Michael Andrew Re-Breaks 100 Breast, 100 Free NAG Records; Goes Under 54 Seconds

  48 Braden Keith | March 29th, 2014 | Club, National, News

14-year old pro swimmer Michael Andrew has re-broken his own National Age Group Record in the 100 yard breaststroke, swimming a 53.88 to win the 14 & under division at the 2014 NASA Junior National Cup. Andrew split 25.07/28.81 in the race, which clears the 54.04 that he did at the Jenks Sectional on March 7th.

Andrew became the firs 13-14 to go under 56 seconds, then the first to go under 55 seconds, and he’s now the first to go under 54 seconds in this event, which shows just how far he (and Reece Whitley) have taken this record in the last year.

Andrew now holds the 6 fastest times in this event in the history of the age group, and is 1.8 seconds clear of Reece Whitley’s second-ranked 55.61.

He wasn’t the fastest swimmer overall at this meet in the event, Texas-bound high school senior Austin Temple was a 52.87 in the 16 & up division. That time is within a tenth of what Texas’ breaststroker split on their 400 medley relay at NCAA’s on Thursday.

Andrew followed that swim with a 43.90 in the 100 free, which also broke his own National Age Group Record of 44.16 set in February. Andrew split 20.66/23.24 en route to his second record-breaking swim of the session.

In This Story


  1. Lester says:

    I do not any details of how Michael plans to work with Rowdy Gaines and Josh Davis but one can assume anything related to Michael’s training would be USRPT. Better question to ask of Josh Davis who posts on these boards or the Andrew Family who I know at least Michaela regularly checks this site. All I know is that Peter said that Michael would get to work with those guys.

  2. Greg Tucker says:


    Interested in the Rowdy comment. You know in what capacity Michael plans to work with Rowdy? In a USRPT format?

  3. Lester says:

    My son who is 10 was somewhat upset when Peter told us of the likelihood of them heading to Florida. Like most age groupers in Mo Valley, he thinks of Michael up there already with Phelps and Lochte. He wasn’t anymore excited to get Lochte’s autograph yesterday than he was when he first got Michael’s autograph two year’s ago when he was just 13. I noticed that every high point winner at Midwest all stars was just as excited to get photographed with Michael as they were to get their trophies….and they all made sure to be photographed with him. Peter is a great coach who relates very well with those he works with. He has helped a number of swimmers in the area with technique and form. Its obviously the best for Michael but unfortunate for area swimming. It will be a big adjustment for the Andrew family to go live in Florida full time than living in a log cabin off a dirt road in rural Kansas.

  4. Lester says:

    Peter works with my son every now and then, and he told me back in February that they will most likely move to Florida within a year. He said they were going to be away from Kansas until after Charlotte in mid May, so he wouldn’t be able to work with my son again until after the prolonged sojourn. He made it seem like after this run at the 13-14 NAG records they would primarily focus on making the Youth Olympics. And then after that they would most likely move to Florida. He made it seem that the primary reason for the move would be for Michael to start working with Rowdy Gaines who lives in the Orlando area. He also said the move allows Michael to have year round access to a really nice LCM pool that would cost less than $10 a month for membership. I took it also took it that the beach, weather, and year round outdoor swimming would be ancillary benefits of the pending move behind working with Mr. Gaines (and Josh Davis) and the year round LC pool access. Peter said the prospective move to Florida wasn’t definite but highly likely.

    • sven says:

      That’s a shame (for me, anyway, as I always enjoy seeing Michael race at meets around the KC area), but it makes sense. The competition is so much better down there than it is around the midwest.

    • sven says:

      P.S. thanks for the inside scoop!

  5. bobo gigi says:

    In his interview on Florida Swim Network (you can watch it with the link I posted above), and if I have well understood, he said he still had 2 meets before he turns 15.
    Next week the Daytona Beach Spring Open in long course.
    And on April 16 the age group swimming elite showcase classic in Clearwater in yards.
    It will be interesting because he will turn 15 on April 18 during the meet.
    He swims a lot in Florida for one month now. I’ve understood they plan to locate in Florida and train there in the future.

    • sven says:

      Did you hear that they plan to or did you hear that they’ve considered it?

      • Rafael says:

        Will he not have to go after the quali for national team if he wants any chance for Worlds 2015 and Rio 2016? Probably Only Breast event he will be able to qualify… but it is not this year already the selection?

