Kate Douglass has historic meet as Virginia repeats as NCAA Swimming and Diving champs

Complete domination from the reigning champs.

The Virginia Cavaliers followed up their impressive 2021 NCAA Swimming and Diving championship with an utterly dominant showing this year to repeat. Virginia finished with 551.5 points, lightyears ahead of second place Texas (406 points). Junior Kate Douglass and sophomore Alex Walsh — both medal winners in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics — each went 3-for-3 in their individual events.

Walsh won the 200-yard individual medley, 400-yard individual medley and 200-yard fly events. Freshmen Emma Weyant and Gretchen Walsh (the younger sister of Alex) were among the bevy of Cavaliers that also collected podium finishes.

Virginia then won NCAA titles in four relay events — the 200-yard medley relay, 400-yard medley relay, 200-yard free relay and 400-yard free relay. They also set NCAA records in the 400-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay, and an American Record in the latter.

While all the Cavaliers impressed, it was Douglass who truly stole the show. Douglass not only touched first in the 50-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard breaststroke events, she set new American Records in each of them. It’s not unusual for a swimmer to excel in freestyle and butterfly events, but breaststroke is usually a specialized event. Think of it as if Tom Brady won the NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP, and then also won the NBA three-point shooting title.

Douglass set the record in the 50-yard free in the preliminary swim with a 20.84, but nearly matched it in the finals with a 20.87.

Her 49.04 time in the 100-yard butterfly set the American Record for that event, and she closed out her individual events with a blistering 2:02.19 time that broke Lilly King’s record from 2018.

With Douglass, Weyant and the Walsh sisters all returning as Virginia’s core for next year, the Cavaliers could be looking a the three-peat. Saturday night’s team title is the University of Virginia’s 30th NCAA team championship.

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Caeleb Dressel on his post-Olympics life, his next big event and teaching his dog to swim

For The Win spoke with Olympic star Caeleb Dressel about his quick to the pool for the International Swimming League’s third season.

Just four weeks after Caeleb Dressel climbed out of the pool for the final time at the Tokyo Olympics, he’s jumping back in the water for another competition.

After bringing home five gold medals — one of five swimmers to ever do that in a single Games — the now-seven-time Olympic gold medalist will be in Naples, Italy this weekend for the start of the International Swimming League (ISL) season.

The ISL is a flashy pro swim league with competitions that are totally different from a typical swim meet, including a WWE-esque style of flair and pizzazz. It consists of 10 teams — the inaugural season had eight teams — from around the globe with some of the world’s top swimmers making up the international rosters and competing in a regular season, playoffs and championship final. The Cali Condors were the 2020 champions, and 25-year-old Dressel is the reigning ISL MVP.

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Other top swimmers competing this season include Americans Lilly King, Natalie Hinds and Ryan Murphy; Australia’s Emma McKeon; Canada’s Kylie Masse; Japan’s Yui Ohashi; Great Britain’s Adam Peaty and Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov.

The prize money on the line is also getting boost this season, increasing by about 10 to 12 percent, per the ISL. And that includes a $20,000 bonus for the top finisher in the final MVP race.

Competition for the third ISL season began Thursday, and for swimming fans still hungry for more can catch some of the matches on CBS or CBS Sports Network, starting Saturday at noon ET on CBSSN and Sunday at noon ET on CBS. The ISL’s website is also live-streaming the competitions.

For The Win recently spoke with Dressel before his departure for Italy about his Olympics recovery, why he likes the ISL and keeps coming back, especially right after the Games, and what he knows about the league’s latest COVID-19 protocols, as specifics remain unclear.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

Simone Manuel opens up on Tokyo Olympics experience, athletes’ mental health and Paris in 2024

For The Win spoke with Simone Manuel after she returned home from the Tokyo Olympics.

Simone Manuel is one of the most decorated swimmers in the world, and after the Tokyo Olympics, she added another medal to her impressive hardware collection.

