During the yards season, Michael Thomas of the Dublin Aquatic Club made career-turning improvements in the backstroke events that have left him as the #3 recruit in the class of 2015.
This summer, he’s showing off his underrated versatility, which should skyrocket his recruiting stock even further.
On Friday night at the 2014 Middle Atlantic Long Course Championships, the 16-year old Thomas won the men’s 400 IM in 4:31.22. Coming into this meet, his lifetime best was just a 4:43, done at the same event meet last year, and Thomas is now the 4th-ranked 400 IM’er in the 15-16 age group nation wide.
That’s an impressive ranking given that Thomas still has a lot of development to go in the long course pool as compared to his speed in short course (for example, he’s a 46.6 100 yard backstroker, but only a 58.0 in meters). Combined with a 2:03 in the 200 fly to win that event on Thursday, this is a successful meet for Thomas, and he’s starting to pile up qualifications for Junior Nationals, if he wants to expand his schedule for that meet in two weeks in Irvine.
He, along with Reece Whitley’s National Age Group Record, were the two highlights on the third night of the meet. Hosted at Bucknell University, these long course championships are a mix of a full-taper meet for some, and an early-taper test for others who are going on to Junior Nationals and Nationals in Irvine.
Whitley swam a 1:03.82 in the men’s 100 breaststroke for the victory, breaking Michael Andrew’s old 13-14 National Age Group Record of 1:03.83. To see video of that record-breaking swim, click here.
Other winners on Friday night:
- Hershey’s Vivian Tafuto won the women’s 100 breaststroke in 1:11.20, beating the meet’s record holder Allie Szekely (1:11.94). 14-year old Allison Raab, younger sister of Pennsylvania State Champion and Georgia commit Meaghan Raab, took 3rd in 1:13.86 – a three-second improvement on her lifetime best. That’s perhaps a first step to a little bit of swimming fame of her own.
- Germantown’s Madison Visco won the women’s 200 free in 2:04.17, beating Central Buckis’ Quinn MacMillan.
- Penn State’s Matt Stasiunas, representing his home-team Delaware Swim Club at this meet, won the men’s 200 free in 1:52.32. He was actually at a slight deficit to Timothy Maurer going into the final turn, but wound up with just enough acceleration coming off of that wall for a four-tenths-of-a-second margin of victory.
- Allyson McHugh of the Suburban Seahawks won the women’s 400 IM in 4:58.64. That left her about half-a-second shy of her first Summer Juniors cut, but it was a four second improvement on her lifetime best. That bodes well for the 200 IM, her best event, to break that barrier on Saturday.
- Relay results were not available at time of posting.