        • Braden Keith says:

          Rafael – “National Team” and “Worlds Team” are two different things in the US. But 2015 Worlds qualify this year, 2016 Olympics will still qualify in the summer of 2016.

  6. swim says:

    He could go down like Ohio great Joe Hudepohl and never reach his full potential

  7. Ande says:

    Congratulations Michael! You are the most remarkable male 13 14 American swimmer ever! It’s incredible how you’ve gotten faster week after week after week, more so, you’ve proven it’s possible to be consistently fast week after week, shattering the notion that a taper is something you hit or miss. You’ve proven you don’t have to have a weak stroke. I hope you keep racing each weekend until you age up.

    Swimming fast in meets is simple,
    swim fast in practice, kick fast in practice. Remember one mans miracle is another mans engineering. USRPT Works! If you keep improving and go on to break 15 16 & 17 18 NAGs you will thrust yourself upon the world stage. If you keep breaking records, it could represent a paradigm shift for swimming training.
    like SDKs ( streamline dolphin kick ) or freestyle flip turns in backstroke
    At some point you might destroy the dogma on how to get faster, forcing the world of swimming to adapt to adopt or get left behind.

    Time will tell.
    Times will tell.
    I look forward to seeing how your story unfolds.

  8. bobo gigi says:

    Funny to read always the same debate about Michael Andrew. :mgreen:

    Congrats to him.

    Race replays and nice interviews of Michael Andrew and Simone Manuel here.

  9. Sven says:

    A couple thoughts regarding Michael Andrew’s ongoing victory lap of the 13-14 NAG circuit:

    1) Michael is so far showing no signs of detraining, despite racing every weekend for the last forever. His improvements are getting smaller and smaller, though. He’s getting faster, so diminishing returns are to be expected, to some extent. I don’t think it’s that time yet, however. I think it’s more likely that, due to training less than usual, his improvement is a bit slower than usual. Another kind of huge point is that, throughout most of the year, we’ll see a couple of weeks between meets with him. Lately, he’s been racing every weekend, so it’s kind of to be expected that if he’s improving at the same rate, the increased frequency would necessitate smaller drops. But what if the decreased training is actually only maintaining his current fitness, instead of improving it? Well…

    2) It’s possible Michael hasn’t gotten any fitter or stronger over the past month. As a few people noted on his recent 1:45 IM, his 100 times suggested he should be much faster than 1:47. Since his pace for each stroke is constantly changing, his 200 IM is constantly being thrown a curveball. He’s having more time right now to fine tune his races and figure out what exactly works best for him before everything gets thrown off again. Obviously this is most notable in his IM since it’s a bit more strategic when you have multiple strokes involved, but we’re even seeing improvements in the other races. This talk of fine tuning leads us to my final point…

    3) Any detraining that may occur during MA’s victory lap of the 13-14 NAGs will be worth it in the long run for the massive amount of race experience he is gathering right now. As mentioned, he’s learning to make more connections between the simulated racing he does in practice and the actual racing he does in meets, resulting in drops even though his fitness may not actually be improving. In short, he’s learning to swim smarter. Every weekend him and his father are getting more feedback from his races, which gives them more things to simulate in practice. The sheer amount of data that they can glean from all this is huge, and I think it will serve him well in the future, even IF his conditioning isn’t improving right now.

    That’s what I’m getting out of all this, anyway.

  10. Floppy says:

    For the record… I’m totally on board with Team Andrew. I think he’s doing great things.

    For the growth advantage – it matters less and less.
    There are plenty of 6’4-5″ teenagers out there who can’t swim nearly as fast as MA. I’ve grown – at most – one inch since I was his age (though a few dozen pounds). I don’t quite understand how strength training fits into his program, but I’m sure he will find a way to continue to keep getting stronger.

    As for USRPT –
    It’s great to see someone challenging conventional wisdom. It chafes a lot of swammers (myself included) to think that the thousands of miles we ground out might have been counter-productive. But I’m sure there were older swimmers who begrudged my generation for working underwaters so hard. That’s progress – you don’t become the best by doing the same thing everyone always has.

    I just wanted to say that Michael Andrew has CLEARLY shown his talent to the US swimming world. In a few years, hopefully nobody will remember him for Age Group records. It just seems a little myopic to keep focusing on SCY meets with little or no competition, when the US National team for 2014-15 is selected in a few months.

