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Illinois Swimmer, Michael Alexandrov, Represents Bulgaria at Euro Junior Champs -- July 16, 2002

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., July 16. MICHAEL Cavic was not the only swimmer raised in the U.S. who competed in the just-completed European Junior Championships in Linz, Austria.

A young man from Champaign, Illinois, also swam in the meet. His name is Michael Alexandrov, 17. He swam under the name of Mihail Alexandrov for Bulgaria.

Michael will be a senior at Champaign Centennial High School and has been a member of the Champaign County Aquachiefs, which is a USA Swimming club and a YMCA team. One of his teammates was Dan Trupin, now a member of the Stanford University team, and both were coached by former Aquachief coach , Frank Sampson.

In the European Junior Championships, Michael was fourth in the 200 IM with a fast time of 2:05.57. He was seventh in the 400 IM with a time of 4:28.15. He did not place in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.20). He scratched the 200 breaststroke to give him a better opportunity in the 200 IM.

Michael is trying to become a member of the Bulgarian National team.

Incidentally, Michael's 200 IM time would be an automatic time for our U.S. National Jr. team since his birthdate is listed as April 9, 1985. Unfortunately, as a foreign national, he can not be a member of a U.S. National team.

Mike has the background to get even better. His father, Plamen Alexandrov, was on the Bulgarian Olympic team and swam the 100 breaststroke in the Moscow Olympics in 1980. This was the Olympics that President Jimmy Carter decided to boycott.

A Swimming World of that period, reporting on the 1980 Moscow Olympics, lists a Plamen Dontchev competing for Bulgaria in the breaststroke. Alexandrov was using his father's name, as is the custom in Bulgaria.

In the last year, the elder Alexandrov has set short course Masters world records for men 40-44 in the 50m breaststroke (29.90) and 100m breaststroke (1:05.97).
In short course yards, he set a US mark of 2:08.56 for the 200, and he ranked first in the U.S. at all three distances in long course.

Michael is very talented and currently, though an Aquachief, has his overall training supervised by his father. He is clearly one of the best high school seniors in the country. Possibly he is the fastest in the 200 breaststroke, too, as well as IMs. He is being recruited by some of the best U.S. college team coaches.

Michael had three firsts and a second at the YMCA Nationals in April and swam well at the recent Santa Clara International meet.