Michael Andrew Rocks 1:56 200 IM at PSS Des Moines, 6th Fastest American Ever


World Championships medalist Michael Andrew had a big swim on Saturday night at the 2020 Pro Swim Series in Des Moines. Andrew raced to a 1:56.83 in the 200 IM, finishing over a second ahead of the field. That dropped over half a second from his former best. NCAA Champion Andrew Seliskar took 2nd in 1:58.01, taking a couple of tenths off his lifetime best from 2018.

Andrew’s former best was a 1:57.49 from the Richmond Pro Swim Series last April. His front half got even faster, but his back half splits were slightly slower. Andrew turned in 1:26.69 at the 150-mark, closing with a 30.14 free split. For comparison, Ryan Lochte split a 1:26.51 at the 150 in his World Record swim at 2011 Worlds. Lochte finished 7th in tonight’s final with a 2:01.60, a little off his prelims time of 2:00.95. In that 2011 swim, Michael Phelps was out in 1:26.80 at the 150.

Splits Comparison:

Michael Andrew – 2020 Des Moines PSS 24.07 29.15 33.47 30.14 1:56.83
Michael Andrew – 2019 Richmond PSS 24.50 29.70 33.29 30.00 1:57.49

Andrew was out significantly faster than World Champion Daiya Seto split in Gwangju last summer. He was 8 tenths faster than Seto at the 150, but the closing split is where many of the top swimmers at Worlds split faster. The closing splits of the World Championship finalists in 2019 were:

  • Seto – 28.65
  • Desplanches – 28.86
  • Kalisz – 28.06
  • Heints – 27.94
  • Scott – 27.56
  • Wang – 28.17
  • Larkin – 28.21
  • Devine – 28.27

At a minimum, Andrew’s closing split is over a second behind any of those swimmers’ splits from Worlds. He did come home a bit faster with his old lifetime best, with a 30.00 on the final 50. At 20 years old, Andrew is now the 6th fastest American in history. He’s the 6th fastest swimmer ever worldwide among swimmers 20 and under behind Kosuke Hagino, Phelps, Abrahm DeVine, Qin Haiyang, and Seto. World Record holder Lochte was a 1:57.79 at Andrew’s age.


1 Ryan Lochte 1:54.00
2 Michael Phelps 1:54.16
3 Eric Shanteau 1:55.36
4 Chase Kalisz 1:55.40
5 Abrahm DeVine 1:56.79
6 Michael Andrew 1:56.83
7 Josh Prenot 1:57.17
8 Tyler Clary 1:57.25
9 Conor Dwyer 1:57.41
10 Alex Vanderkaay 1:57.58


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1 year ago

I have watched MA for years..his potential is unreal! Yet , as a coach, seeing 30. Free splits on his 2 IM is nuts! I kinda wanna say it is time to change something up if he wants the 2 IM..a WR is very possible..grrrrrr

Reply to  Susan
1 year ago

I want to hear Goldmedal Mel’s prediction.

Reply to  Mustangswimdad
1 year ago

I’ll be honest, this performance definitely ups your odds in our bet imo 🙂

Reply to  Blackflag82
1 year ago

Yeah, but I’m nervous that he’ll overextend himself and try to swim all strokes + IM. He is a good guy and an inspiration to my DD so I really do hope he makes it to Tokyo. The only event that I feel really good about for him is the 100 Breast as it is fairly early in the schedule for Trials.

Reply to  Mustangswimdad
1 year ago

I think you’re right here about over-extending. His breaststroke looked good this past weekend. I think he dropped about half a sec in the last OTs which if he manages to do here would put him high 58. He he can do that in the final hell def. be in contention.

1 year ago

Theory: His arms to torso proportions are so far off that he can’t he physically can’t breathe properly in freestyle.

Reply to  50free
1 year ago

I think he just breathes late.

Reply to  Dude
1 year ago

Can someone call Johnty Skinner to fix this mans breathe?
The country’s 2IM legacy hangs in the balance

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Swimnerd
1 year ago

Pacing would help. It’s not just his techniques. He went out in 24.0. The WR split for the 200 FREE is 24.23. Even batouttahell LeClos was only out in 23.4 at Rio in the 200 free. Lochte was 24.8 or 9 on his way to 1:54.0. Same with Phelps. And they werjust as fast/faster at the 100 fly as MA.

1 year ago

SwimSwam comment section gonna be big mad at how well he will do at trials one way or another Michael is making the team

Reply to  Jmanswimfan
1 year ago

Most like him well enough. Has he ever done or said anything inflammatory? I honestly don’t think so, but don’t care enough to know.

It’s just the regurgitation of USRPT and it’s methodology, benefits, and training “supremacy” that makes people say “… Okay. Enough.”

The fact that USRPT is beaten over our heads by his handlers makes people sort of want him to prove it, rather than talk about it. So far he hasn’t proven it.

Reply to  Marmot
1 year ago

24.92 doesn’t help his argument, nor 30+ splits

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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