Dressel tabbed SEC Male Athlete of the Year

Florida's Caeleb Dressel celebrates after winning the 100 butterfly Friday, March 23, 2018, at the NCAA men's swimming and diving championships in Minneapolis. (Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via AP)

Special to Gatorsports.com

Florida senior swimmer Caeleb Dressel was named Southeastern Conference Male Athlete of the Year, the league announced Friday.

“It is an honor to be nominated for, let alone win, such a prestigious award,” Dressel said in a UF news release. “I am grateful to the athletic directors for selecting me to be in the company of all the other outstanding student-athletes in the conference. It has been a privilege to be a part of Gator Nation and the SEC.”

Dressel, a recent graduate, and the female winner, South Carolina women’s basketball athlete A’ja Wilson, were selected by a vote of the league’s athletics directors.

Dressel is the first UF male recipient since Tim Tebow won his second honor in 2009. The Gators had three female athletes win the honor in consecutive years, Bridget Sloan (2016), Lauren Haeger (2015) and Hannah Rogers (2014).

“Congratulations to Caeleb on another fantastic year,” UF men’s swimming head coach Anthony Nesty said. “Caeleb is a phenomenal athlete.  He has been key in our continued SEC/NCAA championship runs.  He is a tremendous role model for the sport and has set the standard for a student-athlete. He is an outstanding ambassador of the University of Florida.  This is a great honor and he is well deserving of it.”

Dressel’s Senior Year:
It was another stellar season for the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. Dressel became a 10-time NCAA Champion, the most titles by a male swimmer.
Here are highlights from his final collegiate season:

  • Dressel had one of the most accomplished NCAA Championships in history, earning four titles in four days (50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 200 FR).
    • With those four titles, he passed Ryan Lochte (8) for the most National Championships all-time on the men’s side.
  • His time of 17.63 in the 50 free is an American, NCAA, US Open, UF and pool record and he is the first human to have ever broke 18 seconds in the event – he did so, twice.
  • He became the first man in history to sweep the 50 free and the 14th man to sweep any event during his four-year college career.
  • Became the first human to break 40 seconds in the 100 free, posting a time of 39.90 to earn his third title in the event.
  • Won his second title in the 100 fly, breaking the American, NCAA, US Open, UF and pool records with his mark of 42.80.
  • Dressel earned his first relay title in the 200 free relay, finishing with a school record time of 1:14.39.
    • This was the first 200 FR title in school history on the men’s side.
  • He earned seven All-America honors (50 free, 100 free, 100 fly, 200 FR, 400 FR, 200 MR, 400 MR), bringing the total to 28 over his four years as a Gator.
    • 28 All-America honors are the most that can be earned by any swimmer over the course of a career.
  • Earned CSCAA Swimmer of the Year after his performance.
  • Helped Florida to a fifth-place finish after scoring in all seven events he swam in.
  • AAU James E. Sullivan Semifinalist.
  • Laureus Breakout Athlete of the Year Finalist.
  • Google Cloud Academic All-American.
  • CSCAA Scholar All-America.
  • SEC Male Swimmer of the Meet/Commissioner’s Trophy
  • SEC Male Swimmer of the Year
  • School Records held:
    • 50 free – 17.63
    • 100 free – 39.90
    • 100 breast – 50.03
    • 100 fly – 42.80
    • 200 IM – 1:38.13
    • 200 FR (Dressel, Switkowski, Martinez-Scarpe, M. Szaranek) – 1:14.39
    • 400 FR (Baqlah, Switkowski, Dressel, M. Szaranek) – 2:45.73
    • 200 MR (Taylor, Bray, Switkowski, Dressel) – 1:22.33
    • 400 MR (B. Main, Dressel, Switkowski, Rooney) – 3:03.16