Manuel anchored Team USA’s women’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay with a 52.96 split and helped the team win a bronze medal behind Australia and Canada. Individually, she also competed in the 50-meter freestyle and tied for sixth in her semifinal heat but failed to advance to the final.

After the swimming program ended, Manuel posted a thoughtful reflection on Instagram and wrote that she’ll “remember this point in [her] career forever” because she “didn’t give up.” At Olympic Trials in June, she missed the final for the 100-meter freestyle — an event she won gold in at the 2016 Rio Games — and opened up about diagnosed with overtraining syndrome in March. She also said she had been dealing with depression and anxiety, which began to impact her physically this year.

For The Win spoke with Manuel — who was promoting her partnership with Toyota — about her experience at this summer’s unique Olympics, athletes’ mental health and what’s up next for the 25-year-old star.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.

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Watch Caeleb Dressel’s awesome dog absolutely crush this 25-meter swim

Turns out, Caeleb Dressel’s black lab is very fast too.

Caeleb Dressel was a powerhouse at the Tokyo Olympics, winning an incredible five gold medals, including in individual events like the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly.

After a brutal and taxing competition, Dressel is the fastest swimmer in the world right now, and he now has a total of seven Olympic gold medals from two Games.

And it turns out, his dog is pretty fast too. Jane is a black labrador who makes frequent appearances (poolside and otherwise) on Dressel’s Instagram account, but the latest video of her might be the best.

Dressel showed off Jane’s incredible swimming skills by having her swim a speedy 25 meters, which included starting on a block, which alone is amazing.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CSfWMGcJ7t5/

As far as we can tell, this looks like the Florida Gators’ 50-meter outdoor pool, and Jane absolutely crushed her 25.

And fellow swimmers were impressed, including Swedish sprinter Sarah Sjöström and Australia’s Kyle Chalmers, who won silver behind Dressel in the 100 free in Tokyo.

Well done, Jane. Here are some more photos of this awesome dog on Dressel’s Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFx6UTXJw9k/?hl=en

https://www.instagram.com/p/CLM4GulJxpb/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CKZZvfDpzP8/

https://www.instagram.com/p/CQj58dSpO3u/

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Caeleb Dressel is brutally honest about how taxing the Olympics can be: ‘It’s a week of hell’

Caeleb Dressel is proud of his five gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics, but he’s absolutely drained.

When the Tokyo Olympics swimming program finished last weekend, Caeleb Dressel left the pool as a seven-time Olympic medalist, and all of them have been gold.

After being part of winning relay teams at the 2016 Rio Games, the 24-year-old sprinter won five gold medals in six events in Tokyo: individually in the 50-meter freestyle, 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly and two more on the men’s 4×100-meter medley relay and 4×100-meter freestyle relay teams. He’s one of just five swimmers to accomplish such a feat at a single Games, along with Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz, Matt Biondi, and Kristin Otto.

But when it was finally over, Dressel opened up about how challenging physically and mentally the Olympics can be on athletes.

After the men’s medley relay officially ended the swimming program, he was surrounded by his teammates on the pool deck and could barely stand. Happy, of course, but absolutely drained.

“This is not easy, not an easy week at all,” he said after his last race, via USA TODAY Sports. “Some parts were extremely enjoyable. I would say the majority of them were not. You can’t sleep right, you can’t nap, shaking all the time. I probably lost 10 pounds. I’m going to weigh myself and eat some food when I get back. It’s a lot of stress we put on the body. …

“It’s not the most enjoyable process but it is worth it. Every part of it is worth it. Just cause it’s bad doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.”

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Tuesday on CBS This Morning, Dressel was even more brutally honest about how painful the Olympics can be.

After that aforementioned quote was read back to Dressel, he expanded and said:

“It’s a week of hell, if I’m being quite honest. Being on the podium, of course, is enjoyable, but the majority of what — not just myself, not just swimmers, I think the majority of all athletes — it’s not necessarily fun, the core of the whole process. …

“You go your whole life for one moment that boils down to a race that lasts a couple seconds. If you’re a little bit off that day — I wasn’t I wasn’t perfect in any race. I wasn’t perfect mindset-wise going into any event. Every ready room is different, every year is completely different, and there’s parts of it that suck. But at no point in that quote did I say, none of it was worth it. It’s all a great learning experience. Every part of it, I do enjoy.”

