Current and former Florida Gators’ representing seven countries at the 2022 FINA World Championships secured nine total medals, including eight golds.
The 16 combined swimming and diving program athletes and alumni competed in Budapest, Hungary, June 18 to July 3.
UF volunteer coach Katie Ledecky led the charge with four gold medals. She earned her first gold in the women’s 400-meter freestyle, touching the wall in 3:58.15 and won the women’s 1,500 free with a time of 15:30.15.
Ledecky propelled Team USA from third to first with a 1:53.67 split time as the third leg in the women’s 4x200 free relay. She also earned gold in the women’s 800 free with a time of 8:08.04.
Ledecky’s accumulated accolades made her the first swimmer to win an individual event in five straight World Championships (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2022). She’s won 19 career gold medals.
Florida alum Caeleb Dressel won the men’s 4x100 free relay and men’s 50 fly. The relay finished with a 3:09.34 time, and Dressel’s 22.57 fly time secured him his 15th overall world title. The Olympian was scratched from the rest of his events due to medical reasons on the fifth day of competition.
Fresh off his senior season, Bobby Finke set two American records at the World Championships in the men’s 800 free and 1,500 free. His final 50 split shot him ahead of his competitors to claim the 800 free gold with a 7:39.36 time; he claimed the 1,500 free silver with a time of 14:36.70.
Kieran Smith and UF senior Trey Freeman both played major roles in Team USA’s 4x200 free relay, which earned gold. Freeman swam in the preliminary session as the second leg with a 1:46.91 split, advancing the team of Drew Kibler, Carson Foster, Trenton Julian and Smith to the finals. Smith anchored the relay with a 1:44.35 split, and the quartet claimed first at 7:00.24.
The 2022 SEC Champions will look to continue their accolade-laden run in the upcoming 2022 season.