Sports

Fabulous first season for Adrian

Former Bremerton swimmer Nathan Adrian, shown at right waiting in between races at the Pac-10 title meet last February, wrapped up his first collegiate season at nationals.  - Photo by Jesse Beals
Former Bremerton swimmer Nathan Adrian, shown at right waiting in between races at the Pac-10 title meet last February, wrapped up his first collegiate season at nationals.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian received the team MVP award following a spectacular finish to his freshman season at the University of California. Adrian was one of the best and busiest swimmers in the pool at the NCAA Championships, held April 15-17 at the University of Minnesota, helping the Golden Bears to an eighth-place finish in the final standings.

Adrian placed in three individual events and swam on four relays, three of which also scored.

“He’s quite an amazing individual,” said Cal coach Mike Bottom. “He took a real step of maturity during the NCAAs. The most telltale swim was the morning of the 100 free.”

That swim resulted in a national age-group record for 18-year-olds and under with a sterling 42.57 seconds. Adrian was eighth in the meet in the event.

The 100-yard freestyle was the third day of Adrian’s busy schedule and followed an especially grueling day two.

On Friday Adrian had placed 13th in the 100 butterfly and had swam on the seventh place 800 free relay in pre-lims and finals.

“He really found out what the NCAAs are like,” Bottom said. “He was warming down when he had to go do his drug testing. Then he came back and got in to finish warming down. He was the only one still in the pool.”

In addition to his 100 free and 100 fly, he also scored individually in the 50 free, going 19.71 for 11th place. He led off the sixth-place 200 free relay and anchored the 10th-place 400 medley relay. He was also on the 400 free relay that qualified in first place but was disqualified when one of the swimmers was a little early on an exchange in the finals.

“I felt good about my meet,” Adrian said. “Every time I was able to score some points for our team I did.”

Adrian was also equally humble about his MVP award.

“It was a combination of things,” he said. “Being able to be on all the relays helped.”

Bottom is excited about Adrian’s future.

“He could be one of the best sprinters in school history,” Bottom said, “and we’ve had some great ones. He may prove to be the most versatile of all, being able to go from the 50 all the way up to the 200. His up side is pretty much unlimited.”

Adrian will be going to Islamorada, Fla., with Bottom and some of the worlds’ top sprinters, including gold medalist Gary Hall, Jr. for a six week training camp before returning home in July to rest up for nationals in August.

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