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by Daniel Paulling

August 7, 2019

Michigan Masters member Tony Anderson defeated his son, UCLA Bruin Masters member Kyle Anderson, in the 1500-meter freestyle on Wednesday

The Michigan Masters member swam against and beat his son, UCLA Bruin Masters member Kyle Anderson, in the 1500-meter freestyle on the first day of the 2019 U.S. Masters Swimming Summer National Championship at the Marguerite Aquatic Center in Mission Viejo, Calif.

“Growing up as a swimmer and having kids and wondering if they’ll swim and then having both my sons be swimmers in high school … I was happy that they swam,” Tony says. “When Kyle started staying in shape by swimming, now every time I come to see him in California, we go swim every day together. That is a dream come true. The competing is a dream come true.

“Just being able to spend that time with him, all that time we can talk—going to the pool, at the pool, leaving the pool, in the locker room, whatever—that’s all like gold for me. We’ll look back on this and laugh about how much it hurt.”

Tony and Kyle entered with about the same time—17:57.97 for the father, 17:57.90 for the son—so they would swim near each other. They were in adjacent lanes in their heat, with Kyle taking an early lead before Tony passed him for good at about the halfway mark.

Tony, 55, won his age group with an 18:02.60, and Kyle, 27, was disqualified.

“Right now, I’m thinking about retiring from swimming altogether and hanging it up and going out with a DQ and a loss to my dad,” Kyle says, joking.

Competing against each other isn’t new for the two.

Kyle played club water polo at the University of Indiana, where his father swam sprint freestyle in the 1980s, and competed against the University of Michigan club team, which his father coaches. The two teams met several times during Kyle’s four years.

After not swimming much following his move to Los Angeles, Kyle had the idea for them to compete against each other. He began doing 3,000-meter workouts in February to prepare for Summer Nationals. His focusing more on swimming has helped him overall.

“[Summer Nationals] sort of helped me focus on [swimming] a bit more and take it a bit more seriously and lose weight,” Kyle says. “It helped me in other aspects of my life too. If I’m going to be this focused in the pool, I want to be focused on work. Now I feel like I have a base of what it’s like to work hard and achieve a goal. Hopefully I can maintain it.”

The two plan to swim the 400 freestyle on Saturday and, after entering with the exact same time, will likely be in the same heat and have another opportunity to race against each other.

Kyle is focused on evening the score with his father.

“The 400 is all I have right now,” Kyle says, joking. “This will be bigger than when I get married and when I have my kids, when I get to beat my kids in swimming. I’m going to have the mental image of beating him. I think this is everything. The 400 sounds amazing.”

Records Broken on Wednesday, Aug. 7

Chad La Tourette, The Olympic Club: men's 30-34 800 freestyle—8:28.76 (USMS record)
Chad La Tourette, The Olympic Club: men’s 30-34 1500 freestyle—15:52.24 (USMS record)
Ellen Reynolds, Sawtooth Masters: women’s 55-59 1500 freestyle—18:36.30 (USMS record and FINA Masters world record)

Note: All records are subject to change pending verification.


  • Events


  • Nationals
  • National Championships
  • USMS Nationals