Dressel also addressed the massive pressure he faced to live up to expectations and how that pressure can morph into extra stress. But he said he competes for himself and to push his own potential, rather than being the next Michael Phelps.

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He said anyone who wants to challenge that approach can “kick rocks.” And he extended that sentiment to include Simone Biles — who withdrew from several Olympic events to protect her mental and physical health before winning a bronze medal on the balance beam — and athletes everywhere.

Dressel continued on CBS This Morning:

“Pressure’s fine. I can’t do anything about what other people expect me to do. It’s irrelevant. I don’t I don’t really care what people expect me to do at these Games. It’s all about me. It might sound a little selfish, but it’s what I want to accomplish and reaching my potential. Everything else, everybody else’s opinion, they can kick rocks. It doesn’t, shouldn’t, pertain to me. …

“Every athlete handles it different, and for every athlete, no one else’s opinion should matter. It’s up to the individual. So Simone what she did, it was her choice, and it shouldn’t pertain to anyone but her. So I think a lot of people shouldn’t open their mouth if you’re against her. It shouldn’t affect you in any way, shape or form what this one particular athlete is doing.”

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Caeleb Dressel won gold in the 50 freestyle and smashed the Olympic record without taking a breath

This underwater angle of Caeleb Dressel’s win is awesome.

Caeleb Dressel won his fourth gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics and third in an individual event by crushing the men’s 50-meter freestyle and breaking the 13-year-old Olympic record. And he did it without taking a breath the entire time.

With his exceptional and explosive start off the blocks, Dressel shot out ahead of the field with his first stroke and finished with a time of 21.07 — breaking Brazil’s Cesar Cielo’s Olympic record of 21.30 from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and .16 seconds shy of Cielo’s 2009 world record.

And an efficient way to get 50 meters across the pool is not to breathe, so Dressel didn’t.

When swimmers barely turn their heads to the side to steal a quick breath, it slightly slows them down. It’s much more efficient for swimmers to keep their heads down when the race is only one length of the pool, so it’s very common for them to just opt not to breathe during the shortest race.

Here’s the overhead view of the race:

But the underwater view of the entire thing really highlights how hard they’re working beneath the surface. Plus, the underwater angle is just generally awesome.

This was Dressel’s final individual event of the Tokyo Olympics. He also won gold in the 100-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly and the 4×100-meter freestyle relay, and he was part of the fifth-place 4×100-meter mixed medley relay team.

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Simone Manuel reflects on her Olympics after missing 50 free final: ‘I didn’t give up’

“The flame inside of me is still burning.”

Simone Manuel’s run at the Tokyo Olympics ended Saturday in the 50-meter freestyle semifinals, and even though she didn’t quite accomplish what she wanted after a challenging year, the two-time Olympian is proud of herself.

“I’ll remember this point in my career forever,” Manuel wrote in part on her social media channels. “Not the fact that I didn’t make the Olympic final or come home with an individual medal, but the fact that I gave it my all. That I didn’t give up.”

After winning the 100-meter freestyle gold medal at the 2016 Rio Games, 24-year-old Manuel qualified for this summer’s Olympics in one individual event, the 50 free. She was also part of Team USA’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay earlier this week and won a bronze medal.

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Manuel — one of the most decorated swimmers in history — advanced to the 50 free semifinals and finished in a tie for sixth in her heat with a time of 24.63, but that wasn’t fast enough to advance to the final Sunday morning in Tokyo (and Saturday night in the U.S.). To give you an idea of how fast and competitive this event is, all 16 semifinal swimmers finished in the 24-second range, and the top-8 swimmers who advanced to the final are separated by just .23 seconds.

Below is the finish of the second 50 free semifinal, but you can watch the full video of Manuel’s race here.

