Manuel, Dressel both take titles Ledecky poised.
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.