Michael Thomas breaks Murphy’s backstroke NAG at Pennsylvania state champs

  17 Jared Anderson | March 13th, 2014 | Featured, High School, National, News, Previews & Recaps

16-year-old Michael Thomas, a junior from Hatboro-Horsham High School snuck under the 15-16 National Age Group record in the 100 back on the final day of Pennsylvania High School state, going 46.65 to take down Ryan Murphy‘s 2011 mark.

Thomas soared to the record on the strength of his closing speed: he actually trailed fellow junior Ryan Dudzinski at the 50 turn by four tenths, but surged back with a 23-second final 50 to take the state title and the NAG.

Thomas’s splits were 22.70/23.95 for a 46.65. That’s just .07 under Ryan Murphy’s old record time of 46.72. Thomas took second yesterday with a strong time in the 200 IM, and posted the field’s best backstroke split by over a second, so it was definitely clear from the get-go his backstroke was clicking.

He’s got a little ways to go, but has to now have his eye on the Pennsylvania state record of 45.49 set by David Nolan and the national high school record of 45.34 from Murphy a year later. That full second difference is significant, but Thomas has really been hitting his stride this past year – one year ago at this meet he went a lifetime-best 49.11, so the time is clearly coming off in droves for Thomas on this hot streak. He’ll have one more season to give those marks a run.

In This Story

Leave a Reply

17 Comments on "Michael Thomas breaks Murphy’s backstroke NAG at Pennsylvania state champs"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
2 years 7 months ago

Gosh DANG IT. I didn’t want Ryan’s record to get broken this quickly, he’s a cool guy. But congrats to Michael, that’s an insane time. Did not expect Ryan’s record to get broken this year

2 years 7 months ago

Yeah I didn’t think it would go down until Michael Andrew in the next year or so

2 years 7 months ago

Exactly. I don’t really consider any records in the 15/16 or 17/18 age groups safe from Michael Andrew’s fury anymore (besides the distance freestyles).

2 years 7 months ago

Dear Liquidassets,

Unfortunately Michael Andrew is ineligible for High School or College swimming because he is a professional, so he can’t touch those records.

2 years 7 months ago

This story is about a NAG record mostly…

2 years 7 months ago

We talk about the ‘HS National Record’ like it refers to the fastest HS aged swimmer… it’s just the fastest time swum in HS competition. In almost all cases, it’s not the NAG record. Oh… and there are two of them. Public and private/independent. So it’d be like saying there is a NAG for kids on teams over 150 athletes and a NAG for kids on teams under 150 athletes. It’s basically just another way to crown someone else… like the states that have multiple divisions for swimming and multiple “state champions”… it doesn’t matter what size your school is in swimming. Ok. Rant over.

The NAG is the record this article is about anyhow.

2 years 7 months ago

There are several boys out there in the 15-16 group that are aiming to break that record…. I predict that the record will go down a couple of more times before the end of the short course season.

2 years 7 months ago


bobo gigi
2 years 7 months ago

Never heard of Michael Thomas before.
Usually I feel the records come but here, nothing. 😆
Cool to have surprises.
Congrats to him.

2 years 7 months ago

I’m stunned! You need to scour more results Bobo… We’ve come to expect a certain standard from you… get back on your game! 🙂

2 years 7 months ago

I had never heard of Michael Thomas either, but wow, he’s fast! Does he swim on a club team?

I know he’s from the Philadelphia area. Let me know….

2 years 7 months ago

Swims for Upper Dublin Aquatic Club. That is also a High School team in same meet. Watch out for their club relays when all get together.

2 years 7 months ago

He also swims for Hatboro-Horsham Aquatic Club (he just went to JNats with UD since HH didn’t have anyone else going). He’s always been pretty quick; I’ve been swimming against him since I was 12 (It kinda sucks…I would’ve won the 100 back at districts were it not for him).

Furthermore, Upper Dublin’s got a few great swimmers, but they lack in depth.

2 years 7 months ago

Actually he went to Juniors with UDAC because he’s been on that team since he was 11, and does a majority of his training there. He does not compete for Hatboro’s US program.

2 years 7 months ago

Interesting that he nearly negative split his 100. I wonder what he could throw down in a 200….1:40.8???

2 years 7 months ago

He also split 25.1 on backstroke in his IM. Serious mid-d backstroke speed.

2 years 6 months ago

Video is finally up here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWOJ5oTzZRQ .
Michael Thomas is in lane 5, black cap closest two camera. Great underwaters.


About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career sixteen years and running wasn’t enough for this native 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 …

Read More »