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.