    And… at the end of the day, my/our advice doesn’t matter much. I’ve never been a minor celebrity like Michael, but I hope he’s mature enough not to take anonymous online comments with a grain of salt.

    • Floppy says:

      … And I hope my lack of grammar in that last sentence further drives home the point about not taking internet comments too seriously.

      • Rafael says:

        But if you compare MA to Thorpe or Phelps.. the later 2 were nowhere as ripped and strong as MA is.. if you check Thorpe/Phelps pics at 15.. Phelps looks like a teen.. Thorpe almost a kid… no muscles at all.. while MA is ripped already…

        But I have to agree with that they should stop focusing on SCY and go for LCM… most people overreact when anybody say anything about it.. but the big boys games is LCM..

        • Sven says:

          Michael is ripped, yes, but I think that’s more a result of him not having an ounce of fat on him than one of him having tons of muscle. It’s certainly there, but I don’t see any reason why this has any relevance to two swimmers who trained for vastly different events at that age. Sprint training results in more tone than a more aerobic approach.

          If Phelps had trained as a sprinter instead of 200 fly/400 IM/tons of yardage as a youngster, he would have looked like MA does now. Same with Thorpe. I’m sorry if I’m coming across as condescending, here, I just don’t see your point.

          He’s far from his muscular prime, that will develop with time and continued training.

        • Steve Nolan says:

          Speak of the devil…loogit this gem. Phelps’s voice sounds exactly the same, but just coming out of a baby hahahaha.

  11. WHOKNOWS says:

    He has set marks for others to beat… Before Andrew, there was Murphy and Conger, than there was Dressel and Condorelli…. look for Whitley to make a charge and then there is Lasco, Marciano. and Magness…. and who knows 😉

  12. Warren says:

    I find it hard to believe that people keep criticizing this kid. Can anyone tell me one reason what Michael Andrew is doing wrong? Seriously, this kid is doing everything right. The treatment he has been giving is totally unfair. All he has done is doing what he loves and that’s swimming fast and doing it on a regular basis. I just don’t understand the hate, I really don’t. All the people saying that he is going to burn out like age group stars of the past. Michael Andrew is special and that’s what people are struggling to deal with. God has never made one mistake.

  13. Allen Hoang says:

    Why do some people think they know better what’s best for MA than MA and his parents/coach?

  14. Kevin T says:

    He did it! A 53 in the breast and a 43 in the free! Did we ever think a 14 year old would EVER post such times in our lifetime? He did it!

    But he has done “the impossible” before. With his 47 second fly, 1:45 im, his 47 back, heck pretty much every swim he does is totally off the charts.

    Don’t worry, he will be fine in LCM. I am confident that he will be fine. Within a year or so he will no longer be “just a great kid swimmer” but he will start becoming a household name.

  15. Justin Thompson says:

    I like how the conversation always turns around this kid. A couple of years ago people criticized him for not racing the top swimmers in his age group like he had an unlimited travel budget. Then people moved on and claimed it was just a result of his early development and he couldn’t beat records in the longer distances or in LCM for that matter. Now that he owns records in races in distances from 50 to 400, in SCY and LCM, and in EVERY STROKE, here you have people saying he’s a bum because he’s breaking NAGs every week. How far the conversation has turned and now we are talking about him on the same level as Phelps.

    People really are tore up that this kid and his dad have done it their way and despite all the criticism have had unparalleled success for a 13-14 year old american. He has a couple of weeks before he ages up and why not try to put these records further out of reach? The great thing about a NAG is that it’s a good measuring stick and motivation for a swimmer at that point of their career.

    BTW…he’s getting close to the 15-16 NAGs while he’s on this run. He’ll probably take out some of those NAGs while he’s 15 which is pretty impressive in itself. Sure Phelps may or may not have been concerned with NAGs, but if you are comparing Michael Andrew with Michael Phelps then the kid and his dad might be doing something right and maybe, just maybe, they don’t need the peanut gallery giving them advice:)

    • Swimmer Kid says:

      I agree with you 100% percent

      • DDias says:

        I agree[2].

        I found funny when people are talking about Andrew having to decide to race with the BIG BOYS when guys like Magnussen and Chieriguini begin their swim career at sixteen, and Cielo become a (TRUE) freestyler at fifteen.

