Clay High School graduate Caeleb Dressel earned his first gold medal of this year’s FINA world swimming championships and set two meet records Sunday.
One gold medal down. Now, for Caeleb Dressel, how many more to go?
The former Clay High School star set two competition records and captured his first gold medal of the FINA world swimming championships Sunday morning, leading off the victorious United States men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay team in Gwangju, South Korea.
Dressel swam the leadoff leg in 47.63, staking the American team to a lead it never relinquished.
The American quartet of Dressel, Blake Pieroni, Zach Apple and Nathan Adrian set a championship record of 3:09.06, breaking the previous mark from 2009. Russia placed second and Australia third, while Italy, with former Bolles School swimmer Santo Condorelli leading off, finished fourth.
That victory could be just the beginning for Dressel, who tied Michael Phelps’ championship record of seven gold medals at the 2017 finals in Budapest and could theoretically swim as many as nine events, counting relays, in Gwangju.
Dressel also smashed the championship record in the semifinal round of the 50 butterfly, swimming 22.57 to earn the top seed for Monday morning’s final. That surpassed the 22.67 record of Serbia’s Milorad Cavic, also set in 2009.
Bolles graduate Joseph Schooling of Singapore finished 20th in 50 fly preliminaries, and former Bishop Kenny swimmer McKenna DeBever, racing for Peru, finished 25th in the women’s 200 individual medley.
Monday’s action includes Dressel’s 50 fly final as well as preliminary rounds for Bolles graduate Ryan Murphy in the 100 backstroke.