Michael Andrew cracks 1:44 in 200 back to rebreak NAG at NASA Showcase finals

The clock to Michael Andrew‘s 15th birthday continues to tick, but the Indie Swimming record-breaker is making the most of his last few days.

Andrew re-broke the 13-14 National Age Group record in the 200 yard back, taking nearly another full second off the mark in finals after first breaking his own mark in prelims. He went 1:43.15, meaning he’s smashed almost two seconds off the record in the course of one day – the old record stood at 1:45.14 from March of this year.

Here’s a quick splits comparison between Andrew’s prelims and finals swims:

Prelims: 24.27/26.35/27.03/26.37 = 1:44.02
Finals:  23.81/25.72/26.82/26.80 = 1:43.15

It appears that after finishing his morning swim with a great final 50, Team Indie decided to go after the front half of the race more at night, something that turned out very well for Andrew & Company.

Though he’s still quite a ways off the very-fast 15-16 NAG of 1:40.90 in the event from NCAA champion Ryan Murphy, Andrew has cut off just about half the distance between him and that record in one single weekend, and has yet to officially turn 15 (that happens Friday).

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51 Comments on "Michael Andrew cracks 1:44 in 200 back to rebreak NAG at NASA Showcase finals"

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Holy cow.

SMASH. btw. 3.5 ahead of Murphy/Conger. Wow.

Question, not an attack. Doesn’t USRPT have kids peak earlier? So having them peak at 18/19 versus 21/22. If this is true, it would be hard to use people like conger, who comes from a more traditional background, to make projections on Michael’s future.

I don’t know much about USRPT besides the basics, but I don’t think any program can deadlock an athlete into peaking at a certain age. I think that’s more up to the athlete’s own physiology and inner drive to compete.

In theory, the same rules apply to athletes in USRPT as in other methods of training… they peak when they peak. Could be 20. Could be 24. Could be 28. Same as any athlete in any sport.

I doubt that MA is peaking per se – he’s dropping time and going best times left and right like a lot of other 14 year olds – he’s just doing it at times that are jaw-droppingly fast. I do think, however, that given his near-adult size, advanced stroke mechanics, and his near 24/7 training focus that MA has made a lot of early gains that a lot of other elite swimmers don’t make until they’re much older. It will be interesting to see how his cohort closes the gap (and it will) as they begin to grow into adults, refine their stroke mechanics, and commit themselves to serious training programs. MA is also quickly reaching speeds where success will… Read more »

We’ll have to see how it plays out. So many kids are going so much faster today, which we all know.

Just for fun I looked in SWIMS for some information about the 400IM. In the 2001 season when Phelps was 15 and swam that time in he was 3rd best in country among 18&U that year. Lochte was 16 and had the 42nd best time among 18&U at 4.00.01, 9th among 15-16.

In the current 2014 season, 225 18&U boys broke 4:00.00 in 400IM. 73 of whom were age 15 or 16.

Steve Nolan

He’s got a lot of room to improve w/ his underwaters. So if anything, tightening those up’ll help him keep dropping time.

Also, I think “peaking early” is an overblown fear that a lot of swimmers have. Why wouldn’t you want to swim as fast as you can as early as you can? And what’s the alternative? Intentionally trying to swim slow or retard your development? Phelps is, in some ways, the poster child of peaking early. From age 15 onward, Phelps improved far less than other swimmers at those ages – but he was already a world-class swimmer with a world record under his belt. From ages 18 to 27, Phelps was able to perform at or near his lifetime bests in several events. All peaking early netted him was a nearly decade-long run of dominance, dozens of Olympic medals, millions… Read more »

These are very astute/thoughtful comments. Well stated!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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