That was Manuel’s last swim of the Tokyo Olympics, as she’s unlikely to be part of the remaining women’s 4×100-meter medley relay team on the final day of swimming Sunday morning in Tokyo.

And on social media, she posted a long, thoughtful message about her perseverance through a particularly draining year and how she views these Games as a victory for her, as the “flame inside of me is still burning.”

Posted on her social channels, Manuel — a five-time Olympic medalist with two golds, two silvers and a bronze — wrote:

“I’m in the midst of it, so I don’t quite understand it yet, but I know that God has a purpose and plan for my life. This may not be how I would have written my story, but I’m at peace knowing that God is the ultimate Author of my journey. He is always in control, and He always has much bigger plans for our lives than we can even imagine.

No doubt, I’ll remember this point in my career forever. Not the fact that I didn’t make the Olympic final or come home with an individual medal, but the fact that I gave it my all. That I didn’t give up. That I finished what I started. I faced adversity at every turn this year, and at times, I didn’t know if I would make it this far or if it was even worth putting myself out there to possibly fail. I didn’t reach my goals this time around, but I didn’t fail.

I can confidently say I’m a champion! Not because of the medals I’ve won but because of how I’ve consistently fought for what I believe in, my perseverance, and my fiery passion to always be me! I’m proud of Simone the 2X Olympian/5X Olympic medalist, but most importantly I’m proud to just be ME… Simone Ashley Manuel.

Time to rest up and heal my mind, body, and spirit! The flame inside of me is still burning, and I’m ready for whatever God has prepared for me next! ♥️

At U.S. swimming trials in June after Manuel didn’t make the final for the 100 freestyle, she opened up about her mental health.

She said she was diagnosed with overtraining syndrome in March and had been dealing with depression, anxiety and insomnia, which began to impact her physically this year. She also said the postponed Olympics adding another training year and being a Black woman in the U.S. were both taxing factors.

At trials, Manuel said she was proud of herself before she even dove in, and now that her Tokyo Olympics are over, she’s still proud. And it definitely doesn’t seem like she’s calling it a career yet.

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Katie Ledecky confirms she’s not even close to retiring after winning final gold of Tokyo Olympics

“That was *not* my last swim,” Katie Ledecky said after winning gold in the 800-meter free.

After her final race of the Tokyo Olympics, Katie Ledecky answered the question no one — except, apparently, NBC — was asking. She has no intention of calling it a career after these Games and confirmed she’s eyeing Paris in 2024 and maybe beyond.

Ledecky completed her three-peat victory in the women’s 800-meter freestyle Saturday morning in Japan (Friday night in the U.S.), winning gold in the event at the 2012 London Olympics, 2016 Rio Olympics and, now, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

With a time of 8:12.57, Ledecky swam to victory with little competition, as her Australian rival Ariarne Titmus won silver after finishing more than a second behind Ledecky at 8:13.83. Italy’s Simona Quadarella won bronze.

This was her seventh Olympic gold medal in total and 10th Olympic medal overall. At the Tokyo Games, she also won gold in the 1,500-meter freestyle, silver in the 400-meter freestyle, silver in the 4×200-meter freestyle relay and finished 5th in the 200-meter freestyle. She raced for 6,200 meters — or about 3.7 miles — this week.

“It’s awesome,” 24-year-old Ledecky told NBC in her on-deck, post-800 interview while panting. “I just wanted to finish on a really good note, and I’m so happy. In a lot of pain too.”

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And then she was asked about retiring. Specifically, NBC’s Michele Tafoya asked Ledecky: “How will you decide if this is the last swim for Katie Ledecky?”

Ledecky seemed as taken aback by the question as so many others in the swimming world and immediately shut down any discussion of retirement.

“Oh, that was not my last swim,” Ledecky responded. “I’m at least going to ’24, maybe ’28. We’ll see.”

