Day 2 of 4 at the U

Preliminaries at 10 a.m., finals at 6 p.m.

Gators’ Dressel could dazzle

Last summer, Caeleb Dressel won seven gold medals at swimming’s world championships, tying Michael Phelps for the most golds ever won at the event. The Florida phenom will chase more milestones Thursday, as he kicks off his final NCAA championship meet with the 50-yard freestyle and the 200 free relay.

Dressel’s star status and a very fast field have made the 50 free one of the most anticipated events at the championships, which run through Saturday at the U’s Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center. The 21-year-old Florida native could become the first swimmer to win four NCAA titles in the 50 free. The top seed, Dressel holds the American and NCAA record of 18.20 seconds.

Six swimmers in the field — including the Gophers’ Bowe Becker, the No. 2 seed — have seed times under 19 seconds, forecasting a swift race.

With six individual NCAA titles in three years, Dressel needs only one victory to tie six-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte for the most individual NCAA championships won by a Gators men’s swimmer. Dressel is the defending champion in the 100 free and 100 butterfly and will compete in both of those races, as well as the 200 and 400 free relays and the 200 medley relay.

Rachel Blount