        Let the kid have fun.

    • Lane Four says:

      I don’t consider myself to be in the “peanut gallery”. I am asking a question because I would like an answer. Comparing Andrews to Phelps is inevitable. If Michael Andrews makes it to the big leagues, more than swimming fans will be making those comparisons. The big time media will be doing it over and over so get used to it. The swimming world is a very small community in the big picture. Once the media gets ahold of this kid, everything is going to change for him. So, I will ask this once more without snarky comments. Is Team Andrews looking to competing beyond the NAG horizon?

      • NDB says:

        Michael and his Father have said that their goal is to swim in Rio. I am sure that you can glean your answer from there.

    • Mike says:

      Who called him a bum? Is everybody on here just supposed to be fanboys? If you are going to have articles about you every day people are going to ask questions and give their opinions. As far as I can tell Michael and his family are far less insecure about other peoples questions/thoughts than some of the fans commenting here. One thing I can tell you about swimmers/swimmers is that they like to delve into the nuances of the sport. If you don’t want people to demonize the Andrews for trying something different then stop demonizing others for having a different thought process.

    • swimzlazy says:

      Justin take it easy, no need to get offensive. These people are speculating here and want him to succeed just as much as you. I have watched this kid and followed every meet he’s had this year. I was a huge fan of Phelps because of his talent and ability to consistently improve and break records and I would LOVE for this kid to do the same as he gets older.

      I think Michael Andrew is Bowman’s worst nightmare, and I can guarantee that he is following how this kid is doing even if he were to ever deny it. Phelps was Bowman’s baby and the fact that his training regime and philosophy contradicts Michael Andrew’s approach is worrying him I’m sure (in terms of his credibility).

      I agree with you that this year and THIS year only is when Michael should continue winning and improving in these age group meets. It will help his confidence tremendously and give him the desire moving forward to keep improving. So what if these people are critiquing him, from what I have read they just want him to succeed and are taking into consideration his best interest. As long as you see people posting comments on SwimSwam rather than CNN website once every 4 years should give you the sense that they follow swimming and Michael’s performance.

      Stand up everyone, and give your input as much as you want in terms of his training approach. This kid is the real deal and I would LOVE to see 9 golds at a single olympics!!

  16. Richard Henderson says:

    I think Chas Morton infamy is more than unfair. He had a good college career at Stanford. He may be very happy with the way his career unfolded!!

  17. John Sampson says:

    I think he needs to start focusing on LCM training for the summer now! We all are in awe of his crazy SCY times, but like floppy stated- he needs to look towards the horizon and start thinking about the big boy stage! I don’t quite know how USRPT works or if it would be counter productive to do a solid month of just training, but LCM season is fastly approaching and if he wants to make the junior national team even he will have some work to do! Best of luck and congrats on the additional records!

    • Lane Four says:

      Didn’t Bowman start focusing Phelps’ performances for the big stage by the time he was 13 or 14? NAG records meant very little to him. It was the world stage he was looking at. Does anyone know if this is what Michael’s dad is doing now?

      • Lester says:

        The Andrew Family likes for Michael to break records. But what family wouldn’t want their 14 year old kid to break records and have fun while he is doing it. There is no question Michael loves swimming, breaking records, and the publicity he gets. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. There is also no question that what Michael is doing right now – breaking age group records – is great for the sport. The publicity for the sport of swimming because of Michael is tremendous.

        Peter has set a schedule to maximize the chances for Michael to break 13-14 NAG records and improve upon the records he already has. During the week he turns 15 he will be competing in the NASA Showcase Classic in Clearwater for one last attempt to further all the SCY records. However, their main priority for this year is for Michael to make the US Team for the Youth Olympic Games in China. Peter believes this would be tremendous experience for Michael in his future attempts to make the US team in 2016. I know they are focusing on Mesa and Charlotte for Michael to earn a spot on the US Youth Olympic team.

    • anonymous says:

      “I don’t quite know how USRPT works…” sandwiched in between comments about what he should be doing.

      Says it all. Not every post on the internet needs to be brilliant but yours unfortunately seems to fall quite short of that standard.

      • John Sampson says:

        Please excuse my ignorance to USRPT I’m stilling reading and learning about it. What I want to know about it (and where my confusion was aimed) was at the affects of not racing every weekend. Is there a long term projectory with USPRT? Or do you train on a week by week basis and redirect your focus every week? With Michael racing every week, it would make sense that he focuses his training during the week for the upcoming weekend. So will we ever see him take a break from meets? Or does a swimmer on USRPT set long term goals or is it just baby step goals, one meet at a time?