The 2024 Olympics are in Paris, while the 2028 Games are in Los Angeles. Ledecky continued:

“I just knew it was going to be my last swim here. You never take anything for granted. You don’t know if you’re going to be back at the next Olympics, so just try to soak it all in.”

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Watch Caeleb Dressel smash his own 100 butterfly WR and win another gold medal

Caeleb Dressel broke the first men’s swimming world record of these Olympics.

Caeleb Dressel is coming home with another gold medal after cruising to victory in the men’s 100-meter butterfly final Saturday morning at the Tokyo Olympics (Friday night in the U.S.).

And this time, he broke the world record — his own world record.

With one of the best starts at the Olympics, Dressel was already ahead of the field by the time he took his first stroke. He charged through the first 50 with a super fast time of 23.00 before finishing at 49.45.

Dressel’s previous world record from 2019 was 49.50, and it was pretty clear from the beginning of this race that the world record was probably going down. This was just the second individual world record to fall at these Games, following South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker breaking the 200-meter breaststroke world record earlier this week.

Hungary’s Kristof Milak won the silver medal and was just .23 seconds behind Dressel with a time of 49.68. But the pair separated themselves from the field in a big way, as bronze medal-winner Noe Ponti of Switzerland finished nearly 1.5 seconds behind Dressel at 50.74.

This was Dressel’s fifth Olympic medal of his career, and they’ve all been gold. At the Tokyo Games, he also won gold in the 100-meter freestyle and the 4×100-meter freestyle relay.

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Lilly King slams ‘bull-[expletive]’ mentality of not celebrating silver and bronze medals at Olympics

Lilly King wishes Olympic silver and bronze medals were celebrated like golds.

Swimmer Lilly King often candidly calls it like she sees it — whether she’s talking about Olympic athletes doping, being the “bad guy” in the pool or making very bold predictions.

So when it came to the popular American sentiment that any Olympic performance less than a gold medal-winning one is a loss, King didn’t hold back. She called that mentality “bulls—,” Yahoo Sports reported from Tokyo, after she and teammate Annie Lazor won silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the 200-meter breaststroke Friday morning at the Tokyo Olympics (Thursday night in the U.S.).

From the U.S. women’s gymnastics team winning the silver medal in the team competition to Katie Ledecky finishing second in the 400-meter freestyle to Team USA’s softball squad, reactions and headlines had a common theme: They “settled” for silver.

Here’s what King said, via Yahoo Sports:

“Excuse my French,” she said, “but the fact that we don’t celebrate silver and bronze is bulls—. …

“Just because we compete for the United States, and maybe we have extremely high standards for this sort of thing, that doesn’t excuse the fact that we haven’t been celebrating silver and bronze as much as gold.”

The “if you’re not first, you’re last” approach doesn’t work in the Olympics.

Sure, winning Olympic gold might be the ultimate goal, but being on the podium at a major international event like the Olympics is a huge accomplishment — as is qualifying for the Games at all — and one that should be celebrated, even if the athletes went in competing to win it all.

Gymnast Jordan Chiles addressed how her team’s silver medal was being talked about in an interview with NBC this week, saying in part:

“We still got a medal for the United States of America. For the medal count, it’s a huge thing, but in our minds, this silver medal is a gold medal. We didn’t just get silver, we won silver.”

Before finishing second to South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker in the 200 breaststroke, King won the bronze medal in the 100-meter breaststroke — one of two events she won gold in the event at the 2016 Rio Games — after finishing behind Schoenmaker and gold medal-winner 17-year-old Lydia Jacoby. King said she was disappointed in herself, but she didn’t show it and spoil Jacoby’s special moment.

But that doesn’t mean King is indifferent about her bronze medal, and after finishing 12th in the 200 breaststroke in Rio, the two-time Olympian is pretty happy with silver this summer.

More from Yahoo Sports:

“I might be more happy with this medal than I’ve been with any of my previous medals, including the two golds in Rio,” King said. “We really should be celebrating those silver and bronzes, because those are some of the greatest moments of that athlete’s career, and why would we not celebrate that?”

Listen to the athletes.

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