Friday November 22, 2013Florida Wraps up Fall Signing Period, Adds No. 1 Rated Men's Recruit
The Florida men’s swimming and diving team announced the signing of three swimmers and one diver, including the consensus top-ranked recruit, bringing the incoming freshman class to eight. Caeleb Dressel, Ben Kennedy, John Farese and Geoffroy Gagnon will join the already announced quartet of Andrew Brady, Chelsea Lawson, Paige Scheriger and Mark Szaranek. For more information on the first four athletes to sign with UF, click here.
“The four men we added together with the two we announced on Monday really round out the class,” Head Coach Gregg Troy said of the swimmers. “Caeleb Dressel brings a whole unique skill set. He is so skilled in so many different areas. He is not just a sprinter; he’s a really good swimmer. We’ve never had someone as versatile with that same speed component to start with. Ben Kennedy has a history of being a Gator. He is the Virginia champion and has tremendous upside and improvement in him. John Farese is the same way. He is a Florida guy that competed well at the Florida state meets. He is a sprinter and backstroker. Those guys fill real needs, and combined with the freshman that are redshirting, sets up our team for the future.”
Dressel attended the Bolles School in Jacksonville. He is the top-ranked recruit according to all of the major swimming publications and is the National High School Record holder in the 50 yard freestyle (19.29), a time that would have placed him fourth at last year’s NCAA Championships. Dressel also boasts tops time of 43.29 in the 100 yard free, 1:34.69 in the 200 yard free, 55.19 in the 100 yard breaststroke, 45.89 in the 100 yard butterfly, and 1:48.23 in the 200 yard individual medley. He holds seven National Age Group Records, including three in the 17-18 division.
“Obviously, having a sprinter of his caliber coming in is a big plus for us,” Troy said. “He swims so many different things and is tremendously versatile. I think the big thing is that his skill set is humungous. We will refine that skill set in a lot of different areas. There is no need to label him as a sprinter. He’s not a sprinter, not a backstroker and not a flyer. He is just an overall incredible swimmer with a tremendous speed component. He has a lot of areas where he can add his speed to.”
On the international level, Dressel was the 2013 Junior World Champion in the 100-meter free, delivering a new championship record time of 48.97, and finished third at the event in the 50 free (22.22) . In the 2014-15 freshman class, Dressel ranks first in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free and second in the 100 yard fly.
Kennedy is a second generation Gator, as his father Patrick was a 1984 United State Olympian, the 1984 SEC Swimmer of the Year and part of Florida’s 1983 and 1984 NCAA Championships. Kennedy was the 2013 Virginia High School League A/AA state champion in the 100 back and the 100 fly. He attended Glenvar High School and trained with Carter Center Aquatics.
Kennedy was a 2012-13 Scholastic All-American and a 2012-13 first-team All-State athlete. On the international level, Kennedy is a Junior National Qualifier.
Farese is from St. Petersburg, attended Shorecrest Prep Academy and trained with St. Petersburg Aquatics. Farese was listed as the 15th recruit in the state of Florida by CollegeSwimming.com. Farese boasts top times of 49.91 in the 100 back, 1:52.84 in the 200 back and 1:40.33 in the 200 free. At the 2013 Florida 1A State Championship meet last year, Farese took 5th in the 100 yard free in 46.26.
Gagnon hails from Hatfield, Penn., and attended North Penn High School. Gagnon was a 2012-13 All-American diver and a 2013 Suburban League Champion. Gagnon was coached in high school by Kyle Goldbacher and trained club under Todd Micheal.
“I think Geoffroy is going to fit in very well with our program,” Diving Coach Donnie Craine said. “He is an excellent person. He has a lot of upside and is very talented. He has a lot to learn, especially on the tower, and he is willing to step up to the challenge. He is already farther ahead than some people we’ve had come in before him.”