U.S. Olympic Trials: Michael Andrew Sets Second American Record in 100 Breast

michael-andrew-
Michael Andrew; Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

U.S. Olympic Trials: Michael Andrew Sets Second American Record in 100 Breast

In case the point was ­­­­received Sunday morning, Michael Andrew reiterated it Sunday night.

Andrew shaved another five hundredths of a second off the American record in the 100 breaststroke, his second national mark of the day, in semifinals to take the top seed going into Monday night’s finals.

Andrew went 58.19 in the morning to down the American record set by Kevin Cordes (58.64). At night, he won the second heat in 58.14 to best the field by .36 seconds and re-set the American, U.S. Open and U.S. Olympic Trials marks.

You wouldn’t bet against him doing the same again Monday night in his quest for his first Olympics berth.

“There’s a lot left in the tank,” Andrew said in the mixed zone. “It didn’t feel physically hard but there were moments where I felt outside of my lane and I felt Nic (Fink) next to me. … I will adjust things for tomorrow.”

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Speaking of Fink, he turned in a personal best that was seven tenths quicker that his seed time to go 58.50 and nab the second seed in finals. It also lands him in the top 10 in the world.

“It feels really great,” Fink said. “I knew there was a big time drop coming. That’s almost the perfect time to have it. I think I’ve got a little bit more in the tank saved up for tomorrow, and it’s going to be such a fun race. I’m really happy with that time.”

On the other side of Andrew Monday night will be Andrew Wilson, who won the first heat in 59.08.

The final heat will include its share of age – Wilson and fourth seed Cordes are both 27, Will Licon is 26 – and youth. Andrew and fifth seed Max McHugh are both 22. Josh Matheny, all of 18, is laying down a powerful first Trials as the sixth seed Monday night after going 1:00.25.

The biggest name not to make the final is Cody Miller, the 2016 bronze medalist from Rio, who tied for 11th in 1:00.66.

The group is at opposite ends of the spectrum. McHugh is in his first major finals, the NCAA champion growing into a great long-course swimmer. He showed in the night session that his morning speed was more than just a product of being in Andrew’s heat.

“I’d be lying if I said it wouldn’t affect me,” McHugh said of Andrew’s American mark. “It’s great that he’s my heat. He pushed me. It’s great for the U.S. to represent, too. But it’s not a massive deal for me.”

Fink, who’s on the other end of the career spectrum, is enjoying himself more than ever. That he’s swimming fast and chasing his first Olympic berth at such a veteran age is not a coincidence to him.

“I used to think of it as something that I had to do to get on the team and to put an exclamation point on my career,” Fink said. “But I’m just happy to be here and having fun and getting to race all these people, it’s a little bit of a different perspective than what I had in ‘16. I’m having way more fun, and I think I’m having success because of it.”

Men’s 100 Breaststroke Finalists

  1. Michael Andrew, 58.14 (AR)
  2. Nic Fink, 58.50
  3. Andrew Wilson, 59.08
  4. Kevin Cordes, 59.33
  5. Max McHugh, 59.68
  6. Josh Matheny, 1:00.25
  7. Will Licon, 1:00.33
  8. Ben Cono, 1:00.36

World Rankings

  1. Adam Peaty, GBR, 56.88 (WR)
  2. Arno Kamminga, NED, 58.10
  3. Michael Andrew, USA, 58.14
  4. Ilya Shymanovich, BLR, 58.29
  5. Nicolo Martinenghi, ITA, 58.37
  6. James Wilby, GBR, 58.46
  7. Nic Fink, USA, 58.50
  8. Zibei Yan, CHN, 58.63
  9. Anton Chupkov, RUS 58.83
  10. Emre Sakci, TUR, 58.85

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