Swimmer with Kansas ties advances to Tokyo Olympics

Tokyo Olympics

Michael Andrew reacts after winning the Men’s 100 Breaststroke during wave 2 of the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials on Monday, June 14, 2021, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

OMAHA, Neb. (KSNW) – An Olympic hopeful with ties to Lawrence will head to Tokyo this summer to represent the United States.

Michael Andrew made his first team at age 22, winning the 100-meter breaststroke at trials. He came in first besting Andrew Wilson by .01 seconds Monday night.

The 22-year-old Andrew pulled ahead on the outward lap and desperately held on at the end, touching in 58.73 – a bit slower than he went while setting two American records the day before.

After just missing the Olympic team in 2016, Andrew was overcome with emotion. He sat on the lane rope and looked skyward, raising both arms. He hugged his father, mom and sister after climbing from the pool.

“It’s still hard to believe it’s real,” Andrew said. “It’s been five years in the making. Not making that team as a 17-year-old and to come back to kind of rectify that, I’m just honored and blessed.”

Andrew has taken an unorthodox path to the Olympic team. He turned pro at age 14 and was trained by his father in a backyard pool, using methods that stressed short bursts of sprint swimming over weight training and the grueling routine of endless laps.

He is now living in California, but live in and trained in Lawrence.

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