Make your home page

Caeleb Dressel comes up short again at US nationals, finishing 5th in 100 butterfly

Caeleb Dressel competes in the Men's 100 Meter Butterfly heats on Day 3 of the Phillips 66 National Championships at IUPUI Natatorium on June 29, 2023, in Indianapolis. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Caeleb Dressel is down to his final shot to make the U.S. team for the world championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

Dressel tied for fifth in the final of the 100-meter butterfly Thursday night, making him 0-for-3 at the U.S. national championships.

His last opportunity to qualify for worlds comes Saturday, the final day of the meet, when he competes in the 50 freestyle.

Dressel took a long break from swimming after last year’s worlds in Budapest, Hungary. This is his first major competition since then, and he’s not nearly at the level that carried him to five gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

Dressel would not have even qualified for the “A” final in the 100 fly if not for Ryan Murphy scratching the event to focus on his signature backstroke races.

Murphy had the second-fastest time in the morning preliminaries, but decided not to swim in the evening. That moved Dressel into the main final after he was only ninth-fastest in the prelims, his time of 51.95 leaving him 1.08 behind top qualifier Dare Rose.

Dressel went faster in the evening, clocking in at 51.66, but that wasn’t nearly enough to crack the top two.

Rose won with a time of 50.74, followed by Thomas Heilman at 51.19.

Dressel had previously failed to qualify for worlds in the 100 freestyle and 50 fly.