Former Lawrence resident Michael Andrew qualifies for Tokyo Olympics in 100m breaststroke

Japan 2020

OMAHA, NEBRASKA – JUNE 14: Michael Andrew of the United States reacts after competing in the Men’s 100m breaststroke final during Day Two of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Swimming Trials at CHI Health Center on June 14, 2021 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

OMAHA, Neb. — Former Lawrence resident and now an Olympics rookie Michael Andrew punched his ticket to Tokyo on Monday night at the U.S. Swimming Olympic Trials.

Andrew held on to win the men’s 100-meter breaststroke.

He’s taken quite an unorthodox path to the Olympic team. Andrew 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 the grueling routine of endless laps.

It paid off in Omaha. The 22-year-old 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.

Andrew Wilson was second, just one-hundredth of a second behind. He is also expected to make the Olympic team. Missing out was Nic Fink, who settled for third in 58.80.

The second wave of the Olympic swimming trials began in Omaha on Sunday, and between the two waves, over 1,500 athletes are competing for around 50 spots on the USA roster.

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