GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Green Cove Springs native Caeleb Dressel earned the honor of USA Swimming’s Athlete of the Year, as the organization announced on Saturday.
The honor comes after of a summer full of records for Dressel, including winning seven gold medals at the 17th FINA World Championships. Dressel tied Michael Phelps’ record for the most gold medals at Worlds, one that Phelps had single-handily held since 2007.
Dressel won the 50m free, 100m free, 100m fly, men’s 400m medley relay, mixed 400m medley relay, men’s 400m free relay and mixed 400m free relay.
Dressel became the first person ever to win three gold medals in one day at either the Olympics or World Championships and he became the first American male swimmer to claim three individual golds in one Worlds since Ryan Lochte did so in 2011.
Dressel also set two world records and three American records at the championship. He became the third fastest swimmer in the 50m free and his time of 49.86 in the 100m fly is just .04 seconds off Phelps’ world record that has stood since 2009.