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Kid phenom blazing his own trail

Michael Andrew wants to make one thing clear: He's not trying to be another Michael Phelps.

The just-turned 13-year-old is eager to leave his own wake at the pool.

"I love breaking new barriers in swimming," Andrew said.

Keep an eye on this kid. While too young to have a realistic shot at making it to the London Olympics, he could be on the verge of stardom when the Rio Games come around in four years.

Already 6-foot-2 with size 15 feet and massive hands, Andrew has set numerous U.S. age-group records and is eager to test his limits against a top-level swimmer today, boldly taking on world championship medalist Tyler McGill in a couple of just-for-fun match races at Fishers, Ind.

Naturally, Andrew already is getting comparisons to Phelps, who made his first Olympic team at age 15 and has gone on to win more gold medals (14) than any other athlete.

"When I hear that, I have to correct it," the youngster said. "I would be more than happy to be as great as Michael Phelps, but I'd like to be the first Michael Andrew."

McGill, who won a bronze medal in the 100-meter butterfly at last year's world championships, isn't too concerned about losing to a kid who celebrated his 13th birthday this week. That's not the point of racing the 50 fly and 25 free during a stop of the Fitter & Faster Tour.

"Every kid, including myself, had a moment when they were young that they had an opportunity to learn from or speak to or engage with a world champion or Olympic-level athlete," McGill said Friday. "This is more about the experience he'll have to hold on to further down the road."

Andrew isn't conceding anything. He never goes into an event expecting to lose, even when racing a swimmer who figures to be a medal contender at the London Olympics this summer.

In five months, Michael has set 11 short-court and five long-course records.

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