While the boys at Cal swam their decathlon against Cal Poly on Friday afternoon, 14-year old professional swimmer Michael Andrew took part in double that as part of the Northland United Swim Team’s sprint decathlon in Kansas City, and his times might catch some attention.
100 Fly – 49.37
50 Back – 23.31
100 Breast – 57.96
50 Free – 20.77
200 IM -1:53.94
50 Fly – 22.20
100 Back – 50.37
50 breast – 26.41
100 Free – 46.10
100 IM – 50.89
No records yet (he has until April 18th to take on the yards National Age Group Record book), but we can make a pretty interesting comparison to what we saw at the Cal Poly Pentathlon.
Adding up Andrew’s 100 fly, back, breast, free and IM times total to 4:14.69. That swim would have been second to only Ryan Murphy at the Cal Poly pentathlon over the weekend, and would’ve bettered swimmers like Josh Prenot, Marcin Tarczynski, and Tyler Messerschmidt.
Of course, there’s a few things to consider. One is that Andrew’s schedule was a bit different (10 events over two days with those 50′s mixed in). Also, we have to remember that this pentathlon schedule rewards sprint versatility. While most swimmers, by the time they get to college, are working to focus on a few events, Andrew is an incredible swimmer in just about everything. There aren’t many swimmers at any age that can swim a 46.1 in the 100 free and a 57.9 in the 100 breast in September (Murphy was a 45.6 in the 100 free, for example, but only 59.6 in the 100 breast; Prenot was 56.0 in the 100 breast, but only 47.6 in the 100 free).
The other thing to consider is that Andrew’s training allows him to be faster in September than anyone else (this is why he probably won’t be in last place at the upcoming Fastest Man in Texas shootout, though he probably won’t win either). This is a reminder of why the Ultra Short Race Pace training methodology is so exciting for the swimming community.
Not because it would upstage the last decade of Olympic success from the more traditional peak-and-taper cycle; not because of the thousands of swimmers who take it as a personal attack to the millions of yards of training they’ve done; and not because, really, of anything to do with Michael Andrew and his decision to go pro younger than any other swimmer in United States history.
Rather, it would bet because it allows swimmers to be fast in September. Surely, swimmers like Josh Prenot would win this sort of competition against Andrew if it were swum in March on a taper. If Ultra Short Race Pace training is perfected, though, it would bring legitimate rise to the prospects of professional year-round, high-level swimming. If you love this sport, then these sorts of results have to be exciting.