Sam Pomajevich Conquers Eddie Reese’s Famous 20×50 Fly (Video)

Reported by Lauren Neidigh.

The Auburn Tigers hit the road for a dual meet against the Texas Longhorns on Monday afternoon. The Longhorn women remained undefeated, winning by nearly 60 points. On the men’s side, Texas picked up their 2nd dual meet victory of the season as they edged out Auburn by 20 points.

Texas butterfly standout Joseph Schooling picked up a sweep of his specialty butterfly events. Schooling dominated the 200 fly, taking the early lead in 50.38 en route to his 1:44.95 win. Teammates Sam Pomajevich (1:47.31) and Mason Tenney (1:49.99) joined him under the 1:50 barrier to round out the top 3. Schooling returned for the 100 fly, using his front half speed to take the edge over Auburn’s Liam McCloskey 47.43 to 47.97.

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tea rex

Question for coaches: I’m curious about the logistics of running a test fly set.

Does everyone get their own lane?
If you have 2 swimmers per lane, they compromise at least 1 stroke per 50 when they go past each other. If you have 3 swimmers, they compromise at least 2 strokes. Etc. (Assuming you don’t have 15′ wide lanes).

These top guys only take 5-8 strokes/lap, so it is always a challenge “letting them fly” without clotheslining each other.


One per lane, sometimes they have the whole pool to ourselves, go in 2 or 3 heats. For those who excel at fly it’s an easy practice because you rest while the other heats are going.


Depends. For a set like 20×50, there shouldn’t be a lot of concern for swimmers around the sectional level. If you have three people in the lane and everyone is going halfway underwater, no worries since two people going at least halfway underwater in opposite directions will surface on different sides of the pool. Four and five swimmers per lane usually means that there might be one stroke of one-arm for the swimmers (one/four and two/five), but that’s pretty minimal. If people are coming up at the flags or if you have six or more people in the lane, there’s gonna be some issues. If it’s 75’s or higher, I cut them a little slack with the one-arm, but if… Read more »

tammy touchpad error

20 x 50 on :35 you think they’re going half way UW? That’s nuts… I wouldn’t be THAT surprised but dang that’d be impressive


Based on their turns at the end of their 200 flys in meets I’m sure they manage halfway in a set. You don’t get out past 8-10 yards at the end of a 200 without training it every lap in workout, especially with Eddie’s emphasis on dolphin kick and underwaters.


You’re forgetting that the question was a general one to coaches. Your point is valid, but it’s also specific to this set, which is a pretty insane one even by Texas’ standards. This doesn’t sound like something they do every day, so my guess is most of their sets are on intervals that allow good underwaters. Even so, most of these guys have insane push-offs and underwaters so I’d bet halfway isn’t too much of a stretch for them. I’m nowhere near their level and it takes me five dolphin kicks to get halfway, so I’m guessing it would take one of them four, tops, to get to halfway… Except Townley, he’s up by the flags for sure. It could… Read more »

tea rex

Thanks for the reply Sven!

Whenever I get more than 3 butterflyers in a lane (especially if they are tall), they start taking one arm strokes – sometimes out of necessity, but not always. That’s fine during warm-up, but not a test set. I guess it is partly knowing how far apart to send swimmers so they pass each other at 5 yards from the wall, but still get mostly clear water.


I admire Pomajevich’s club coaches at NCAP for not pushing weights on him. He was headed to Texas anyway, why rush the process? Weight training impacts swimming only for a time, in my experience; the effects in the water do not increase forever. Much better that Sam attack weights as an 18 year old, almost fully grown man, than skinny adolescent 15 year old.


That’s funny, NCAP looks like the East German weightlifting team at the championship meets


As a father of an NCAP swimmer, I can assure you my son’s swimming group does not do weights, dryland for sure. The swimmer’s physics are impressive but it’s not because of weights NCAP has them training on. A lot of endurance, intervals and pace swimming.


None of that sentiment is backed up by any research whatsoever.

Physiologically speaking, go after the weights young. If it was a strategy to keep him mentally fresh and invested in the sport long term that’s one thing. But there’s no basis or advantage to being a big full grown man before you start lifting weights. If anything, you missed out on a key window for strength development during the hormone crazed adolescent phase.


Amen. The idea of “saving” weights for college is pretty antiquated. It’s another tool to make yourself faster. While coaches like to look at an athlete and say that they have untapped potential, it would be stupid to purposefully neglect one aspect of training during the early phase of an athlete’s career. Would anyone say “wait till college” when referring to dive/turn/underwater work? Maybe I’ll train some kids anaerobically only until they go to college, then coaches will be itching to get their cardio trained. I mean… think of the potential for improvement.


I respectfully disagree with the opinions expressed. Weights have diminishing transfer to the water over time. Better to use weights to take your 200 fly from 1:44 – 1:36 at ages 20, than 1:58 – 1:51 at age 15.

If a swimmer increases, say, his bench press from 80-200 pounds, that will have a significant impact on his swimming. But 200-260 pounds might make little difference. At that point he is becoming a better bench presser only, and it might not effect his swimming.

Just a theory on my part.


That doesn’t even make sense from a logical perspective, let alone that it’s been debunked physiologically.

Why does dropping from 1:58 – 1:51 at 15 prevent you from dropping from 1:44 – 1:36 later? Why does a bench increase of 80-200 lbs have more of an impact on swimming than 200-260? Does increasing from 80-200 prevent you from later increasing from 200-260?

Like PACFAN said, strength training is another tool in coach’s arsenal and it’s silly to ignore it or “save” it for later because you’re really limiting the potential by doing that.

Bay City Tex

I coached many different sports for 31 years.
Puberty is a good timr to start lifting weights.
From my experience coaching middle school athletes, about 80 percent should start between 7th and 8th grade. (13-14 years old)
A few early bloomers between 6th and 7th grade. A few late bloomers during their 8th grade spring semester.

Steve Swims

What did he mean by, “I’m a freshman so I came a couple days late.”

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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