 team points after posting two school records and earning 14 All-American honors. UF is ranked in right behind Texas (171) and California (119).

Individually, Dressel paced the Gators as he became the first Gator to EVER win a 50-yard freestyle NCAA Championship. The Green Cove Springs, Fla. product became the first Florida freshman to win an NCAA title since Darian Townsend achieved the accolade as a member of the UF’s first place 800-yard freestyle relay team (Ryan Lochte, Brian Hartley, Adam Sioui) in 2005. He is also the first freshman to win an individual crown since Adam Sioui did so in the 200-yard freestyle in 2002.

By the way, Dressel set the school record as he clocked a time of 18.67 seconds. His mark also is the one-tenth off the American Record. Click here to see video of the swim.

Pretty good start for the rookie!

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Photo from Jason Calanog


Senior Dan Wallace finished runner-up in the 500-yard freestyle in a school-record time of 4:10.48. The reigning Southeastern Conference champion in this race, Mitch D’Arrigo, finished sixth in 4:14.30. Wallace picked up his eighth-career All-American honor, while D’Arrigo earned his fifth. In addition, junior Arthur Frayler earned his second-career All-American accolade after placing 16th in 4:18.17.

This was Frayler’s first-career tribute in the 500-yard freestyle.

Senior Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez notched 10th-career All-American honor, while freshman Mark Szaranek grabbed his first accolade in the 200-yard individual medley with finishes of seventh (1:42.06) and 10th (1:43.04), respectively in the event. Solaeche-Gomez and Szaranek now rank fourth and sixth in UF history in the event.

In the relays, Dressel earned two more All-American tributes as he was a member of the seventh place 400-yard medley relay and the 10th place 200-yard freestyle. He combined with sophomore Jack Blyzinskyj and seniors Christian Homer and Solaeche-Gomez to clock a time of 3:05.71 in the medley race. Dressel swam a time of 1:17.35 in the freestyle event with senior Matt Curby and juniors Corey Main and Pawel Werner.

UF is back in action tomorrow for day two of the NCAA Championships with prelims beginning at 11:00 a.m. ET and finals at 7:00 p.m. For ways to follow and watch tomorrow’s action, click here.

Coaches Corner:

Head Coach Gregg Troy:

On day one overall…
“It was a good start for us. We got off to a great start this morning. We would’ve liked to have that relay (200 freestyle relay) in the final but we were pretty much better than we were at the conference meet across the board. We can’t complain at all.”

On Caeleb Dressel…
“That’s kind of what we’ve seen out of him all year long. He’s a great racer, very easy to work with and Coach Steve Jungbluth has done a tremendous job working with him. He’s getting better around the walls, as he is just doing a lot of the little things better.”

Talking Gators:

Freshman Caeleb Dressel:

On winning his first NCAA Championship…
“It feels good. After the race the first people I look for is my teammates and I just kept pointing at them. I just couldn’t get over the fact that I actually saw the number one next to my name. Then on the podium, I saw my mom and I got a little chocked up.”

Senior Dan Wallace:

On the 500-yard freestyle finals…
“It was a really tough race. The guys I was going against are world class swimmers. Obviously I would’ve liked to get first but to reset my own school recorded is good.”

NCAA Championships Standings – Day 1

  1. Texas 171
  2. California 119
  3. Florida 108
  4. Michigan 105
  5. Alabama 79

All-Americans:

Through day one of competition at the NCAA Championships, Florida has earned 14 All-American honors, including:

  • Jack Blyzinskyj – 400 MR
  • Matt Curby – 200 FR*
  • Mitch D’Arrigo – 500 Free
  • Caeleb Dressel – 50 Free, 200 FR*, 400 MR
  • Matt Elliott – 400 MR
  • Arthur Frayler – 500 Free*
  • Christian Homer – 400 MR
  • Corey Main – 200 FR*
  • Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez – 200 IM
  • Mark Szaranek – 200 IM*
  • Dan Wallace – 500 Free
  • Pawel Werner – 200 FR*

(*) – Denotes Honorable Mention All-American

School Records:

  • Caeleb Dressel – 50 Free (18.67)
  • Dan Wallace – 500 Free (4:10.48)