Caeleb Dressel picked up his first Pro Swim Series race victory since the Tokyo Olympics, though he had to share it.
Dressel, who earned five gold medals last summer, tied for the win in a 100m freestyle in San Antonio on Saturday, the last day of the final top-level meet before the world championships trials in four weeks.
He clocked 49.13 seconds, matching Serbian Andrej Barna with the fastest time by an American this year. Dressel’s personal best is 46.96, the second-fastest time in history.
Other swimmers have been hotter to start 2022 — notably Shaine Casas and Claire Curzan, who each picked up another win Saturday. Going into Saturday, Dressel had finished between second and fourth in his five Pro Series races this year in his Olympic gold-medal events — 50m and 100m frees and 100m butterfly.
There was little concern, however, as Dressel is known for making big time drops for the meets that really count.
At world trials in Greensboro, N.C., the top two in Dressel’s main events make the team. His primary competition: Michael Andrew, who is ranked No. 1 in the nation in the 50m free and No. 3 in the 100m fly, and the sizzling Casas, ranked No. 3 in the 100m free and No. 1 in the 100m fly.
Casas on Saturday continued his incredible run since missing the Olympic team. The 22-year-old new pro won the 200m individual medley in 1:56.70, beating Olympic 400m IM champion Chase Kalisz by four tenths. It’s the fastest time in the world since the Tokyo Games for Casas, who is more known as a backstroker.
Curzan made it eight victories between the two Pro Series stops this year, capping her meet by taking the 100m free in 53.68, four tenths faster than Erika Brown. Curzan, a 17-year-old who finished 10th in her lone Olympic event, is the nation’s fastest woman this year in five different individual events, though many of the top Americans haven’t swum in Olympic-size pools while competing collegiately.
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