Micah Lawrence was born July 20, 1990 in Las Cruces, New Mexico to parents Scott and Caroline Lawrence, both former collegiate athletes. Lawrence has three sisters, Sarah, Alannah, and Debbi. Her sisters Sarah and Alannah swam at New Mexico State and Debbi swam at Northern Michigan. Lawrence spent most of her life growing up in Pflugerville, Texas where she attended Pflugerville High School and swam club at Texas Gold Swimming.
A top recruit coming out of high school, Lawrence decided to attend Auburn University to swim under head coach David Marsh and earn her bachelor’s degree in graphic design.
Her first year as an Auburn Tiger, Lawrence competed at the national level. At the 2009 NCAA Championships, Lawrence qualified to compete in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststrokes and also the 200-yard and 400-yard medley relays. Lawrence earned Honorable Mention All-American Honors with a ninth-place finish on the 400-yard medley relay that went a 3:31.50. She also earned two All-American honors with a fourth-place finish on the 200-yard medley relay (1:36.85) and a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:09.59).
Lawrence’s sophomore year she received three more Honorable Mention All-American Honors at the 2010 NCAA Championships. At NCAA’s Lawrence placed ninth in the 400-yard medley relay, 12th in the 200-yard medley relay, and 16th in the 200-yard breaststroke. Earlier that season, Lawrence claimed her first individual SEC title at the 2010 SEC Championships in the 100-yard breaststroke with a SEC and school record of 59.29. At SEC’s Lawrence was also the breaststroker for the first-place 400-yard medley relay and the second-place 200-yard medley relay.
In the 2010-2011 season, Lawrence’s junior year, she claimed another Honorable Mention All-American Honor. At the 2011 NCAA Championships, Lawrence was a member of the ninth-place 400-yard medley relay team. That season, Lawrence was also named to the All-SEC Second Team, named a CSCAA Scholar All-American, and named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Lawrence, an excellent long course swimmer, decided to take an Olympic red shirt for the 2011-2012 season to train for the Olympic Trials, in hopes of claiming a spot on the US Olympic Team.
National and International Swimming:
In 2007, Lawrence was named to the US National Junior Team. As a member of the team, Lawrence was invited to compete for Team USA at the 2007 Junior Pan-Pacific Championships. At the Junior Pan-Pacs, Lawrence finished 14th in the 400-meter IM, 13th in the 100-meter breaststroke, and third in the 200-meter breaststroke.
Lawrence qualified for her first US Olympic Trials in 2008 in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststrokes. At the 2008 trials, Lawrence qualified for the semi-finals in the 200-meter breaststroke and finished with a 14th-place. She also finished 36th in the 100-meter breaststroke.
As a member of the US National Team, Lawrence earned the opportunity to race at the 2010 Pan-Pacific Championships for the US. At Pan-Pacs, Lawrence swam the 100-meter breaststroke where she finished tenth, and the 200-meter breaststroke where she finished ninth.
In 2011, Lawrence earned herself a spot on the World University Games Team that would compete in Shenzhen, China. In China, Lawrence finished sixth in the 100-meter breaststroke and seventh in the 50-meter breaststroke.
In 2012, Lawrence qualified to compete at her second US Olympic Trials. Going in to her senior year in college at Auburn University, Lawrence decided to take an Olympic red shirt, and train with her former coach David Marsh at SwimMAC Carolina for the Trials. At the 2012 Trials, Lawrence competed in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke. She finaled in the 100-meter breaststroke finishing 7th. In the 200-meter breaststroke, Lawrence posted a final time of 2:23.03 to take second-place and earn herself a spot on the 2012 US Olympic Team. At the 2012 London Olympics, Lawrence finaled in the 200-meter breaststroke and came away with a sixth-place finish in a time of 2:23.27.
The following year, Lawrence competed for a spot on the US World Championship Team at the World Championship Trials (Phillips 66 National Championships). At the trials, Lawrence finished third in the 100-meter breaststroke, just missing the World Championship team. However, Lawrence also finished second in the 200-meter breaststroke, earning herself the chance to compete in Barcelona, Spain on the US World Championship Team. At the 2013 FINA World Championships, Lawrence earned herself a bronze medal in the 200-meter breaststroke.
Lawrence was named to the 2013-2014 US National Team for the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststrokes, making this her fourth consecutive US National Team. While competing for the 2013-2014 US National Team she finished 9th in the 100 meter breaststroke and 5th in the 200 meter breaststroke at the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships.
After US Nationals in August, Lawrence earned a spot on her fifth US National Team, being selected for the 2014-2015 US National Team roster. She currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina where she continues to train with SwimMAC Carolina.
2015 World Championships
Lawrence was selected to the 2015 World Championships roster in Kazan to swim both the 200 and 100-meter breaststroke events. The earlier event in the meet ended being the 100-meter breaststroke, where she finished 19th in the heats, failing to advance to the semi-finals. Later in the meet, Lawrence mentioned that the poor performance affected her mindset going into the 200-meter event.
As the day of the 200 breast rolled around, Lawrence figured she’d vie for a bronze-medal, and expected the winner to be at least a 2:20-finish or even sub-2:20. At the 150-meter mark, Lawrence found herself behind Kanako Watanabe from Japan and Denmark’s Rikke Moller Pedersen. Racing home for a bronze medal, Lawrence charged the last 10 meters, and passed Pedersen for a silver medal.
For her last race in the meet, Lawrence swam the breaststroke leg in the semi-final of the 4×100-meter medley relay. Her leg helped solidify the U.S. relay in the final, where Jessica Hardy took over her position.
2016 U.S. Olympic Trials
Lawrence finished fourth in the 200 breaststroke, finishing 54 one-hundredths behind Molly Hannis and missing a spot on the Olympic Team.
Time away from the pool and Comeback
Sumrall didn’t seriously train for a year after the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials where she placed 4th. After that disappointment, her career seemed to be finished, though she ranks as the 2nd-fastest American of all time in the 200m breaststroke thanks to her bronze medal performance at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona (2:21.74). Inspired by the swimmers she coaches at Chattahoochee Gold near Atlanta, GA, Sumrall got back in the water and attempted to branch out and improve her secondary strokes so that she was no longer “all breaststroke all the time.” She made her competitive debut at the 2018 Pro Swim Series stop in Atlanta at the beginning of March.
2018 U.S. National Championships
After having success at several meets throughout the spring of 2018, Sumrall won the 200 breaststroke (2:22.06) ahead of favorites Bethany Galat and Lilly King, giving her the fourth fastest time in the world in 2018 and putting her on the US Pan Pac team. She also picked up the bronze medal in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.34).
2018 Pan Pacific Championships
On day 1, Micah swam the 100 breast, placing 5th in the final heat with a time of 1:06.56. On day 3, she swam prelims of the 200 IM (2:18.09). Micah saved the best for last and finished off her pan pacs performance with a gold in the women’s 200 breast, touching for first in a time of 2:21.88, less than 2 tenths shy of her personal best. It was, however, the fastest Sumrall, the 2nd fastest American in history, has swum in 5 years.
-Originally developed by Elle Meinholz