An extremely-polite Caeleb Dressel told media members tonight that he’s not shaved for the 2016 Southeastern Conference Championships. Dressel powered his way to a stunning back-to-back 18.39 and 18.23 in the 50-yard freestyles for the NCAA and American records in Missouri.
Original 50 free report:
Florida’s Caeleb Dressel made a 17-point 50-yard freestyle start to come into view for the entire sprinting community as he stunned the swimming world with an 18.23 NCAA and American record during finals of the men’s 50-yard free at the 2016 Southeastern Conference Championships.
Dressel, who first blasted an 18.39 this morning during prelims to break the NCAA and American record, took that time even lower with a scorching 18.23.
Dressel, who blasted his way to a sizzling 23.43 breaststroke split for Florida en route to the Gators winning the SEC title in the 200-yard medley relay with a 1:23.69 last night, pounced on the 50-yard free this morning with a sizzling 18.39.
That prelim swim completely wiped out Nathan Adrian’s American record of 18.66 set back in 2011 in Minneapolis, while also undercutting Cesar Cielo’s 2008 NCAA mark of 18.47 set in Federal Way. Incidentally, he also thumped the previous pool record of 19.24 set by Jimmy Feigen with Texas back in 2009.
Heading into today, Dressel’s previous best time had been an 18.67 at the 2015 NCAA Men’s Championships. He’s now cleared 19 seconds a total of 10 times since first breaking the barrier as a precocious junior swimmer with an 18.94 relay leadoff at the 2013 Speedo Winter Junior Nationals.
The big question now is whether head coach Gregg Troy follows through on his pre-season promise to shave his mustache if Dressel posted an 18.39.
During a pre-season Q&A held by Florida Athletics, Dressel started the following exchange:
“Caeleb Dressel: What time would you take in a 50 free for you to shave your mustache?
GT: Short course 18.39 / Long course 20.89.”
Florida Athletics is on record stating that should the shave actually happen, it will make sure it gets plenty of coverage.
Dressel then closed the night with a casual 18.41 split for the Gators during a winning 1:16.46 in the men’s 200-yard free relay.