Golden already: Clay High grad Caeleb Dressel leads US men to swimming relay gold

FILE - In this June 20, 2021, file photo, Caeleb Dressel reacts after the men's 50-meter freestyle during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials in Omaha, Neb. For a man tabbed as swimmings next superstar, Dressel could not be more disinterested. Of course, he cares about being fast in the pool. He just is not into anyone elses expectations or comparisons. Fame is not his thing, either. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File) (Jeff Roberson, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Caeleb Dressel has his first gold medal of this year’s Olympics.

The Clay High and University of Florida graduate led off the men’s 4x100-meter freestyle relay and set the tone as the U.S. team took gold in a time of 3:08.97. Italy was second in 3:10.11 and Australia third in 3:10.22 to take bronze.

Dressel’s lead leg was a 47.26.

He’ll next swim in the 100 free heats and semis on Tuesday, as well as the 4x200 free relay heat should he elect to swim that.

Blake Pieroni, Bowe Becker and Zach Apple followed. Apple’s 46.69 was the fastest among the quartet.

Another local product, Bolles graduate Santo Condorelli, was a member of Italy’s silver medalist.

Dressel is far from done in Tokyo.

He’ll next swim in the 100 free heats and semis on Tuesday, as well as the 4x200 free relay heats and finals if he’s selected for that event. On Wednesday, should Dressel qualify, he’ll be in the 100 free finals. On Thursday, he’ll swim in the 100 fly heats and semis and the mixed 4x100 mixed medley relay heats. Dressel swam on the 4x100 medley relay team that won gold in 2016.

On Friday, it’s another busy day.

Dressel has the 50 free heats and finals, the 4x100 medley relay heats and the mixed 4x100 medley relay finals. Saturday, it’s the 50 free finals and the 4x100 medley relay finals.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.