Disclaimer: Blueseventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The blueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.
Michael Andrew‘s age group career is ending an enigma. But his adult career began last week with perhaps a bit more clarity.
Easily the best-known age group swimmer in years, Andrew was a staple of the junior scene since age 14, breaking notable National Age Group records, breaking world junior records and even winning a short course world title in the 100 IM. But it was never clear exactly what his best events were, nor where his best shot to make Team USA’s top travel squad would come.
A great breaststroker, Andrew has been lost in a crowd of great male breaststrokers. A great IMer, he’s been stuck behind first the legendary IMers who just wouldn’t quit (Michael Phelps & Ryan Lochte) and is now stuck behind the guys finally taking the spotlight in their absence, led by Chase Kalisz.
But as Andrew turned 19 earlier this month, he showed what’s become more and more clear over the past year: the sprint freestyles might be his best ticket to the big leagues.
The 100 free is, of course, the most obvious choice, with up to 4 swimmers getting selected to the 2018 Pan Pacs, up to 6 going to 2019 Worlds and up to 4 more going to 2019 Pan Ams. But Andrew’s biggest wins of late have come in the 50.
That’s where we find our Swim of the Week. Andrew won the TYR Pro Derby in Louisville, Kentucky last weekend, beating a tough international field in grueling multi-round sprint shootout. Andrew was 22.04 in the first round (long course meters), 22.03 in the second and 21.84 in the final to beat three Olympians: Brazil’s Bruno Fratus, Greece’s Kristian Gkolomeev and Japan’s Shinri Shioura.
That time ranks Andrew #7 in the world this season and is the fastest American time on the list by two tenths of a second.
That time also would have placed 2nd at last summer’s U.S. National Championships, sending him to the World Championships behind eventual world champ Caeleb Dressel. It may be Andrew and Nathan Adrian competing for that spot this summer. Adrian topped Andrew in two shootouts in Austin and Mesa, but Andrew won a head-to-head A final swim in Atlanta in between.
You can find video of the TYR Pro Derby meet here.
WE MAKE SWIMMERS.
There isn’t a second that goes by when the team at blueseventy aren’t thinking about you. How you eat, breathe, train, play, win, lose, suffer and celebrate. How swimming is every part of what makes you tick. Aptly named because 70% of the earth is covered in water, blueseventy is a world leader in the pool and open water. Since 1993, we design, test, refine and craft products using superior materials and revolutionary details that equate to comfort, freedom from restriction and ultimately a competitive advantage in the water. This is where we thrive. There is no substitute and no way around it. We’re all for the swim.
Visit blueseventy.com/pages/swim to learn more.
blueseventy is a SwimSwam partner.