Olympic Flashback: Michael Phelps

SchoolSports magazine called Michael Phelps "the best high school athlete in the nation" when he was just a 16-year-old junior at Towson High (Md.). As he celebrates gold in Greece, we flashback to our Oct. 2001 issue, when Phelps was just starting to take the swimming world by storm.

This article ran in the Oct/Nov. 2001 edition of SchoolSports magazine.

Gatorade Performer of the Month – October, 2001

Michael Phelps
Towson High
(Towson, Md.)

Michael Phelps may not get a lot of attention outside the swimming world, and most people probably couldn't pick him out of a lineup. But this 16-year-old junior at Towson High might just be the best high school athlete in the nation.

Phelps holds the world record in the 200-meter butterfly. He originally set the mark by swimming a 1:54.92 at the USA Swimming Championships in March, then broke his own record by swimming a 1:54.58 to win the gold medal at the World Swimming Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, in June.

He followed up his record-breaking performance by taking two gold medals and a silver at the national championships in August. Phelps won the 200 individual medley (2:00.86) and the 100 fly (53.15), finished second in the 200 backstroke (2:00.57) and placed sixth in the 200 free (1:51.73). He did not compete in the 200 fly because he wanted to focus on other events.

Phelps, who does not swim at Towson because the school does not have a swim team, is currently ranked in the Top 10 in the world in four events: first in the 200 fly, third in the 200 IM, fourth in the 400 IM and 10th in the 100 fly.

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