U.S. Nationals: Michael Andrew Wins Men’s 50 Butterfly Focused on ‘Nitty Gritty’; Caeleb Dressel Third

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

U.S. Nationals: Michael Andrew Wins Men’s 50 Butterfly as Caeleb Dressel Reaches for Third

After a disappointing start to his return to the big stage, Caeleb Dressel fought his way into the finals of the 50 butterfly at the U.S. National Championships.

Swimming in lane 1, Dressel, the American record holder at 22.35, finished third in 23.35, a full second off of his best time. Dressel was with the pack halfway through the race then looked to almost fall back a little before picking the pace back up to use his long reach into the wall to earn third and reach the podium.

But the race belonged to Michael Andrew claimed the title in the event at 23.11. He broke away late from the pack to get to the wall first.

Andrew said the race was a bit of a mess, at least from his perspective.

“The morning was really clean. We did the Mare Nostrum tour and there was a lot of repetition and a lot of things I was able to work on from round to round,” Andrew said. “And here, I didn’t feel like I was quite grooving.”

Andrew, who is not entered in the 200 IM this week, is focused on his short races. But while many sprinters just work on things in practice, then let it fly in the race, Andrew is constantly thinking about different parts of his race as they approach.

“I realized I was one stroke too short and the tempo was also very long. I tried one more stroke and tried to rate faster, but I just tried a little too hard at the beginning of the race. But at the end of the day, I got my hand on the wall,” he said. “That is a fraction of what goes on in my mind. Your life can flash before your eyes in a stressful situation, and with swimming, the greatest can tune it out or adapt. I have always been an analytical, detail-oriented racing. I like looking at the nitty gritty.”

It is rare for sprinters, but also important win one detail can mean the difference between first and sixth.

“Sprinting in general is very unforgiving. You make one error and you are out of it,” Andrew said. “Being so focused on the details almost makes the race feel like a 200. There are segments to it. It takes a bit of the stress of getting everything perfect, because you are not always going to.”

Second place when to Dare Rose, who got to the wall in 23.20.

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1 year ago

Dare Rose 23.20 (not 23.35 as stated in article — that was Dressel, as was reported correctly)

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