Michael Andrew Takes Down Yet Another NAG, This Time In 50 Free

JENKS, Oklahoma, March 8. MICHAEL Andrew can add another milestone to his resume. Tonight, Andrew became the first swimmer under age 15 to clear 20 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle.

At the Speedo Champions Series Central Section Region VIII meet in Jenks, Okla., Andrew posted a sizzling 19.85 to win the men’s 50 free. That cleared the National Age Group record of 20.02 set by Ryan Hoffer in 2013.

Greater Omaha teammates Jacob Molacek (20.09) and Robert Hemmingsen (20.85) finished second and third in the event.

It marks Andrew’s second NAG of the meet, as he lowered the 13-14 100 breast record last night.

Tonight’s finals session began with the women’s 200 IM, where Columbia Swim Club’s Chelsea Tatlow got to the wall first in 2:01.89, slightly off her prelim performance of 2:01.23. Hannah Musser of the Kansas City Blazers came in second in 2:02.94, while Greater Nebraska Swim Team’s Dannie Dilsaver rounded out the top three in 2:03.05.

In the men’s 200 IM, Sooner Swim Club’s Justin Wu had a huge swim in finals, taking almost four seconds off his prelim time to win in 1:48.96. That also knocked about two-tenths off his previous best of 1:49.12. Blair Bish of the Arkansas Dolphins also posted a best time, taking second in 1:50.52, while Flyers Aquatic Swim Team’s Nicholas Alexander finished third in 1:51.17.

With a loaded final in the women’s 50 free, it figured to be a tightly bunched heat, and that’s exactly how the race panned out. SwimTulsa’s Breonna Barker got the best of Lawrence Aquahawk Courtney Caldwell by the slimmest of margins, 23.39 to 23.40, for the victory. Lincoln Select Swimming’s Olivia Calegan touched close behind as well in 23.57.

Lincoln Select’s Ashley Pales proved to her competitors that she’s the best 200 breaststroker at the meet, easing her way through the race for a commanding victory in 2:16.59. Her nearest competitor, Greater Nebraska’s Caroline Theil, touched two-and-a-half seconds back in 2:19.07, while teammated Dannie Dilsaver earned another top-three finish with a 2:19.15.

Greater Omaha Aquatics’ Jacob Molacek, who earlier this month set a stunning national high school record in the 100 breast, looked equally strong in the longer distance, clearing the two-minute barrier with a 1:59.44. Jasper County Killer Whales’ Liam Holt dropped three-and-a-half seconds from his prelim swim to take second in 2:02.94, about a second ahead of Kansas City Swim Academy’s Anthony Albracht (2:03.98).

Fifteen-year-old Haley Hynes of the Kansas City Blazers put her stamp on the women’s 100 back with a solid 54.25. Meanwhile, Columbia Swim Club’s Chelsea Tatlow earned her second top-three finish of the night with a 55.34 for second. CSP Tideriders’ Gabriela Vieira rounded out the top three finishers in 55.79.

In the men’s 100 back, Michael Andrew just missed setting his second National Age Group record of the night and third in two days. Andrew touched in 48.14, just outside his own 13-14 NAG of 48.10. Andrew faced stiff competition from Kansas City Blazers’ Benjamin Scheffer (48.78) and Molacek (48.84), who raced to another top-three swim.

Genevieve Pfeifer of Flyers Aquatic Swim Team, winner of the women’s 1000 free on night one, added another win in the 500 free tonight. Pfeifer touched in 4:50.94 to edge HAWG’s Taylor Pike, who came in at 4:51.15. Columbia Swim Club’s Elizabeth Walker swam to third in 4:53.32. A similar scenario went down in the men’s 500 free, as 1000 free winner Minki Kang of the Arkansas Dolphins got the win in 4:30.21, almost 10 seconds better than his prelim time of 4:39.85 but still off his best of 4:27.31. Rec Plex Shark Ryan Baker, the top qualifier this morning, took second in 4:32.06, while Kansas City Blazers’ Ethan Bresette (4:34.96) claimed third place honors.

Heading into the final day of competition tomorrow, the Kansas City Blazers hold a slim three-point lead in the combined team standings over Columbia Swim Club, 403-400. Rockwood Swim Club sits in third with 298 points.

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Author: Emily Sampl

Emily Sampl, an editorial assistant for Swimming World Magazine, is a freelance writer for USA Swimming and an assistant coach at Boulder High School and Boulder Elks Swim Team in Colorado. Emily graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado and master's degree in sport administration from the University of Northern Colorado.

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