13-Year Old Michael Andrew Posts First Senior Nationals Cuts

13-year old Michael Andrew is certainly not the first 13-year old to ever qualify for Senior Nationals; however, they are so few-and-far-between, especially on the men’s side of the pool, that it is a notable accomplishment indeed.

Andrew swam a 1:50.54 in the 200 IM at the Jenks Sectional Championship meet last weekend to hit his first Winter Senior Nationals qualifying time. He’s still two seconds away from Gray Umbach’s 1:48.08 National Age Group Record in the race, but even in the bottom-half of the age group, Andrew has become just the third 13-14 under 1:51 in this race (Gunnar Bents was a 1:50.34 in 2010). Andrew’s swim is far-and-away the best by a 13-year old, and is about five seconds better than Umbach was at the same age.

Andrew swam at the Winter Junior Nationals last year, and has now graduated to Winter Senior Nationals; he will have to wait until the long course season for a shot at Summer Nationals cuts.

Andrew, when in the younger 12 & under age groups, focused mostly on shorter 50’s (though he had a handful of 100 and 200 National Age Group Records as well). Now that he’s progressed into 13-14’s, he and his father/coach Peter Andrew have shown the ability to adapt their ultra-low yardage, ultra-race-pace training techniques to longer races like this 200 IM.

In other races, Andrew this weekend nearly matched his best time in the 50 free with a 20.96, and also swam best times in the 100 free (46.06), 100 back (51.05), 100 breast (57.03), and 100 fly (49.72), all of which rank him very high on the National Age Group All-Time lists.

These swims are already huge improvements from his times just a week ago at the Missouri Valley Championship meet.

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I bet he did so well because of the incredible air quality at Jenks. Jenks has, without doubt, the most amazing air quality I’ve ever experienced. It’s like there’s not even a pool in there. NO WONDER kids swim fast. Great swims for Michael, congrats!

I think they should move a grand prix meet to Jenks, that pool is awesome!


I was near the edge of the pool most of the weekend, and saw Michael swim several times. The thing that I was struck by, besides his great times, was that when he won the 200 IM, he looked really happy with the win. That speaks of intrinsic motivation. Watch out, world.


Not sure how being happy with a win (external product that is ultimately out of his control) is a sign of internal motivation. Perhaps he would have to be happy with the time and not the place?


can we get more info about his training?


Cool feature. Also interested very much in his dad’s ultra low yardage philosophy. As an alum of age group swimming, i always felt like yardage was extremely over valued.

CAM, Great post and most excellent summary of Ultra Short Training at Race Pace. However, I think that this conversation should occur right here on SwimSwam. SwimSwam owners, Braden, Mel, and Garrett…. I would propose if you guys are up for it, we conduct a virtual SwimSwam experiment like no other. It could go something like this: 1. Send out an invitation/challenge/survey to all SwimSwam coaches who may be interested in experimenting with Ultra Short Training at Race Pace for a set time. Collectively, we figure out the best ways to apply this philosophy effectively in a group setting by going over all the principles of Ultra Short Training at Race Pace and compiling all the successful methods already tried… Read more »



I am starting Jackson on the program this week. Can you email me some sets to start with? I know he needs technique work – and I already purchased “the bible” from Dr. Rushall – and we’ll be working on improving several areas of his stroke – but he’s just now getting back into the swing of things since his surgery. I’ll be doing this one on one as none of the coaches in the area buy into this practice (as you can imagine).
Glad you guys have found a home and are settled.

Indie Coach

Hey there
We were Just speaking about you guys the other day .I think that is fantastic that you will be able to work with Jackson . He will respond very well to ultra short training at race pace , I know there are sets etc in the book and when you get into it you’ll adapt to Jackson .
So that will be fun , I know Michael enjoyed racing him and we were concerned about what happened to you guys . If you have more Questions send me your e-mail if that works for Braden .
What surgery did he have ?


Pete – email is [email protected] He fell last February and tore the labrum in his right shoulder. We were misdiagnosed til about May 2012, and he finally had the surgery in June. He swam his first meet in February this year. Did well – considering being out of the pool for a year – but it’s just something about the current training here and in Florida that we didn’t feel right about. Did his first USRT last night – working on technique, underwater, smaller kicks, etc, and he said it was a lot harder than he thought – which is good. Unfortunately I’m just at a place where (like you) I need to find pool space and NO TEAM in… Read more »

Indie Coach

So that explains it , how does the shoulder feel after some fast swimming ? Man I’d rather hurt a foot than a shoulder . I’m glad you’re back at it though as Jackson is a fierce competitor and it’s going to be a great day when we can have the boys head to head again .
So you guys did make the move to Florida then? Well thanks for you’re contact , I’ll drop you a line.


My son has been doing this type of training for distance. It worked on his 500. I was wondering if you thought it would work on the 1000 and 1650. He is now doing 40 50’s holding 29 with 30 seconds rest. 4 times a week. We didn’t test it yet in a meet.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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