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

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.

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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


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


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).


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.


This story is about a NAG record mostly…

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.


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.



About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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