A day full of firsts and broken records for the Florida Gators led to three National Championships and two other All-America honors.
The Gators won the first ever 200 free relay national championship in school history on the men’s side to kick the meet off on a high note, doing so in historic fashion.
Not only did Florida’s relay of Caeleb Dressel, Jan Switkowski, Enzo Martinez-Scarpe and Mark Szaranek set a new school record of 1:14.39, but Dressel once again bested his own American record. The senior became the first human to break 18 seconds on a 50 free and did so by a long shot, recording a time of 17.81. That was three-tenths of a second faster than the American record he set during the prelim session.
Switkowski followed Dressel with a 18.52 split and Martinez-Scarpe swam a 19-flat. Szaranek anchored with a split of 19.06 to claim the relay title for the Gators.
Later in the evening, Dressel won his fourth national title in the 50 free event by breaking the American record he set in the 200 freestyle relay. He posted a time of 17.63 to improve upon his own records and he won the event by over a full second. That’s three times in one day that the senior broke his own American record, shaving half a second off his time in prelims this morning.
He is the first man in history to sweep the 50 free as a collegian and is only the 14th man to do so in any event in NCAA history. The latest man to do so in an individual event was Ryan Murphy of Cal, who won four titles in the 200 back from 2014-17.
With his two national championships tonight, Dressel passed former Gator great Ryan Lochte (7) for the most in UF history on the men’s side, with eight.
In the 200 IM, Switkowski claimed the first individual national championship of his career, posting a personal-best time of 1:39.54. The Lublin, Poland native recorded the second fastest time in the history of UF.
Szaranek clinched All-American status in the 200 IM, finishing third with a time of 1:40.27. That time is good for third in program and is almost a second and a half faster than his seed time and .4 seconds better than the time he put up to win the title last season.
Friday’s preliminary session begins at 10 a.m. CT. Live results and video can be found on the Meet Central page. Finals, beginning at 6 p.m. CT will be streamed on ESPN3.
Friday’s Individual Competitors:
– 400 IM: Mark Szaranek, Grant Sanders, Alex Lebed
– 100 fly: Jan Switkowski, Caeleb Dressel, Michael Taylor
– 200 free: Khader Baqlah, Maxime Rooney, Andrew Brady, Ben Lawless
– 100 back: Bayley Main, Michael Taylor, Clark Beach
Straight from the Source – Head Coach Gregg Troy:
On Caeleb’s 50 free:
– “We didn’t really put any boundaries on it, all we did was talking about going as fast as we could go. He’s really good, every time he swims it, he gets a better feel for it and corrects the things he needs to correct. This one was pretty darn good.”
On the other two national titles:
– “It was great. Those guys are all seniors and they are really experienced athletes. I am so happy for the relay. Jan Switkowski had a fantastic night. He came back on the relay and was fantastic on that and then came back and put up a great swim in the 200 IM. I loved seeing that from the coaching side.”
– “Mark Szaranek is always a steady guy and it was great of him to get his hand on the wall first at the end of the race.”
– Friday’s prelims begin at 10 a.m. CT with the 400 IM, followed by the 100 fly, 200 free, 100 breast, 100 back, 200 medley relay and 3-meter diving
– Finals start at 6 p.m. CT. Finals will be streamed on ESPN3.
– Live results and video can be found at the Meet Central
– Khader Baqlah
– Clark Beach
– Andrew Brady
– Caeleb Dressel
– Ben Lawless
– Alex Lebed
– Bayley Main
– Blake Manganiello
– Maxime Rooney
– Grant Sanders
– Jan Switkowski
– Mark Szaranek
– Michael Taylor
Meet Selection Alternate:
– Brennan Balogh (200 back)
Relay Only Swimmers:
– Chandler Bray
– Marco Guarente
– Enzo Martinez-Scarpe
– Christoph Margotti
Schedule of Events:
Friday, March 16:
– 400 IM
– 100 fly
– 200 free
– 100 breast
– 100 back
– 3-meter diving
– 200 medley relay
Saturday, March 17:
– 1650 free
– 200 back
– 100 free
– 200 breast
– 200 fly
– Platform diving
– 400 free relay