Eight medals in eight days.
Former Florida sprint swimmer Caeleb Dressel experienced a record-setting stretch at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, last week.
The 22-year-old American swimmer set a FINA World Championships record of eight medals, breaking the previous record of seven that was jointly held by him and Michael Phelps. Of the eight medals, six were gold and two were silver.
He also tied the record for gold medals earned in one night with three.
Dressel, who was a bullet in the water all of last week, swept his four individual events in commanding fashion. He won individually in the 50- and 100-meter freestyle and in the 50- and 100-meter butterfly.
His last two individual races, the 100 fly and 50 free, were held less than an hour apart from each other.
The UF graduate also broke Michael Phelps’ record in the 100-meter butterfly, clocking in at 49.50 seconds in the semifinals. Phelps’ former record of 49.82 seconds had stood since 2009.
The second half of Dressel’s medals came in the relay events. He was just as outstanding in team events as he was individually, leading the United States to two golds and two silvers.
The first gold medal of the championships went to the U.S. and Dressel. He helped his country’s cause with a 47.63 split in the 4x100-meter free relay. The second gold Dressel collected in the relays came in a record-setting performance by the US with a 3:19.40 time in the 4x100 free mixed medley.
His final medal came in the relays, as well. Dressel sailed across the pool in the 4x100-meter relay at 49.28 seconds – the only swimmer to dip below the 50-second mark.
While Dressel now stands as one of the premier swimmers on the international stage, his path to the record books was paved long before he dipped his toes into the water in South Korea.
During his time at Florida, Dressel also competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil. There, he won two gold medals. The first was in the 4x100 free relay, while the second was in the 4x100 medley relay.
Dressel holds all of the sprint swimmer school records. His name is written beside the 50- and 100-meter free, 50- and 100-meter fly and the 200 medley in individual events. He was also a part of record-setting squads in the sprinter relays as well. In all, he holds or is a part of nine UF records.
Dressel left UF as a 28-time All-American selection, which is a record total for a swimmer. Dressel concluded his college career as a 10-time NCAA champion, breaking Ryan Lochte’s record of eight titles.
Dressel is preparing to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
The two-time gold medalist is primed for another shot to chip away at Michael Phelps’ record of 28 career Olympic medals.
Follow Dylan O'Shea on Twitter @dylanoshea24 and contact him at [email protected].