        Would training for a straight month be reasonable for someone on USRPT? Because it seems that for Michael his time drops are becoming smaller and smaller in his 100s, so would that have an effect? I was not trying to dictate what he should do, I understand he is most likely trying to take advantage of every opportunity he possibly can before he ages up. But for the amount of publicity and praise that he receives on this website it would be cool to see him start taking more records in LCM where it can be compared to the whole world and not just the US.

        I will try to keep my “short of brilliant” comments to myself next time but thank you for the anonymous criticism!

        • sven says:

          It’s a series of micro goals. You don’t base your practice paces on what you want to go at your next meet, you base your expectations at the next meet on what paces you’ve been able to hold in practice. If you can hold that pace for too many repetitions, you pick a faster time next practice. If your practice paces get faster or you can hold more of them at the same pace, then you can reasonably expect a drop in your next meet.

          The ideal season under a USRPT program is one where you make small, consistent improvements the whole season, culminating in you fastest times being at the championship meet. It’s a bit different from the more prevalent method of not expecting best times in season, and having a single meet with huge drops.

          Regardless, in both methods, the end goal is the same. I guess, to answer your question a little more clearly, frequent racing shouldn’t be detrimental to his success as long as his training is consistent.

    • sven says:

      Would it be counter productive to do a month of just training? No way. The question you should be asking yourself is: is it counter productive to race every weekend with Michael’s training program. The evidence of the past month seems to also be “no way.”

  18. floppy says:

    MARCH 2000…
    Y2K hasn’t destroyed society… N*SYNC are doing their best to destroy society… and a young Michael Phelps is approaching his 15th birthday. He’s training long course to take on Tom Malchow and Tom Dolan. Won’t beat them that year, but he does become the youngest male national teamer in the modern era.
    He wasn’t desperately trying to run up the NAG scoreboard before he aged up.

    At this point, we get it: Michael Andrew, you are ridiculously fast… for your age. Now is the time to start looking ahead, and trying to become the fastest MAN in swimming, not just the fastest boy. Good luck – we’re all looking forward to seeing what you can do.

    • Agreed. Breaking NAG records is one thing, racing amongst men is another. Can’t wait!

    • KP says:

      Floppy: Remember, this is supposed to be fun. So many kids are home just playing video games. And he is having fun, and having a good time seeing the country and spending quality time with his dad (whose birthday was today, by the way) The years kids spend time with their parents go by quickly. And, with this style of training, he is teaching his body to perform at the highest level, while making technique improvements at maximum speed. Did you see how little time he had between those 2 swims? It would be a big advantage in international meets where you swim each event up to 3 times. I see real improvements in his technique in the last few months. Peter is a fine coach. And Michael IS working on trying to become the fastest man in swimming. It just looks a little different than kids who grind away and peak (if they are lucky) a few time a year. And aren’t we lucky to be watching this? I check Swimswam like some folks check the stock market!!! I’M having FUN!!!

    • sven says:

      I’m a bit confused here. He is dropping time, breaking barriers we never thought would even be approached, and gaining a ton of race experience. What exactly is he doing wrong? Yes, he’s breaking NAGs, but I don’t understand how getting faster is undesirable when trying to become the best. If you want to be faster than Phelps was at 15, it’s helpful to be faster than Phelps at 14 (which, again, is an expectation only imposed on him by people who don’t know him, and not by Michael’s parents. Their endgame isn’t Rio as a 17 year old, that’s just one stepping stone in their path).

      Yes, he is ridiculously fast for his age, and as he becomes a man, his times will become ridiculously fast for a man. You can only say that his gains have been because of growth for so long before it becomes a silly cop out. The gains he’s made are not proportional with a change in height or weight. At some point, you have to admit that what he’s doing is working for him and that there is no indication that he should change things.

  19. Law Dawg says:

    Those times are unreal. One has to wonder just what the future holds for this young marvel. Olympic greatness or Chas Morton infamy? Time will tell.

  20. DDias says:

    Andrew is near a level where he will go from a promise to a: How good he will be?With these new times, i will not be surprised with a new time reduction in his 200IM.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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