2023 US National Championship
Olympic gold medalist and two-time 100 fly world champion Caleb Dressel He’ll already be swimming the final “A” of the event at the US National Championships, but he needed a little help getting there.
Dressel finished ninth in this morning’s prologues with a time of 51.95 but climbed into the top eight for tonight’s session after a scratch Ryan Murphywho placed second in an important personal best score of 51.35.
Note that the scratch has been confirmed on Meet Mobile but hasn’t been published on Omega yet.
Although the 100 fly was always a “plus” event for Murphy and he never seemed to give it too much focus, if he did end up qualifying for World Championships swimming, the semi-finals would come before the final of the 200 percentile.
Before Murphy was scratched, it looked as if the two US qualifiers in the men’s 100 of the 2022 World Championships wouldn’t even have a chance to compete for a spot this year, as Dressel was ninth and last. Michael Andrewwho ranked sixth in the world last year and fourth in Budapest, is back in 13th (52.47).
Dressel was the fastest man in the event in 2022, having posted a 50.01 in the preliminary competitions at World Trials, Andrew also breaking 51 seconds (50.88) while splitting 50.06 in the 400 medley at Worlds where the USA won the silver.
Although it was not out of the question, Dressel was not necessarily expected to easily qualify for the ‘A’ Final. After his early withdrawal from the 2022 World Championships, Dressel took a hiatus from the sport for several months and only recently started racing again. In his first event of the week, he was well shy of the championship final in the men’s 100 freestyle, running 49.42 for 29th overall in the prelims. Due to some scrapes, he raced again in the “C” final, finishing in 49.64.
The 26-year-old bounced back and had a strong fly 50 showing on Wednesday, finishing third in 23.35, exactly a second slower than his American record and only 0.15 seconds slower than Dare Rose23.20 for second place.
Andrew won the event in 23.11, which would earn him a spot on the Team of World Champions assuming he did not exceed the list cap of 26 before he was added to the event.
Unless Dressel can produce some outside smoke tonight, the USA could end up sending news men’s 100-class swimmers to the World Championships.
Dressel and Andrew are the only two men still actively racing who have represented the stars and stripes at the event, as have other previous participants such as jack congerAnd Tom ShieldsAnd Tim Phillips they retired. However, many of the men who will swim in the final have experience racing at the World Championships and Olympics, including Shane CasasAnd Zack HartingAnd Trenton Julian. Other participants include a young star Thomas HillmanAnd Gabriel JetAnd Luke Millerand the top seed Dare Rose.
Rose was the only man with a 51 second lead time while the other eight runners swam between 51.37 (Casas) and 51.95 (Dressel). These seven men were all under the FINA ‘A’ cutoff of 51.96 and touched within a 0.58-second window. Dressel may have been knocked out of the final originally, but now he has outside territory and, therefore, a chance.
Tune in tonight to see if the reigning Olympic champ gets back into his groove and joins the team.
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