Faster Than Dressel: 16-Year-Old Michael Pickett Nails 22.34 50 Free PB

2019 NEW ZEALAND OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

While competing on night 4 of the 2019 New Zealand Open Championships, 16-year-old Michael Pickett fired off a monster mark in the men’s 50m freestyle. En route to silver tonight in Auckland behind winner Daniel Hunter and his time of 22.27, teen Pickett produced a monster effort of 22.34 to fall just .07 outside of gold, but check-in with a new New Zealand 16 Years Age Record.

Entering these championships, North Shore’s Pickett’s lifetime best sat at the 22.66 he produced at the New Zealand Age Group Championships this past April. Before that, he competed at the Junior Pan Pacs Championships where he collected New Zealand’s only medal, a bronze in the 50m free in his first sub-23 second time ever.

Since turning 16 he has dropped from 23.08 to 22.66 and from age 14 to 15 he dropped from 23.96 to 23.08. His 22.66 already qualified for this summer’s World Junior Championships, but his 22.34 this evening dips under the 22.40 development consideration time spelled out in the New Zealand Selection Policy for the Senior World Championships taking place in Gwangju next month.

With his swim, Pickett now overtakes the top spot in the world rankings this season for 18&U men:

New #1 – 22.34 Pickett, Michael NZL 2019 New Zealand Open Championships
2 22.45 Selin, Artem RUS 37. Internationales Hi-Point Meeting Zurich SUI 03/03/2019
3 22.69 Liendo, Joshua CAN 2019 Canadian Swimming Trials Toronto 04/07/2019
4 22.78 Curtiss, David USA 2019 Mel Zajac Jr International Vancouver CAN 05/24/2019
5 22.86 Burdisso, Federico ITA 2019 Geneva International Geneva SUI 01/20/2019

For additional perspective, Pickett’s time would check-in as the 2nd fastest American 15-16-year-old ever behind Michael Andrew, faster than American Caeleb Dressel was at his age.

22.33 Michael Andrew SI RPC 2016 ST Arena Pro Swim at Austin 1/16/2016 Austin
22.39 Caeleb Dressel FL BSS 2013 Speedo Junior National 8/5/2013 Irvine
22.52 Adam Chaney OH RAYS 2018 Summer Nationals 7/29/2018 Irvine
22.56 Brian Hess ME LRSC 7/21/2016 Saint John
22.64 David Curtiss NJ UN 2018 PV AP LC Y Nationals 8/2/2018 College Park

Pickett is another exciting product of St. Peters Western in Australia under the guidance of Assistant Head Coach John Gatfield. St. Peters Western is also home to such elite talent as Ariarne Titmus, Mitch Larkin, and Jack Cartwright.

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DMacNCheez
2 years ago

…but slower than Andrew

anonymoose
Reply to  DMacNCheez
2 years ago

yet

Troy
Reply to  DMacNCheez
2 years ago

There’s still time.

Anonymous
Reply to  DMacNCheez
2 years ago

…but faster than you.

Unless you’re Andrew.

SMP
2 years ago

Jonathan Tan SGP (17) 22.52 50th Singapore National Age Group Championships 24 Mar 2019

mcitaly
2 years ago

Wrong info regarding 18&U ranking: as you can see from the link below, at least in Europe, the faster boy is SIMONS, Kenzo (2001,Netherlands) who swam 22.20 in Eindhoven (NED) last Saturday (15 June) followed by SELIN, Artem (2002, Russia) in 22.26 swam 7 Apr 2019 in Den Haag (NED) (here the link regarding 50 freestyle ranking among 18&U in Europe https://www.swimrankings.net/index.php?page=rankingDetail&rankingClubId=110128337&firstPlace=1).

So by assuming that in world no other boys swam faster than the two aforomentionated swimmers, currently MIchael Pickett is third: however it is possible to assume that he’s the faster among 16Ys.

Let me suggest you to always check swimrankings a very useful website updated on a daily basis

Swimmer
Reply to  mcitaly
2 years ago

The times are correct, Selin is starting for Germany though.

Dee
2 years ago

Incredible swim, good on the lad. He’s faster than most at his age, and slower than a few, so ot sure the relevance of Dressel? Unless perhaps as a reference point for how fast the swim was?

Admin
Reply to  Dee
2 years ago

That’s exactly right – we could’ve picked many, many reference points, but Dressel is the defending World Champion

Dee
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

Thanks for the quick response, appreciated.

eagleswim
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

now do dolphin

Scott Griffith
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

Coach

Scott Griffith
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

I believe coach is John Gatfield? Still a St Peter’s Product though…..

Bob
Reply to  Scott Griffith
2 years ago

Yes

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Braden Keith
2 years ago

Or could’ve gone with the fastest U.S. time since then, which would be MA.

The Ready Room
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
2 years ago

He wasn’t faster than MA at that age.

Samesame
2 years ago

Lovely kid. Muscly for 16 as you’d expect. That’s fast though!!

Swack
2 years ago

TBH five+ years ago I would have said this kid must have hit puberty at 10, is peaking right now, and isn’t gonna get any faster. But Dressel and MA have changed everything.

Dee
Reply to  Swack
2 years ago

He’s clearly a big lad, muscular even for a sprinter his age, but no male trained by a competent coach should peak at 16, injuries permitting. Muscles mature slowly; more slowly than mass can build. A 16yo boy with the exact same muscle mass as a 25yo man will not be as strong as the 25yo, unless he is a freak of nature.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Dee
2 years ago

Ben Proud could fit this kid into one of his biceps.

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Swim analyst, businesswoman.

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