Manuel, Dres­sel both take ti­tles Ledecky poised.

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

INDIANAPOLIS » Olympic gold medal­ists Simone Manuel and Caeleb Dres­sel won 50-me­ter freestyle ti­tles on the fi­nal night of the U.S. Na­tional Cham­pi­onships.

Manuel took the women’s crown in 24.27 sec­onds, and Dres­sel went 21.53 in the men’s event. Both are No. 3 in the world this year.

Each event win­ner qual­i­fies for the na­tional team that will com­pete next month in the world cham­pi­onships.

The 200 in­di­vid­ual med­ley was an emo­tional event.

Two-time NCAA champ Ella Eastin did not qual­ify after fin­ish­ing be­hind Me­lanie Mar­galis and Madisyn Cox in the women’s race. Eastin also lost a chance to make the team with a dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion in the 400 IM.

Abrahm DeVine re­bounded from his DQ in the 400 IM to qual­ify after fin­ish­ing sec­ond to Chase Kal­isz in the 200 IM. In case there were any doubts, any skep­tics, any non­be­liev­ers re­main­ing: Katie Ledecky made clear over the course of five days this past week that there was no post-Olympic let­down. No rust, no phys­i­cal hang-ups or men­tal hic­cups. Most knew this was com­ing when she left the Rio Olympics with five medals — four of them gold — but as the sport turns its at­ten­tion to the 2020 Games in Tokyo, Ledecky is now the face of swim­ming, cer­tainly in the U.S.

At the U.S. cham­pi­onships in Indianapolis, she qual­i­fied for six events at the world cham­pi­onships later this month in Bu­dapest. If she en­ters all of them — the 200-, 400-, 800and 1,500-me­ter freestyle races, plus the 4x100 and 4x200 re­lays — and finds the top of the podium six times, she will match Missy Franklin’s record from the 2013 world cham­pi­onships for most ti­tles by a fe­male swim­mer.

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