Atherton swimming phenom beat Phelps


The 17-year-old senior at Sacred Heart Prep was nipping at Michael Phelps heels in Columbus, Ohio two months ago. He took second behind Phelps in the 200 meter butterfly finals, but it's what he did prior to that race that had people talking.

"I actually beat him in prelims, which is probably one of the coolest things I've done in swimming," said Kremer.

"Obviously our whole school community knows what an amazing athlete he is, but when word got out of that, like in the lunch room and things, 'Wait a second, you beat Michael Phelps?' That's something that everybody can recognize, resonate with," said Kevin Morris, the Sacred Heart Prep swim coach.

Kremer is peaking at exactly the right time. This past weekend he set two CCS records at Santa Clara's International Swim Center. He extinguished Pablo Morales' 29-year-old record in the 100 meter butterfly prelims and then set a new mark in the 100 meter backstroke. All of this recent success has him thinking London Olympics, but not for the United States.

"Almost all of my family lives in Israel. I have visited there for about a month every year, or half a month, since I was born. It's almost like my home away from home, so I'd be just as proud either way," said Kremer.

He understands his chances of making the Israeli Olympic team are far better than making the U.S. squad. That's why this coming weekend's European Championships in Hungary will be his personal Olympic trial.

"He needs to come in top 12 of the European Championships and then improve his time for Columbus' March event, which he raced against Michael Phelps. So we're hoping," said Abi Liu, the Peak Swimming head coach.

"One thing I've learned coaching Tomas is to never count him out. Any mark he's ever been asked to do he's hit," said Morris.

"That would be the best outcome, even if I go as the lowest leg on the relay and we get last place, I don't even care," said Kremer. "It would just be so great to go."

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