At the 2017 FINA World Championships, one man from Gainesville stole the show.
Well, technically rising senior Caeleb Dressel is from Green Cove Springs, Florida. But this past week, Dressel represented the University of Florida—and then some.
Dressel tied Michael Phelps’ record with seven gold medals in a major international meet in Budapest, Hungary, setting seven American records and a pair of world records along the way.
Dressel collected gold medals in the mixed 4x100m free relay (American record), the 4x100m mixed medley relay (American record, world record), the 100m free (American record), 50m free (American record), 100m fly, mixed 4x100m free relay (American record, world record), and the 4x100m medley relay.
He also set American records in the semifinal rounds of the 50m fly and the 50m free.
Dressel kicked off his dominant performance by claiming two American records on opening day of the weeklong event and never slowed down. Dressel swam for at least one gold medal on all but one of the seven days he competed.
Dressel saved the best for last, tying Phelps’ record with a flurry of four gold medals during the final two days of competition. Dressel set a record of his own in the process with three gold medals in one day at the world championships.
Dressel has racked up 21 All-American selections in his three years at Florida, has been named First Team All-SEC each year, owns six NCAA titles and has even made the Academic Honor Roll.
Dressel also competed in the 2016 Olympics.
A total of 11 other Gators made the trip to Budapest as well. Liliana Szilagyi, representing host country Hungary, was the only female swimmer currently attending UF.
Szilagyi, a rising sophomore, competed in the 100m fly, 200m fly and the 4x100m medley relay. Szilagy only reached the final round of competition in the 200m fly, where she finished seventh overall.
Rising senior Mark Szaranek (Great Britain) competed in the 200m IM and the 400m IM. Szaranek failed to move past the preliminary round of the 400m IM but did reach the 200m IM semis.
Jan Switkowski (Poland), another rising senior, competed in four events. He missed the cut in the 200m free preliminaries, but did reach the semifinals for the 100m fly, 200m fly and took seventh place in the 4x200m free relay.
Enzo Martinez-Scarpe (Uruguay) took part in the 100m free and the 50m free. Martinez-Scarpe, the last of four rising seniors to compete in Budapest, could not manage to move past the two preliminary rounds.
The final current Gator to swim was rising sophomore Khader Baqlah. Baqlah, who competed for Jordan, participated in the 400m free, 200m free and the 4x100m free relay.
However, he didn’t advance past the prelims for any of his events.
Conor Dwyer (United States), who swam for the Gators from 2009-2011, participated in the 4x200m relay prelims and helped the U.S. reach the event’s final round.
Omar Pinzon (Columbia), who last competed as a Gator in 2009, only took part in the 200m back, failing to advance behind a 28th-place preliminary showing.
Carlos Omana (Venezuela) participated in the 200m back and the 200m IM, falling short in the prelims with 35th- and 37th-place finishes, respectively.
Corey Main (New Zealand) competed in the 4x100m free relay, 200m back, and finished eighth in the 100m back finals.
Elizabeth Beisel (United States) took seventh place in the 400m IM and Hilda Luthersdottir (Iceland) took part in the 100m breast and made it to the 50m breast semis.
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