COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, May 4. ACCORDING to USA Swimming spokesperson Jamie Fabos, Northwestern's Mike Alexandrov is the newest American record holder in the 100 yard breaststroke.
At the NCAA Championships held in Minneapolis, Minn., as first reported here, Alexandrov touched in 51.56 to break Jeremy Linn's time of 51.86. Alexandrov's time now stands as the NCAA, U.S. Open and American record.
The controversy surrounding the American record stemmed from Alexandrov being a Bulgarian native. Initially, announcements were made at the pool when Alexandrov won the event in record time that it was an American standard. Alexandrov, who has lived in the States since he was eight, just acquired dual-citizenship in the United States with his family last September.
"We didn't really have a dog in this fight," Northwestern head coach Bob Groseth said. "We did not petition for it to be an American record. We were fine with whatever USA Swimming decided to do.
"Obviously, I am thrilled and excited that he got the record," Groseth continued. "But, we are even more excited because he swam that fast."
Confusion reigned on that day and in the days following whether the time would stand as an American record because of Alexandrov's intention to remain a Bulgarian competitively on the international scene.
Even though he officially became a U.S. citizen last September, he is slated to swim for Bulgaria at the World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand in August.
"I haven't really talked to [Mike] about his intentions after the Olympics," Groseth said. "But, I don't think he has changed his intention to swim for Bulgaria at the Olympics because it would be too late to make that change."
Groseth also spoke about his own speculation on why the decision was made.
"Since it is a short course yard record and not something done in international competition, I think that might be part of the decision," Groseth said. "Although, I could see that it might be a different story if we were talking about a long course record. But, that is just what I think personally about it."