Adrian to participate in Swim Across America in memory of friend, teammate

When Nathan Adrian returns from the Rio Olympics, he will have one more swim to complete although this one will likely be more emotional.

Adrian will participate in the Swim Across America for his friend and former California teammate Matt Benoit, who lost his battle with Ewings sarcoma in April. He was 28. Benoit was a 2006 graduate of Kennedy Catholic in Burien and California (2010, legal studies) and was a state champion in the 100 backstroke as well as a three-time All-American and USA Swimming Academic All-American.

Benoit was training to swim in the SAA event, slated for September 10 along the shores of  Lake Washington at Luther Burbank Park in Mercer Island.  Olympic swimmers started the event, and Bremerton’s Dana Kirk Martin and Bainbridge’s Emily Silver have both swam to raise funds. This is the eighth year it’s been held locally and monies raised primarily goes to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Last year the event raised more than $276,000 in support of immunotherapy research and pancreatic cancer treatment.

Adrian named one of six Team USA captains

Nathan Adrian smiles after winning the mens 100-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Thursday, June 30, 2016, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Nathan Adrian smiles after winning the mens 100-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Thursday, June 30, 2016, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian was selected by his Olympic peers on Tuesday as one of six captains to head Team USA as they prepare for the Rio Games in a matter of weeks.

Adrian was selected as a captain along with Michael Phelps and Anthony Ervin for the men’s team. On the women’s side, captains are Cammile Adams, Elizabeth Beisel and Allison Schmitt. The team is training in San Antonio this week before heading to Atlanta for more training and then to Brazil.

Adrian is not the first Bremerton swimmer to be named a team captain. That honor goes to Tara Kirk Sell who was named for the women’s team for the 2004 Athens Games.

Nathan Adrian snags 50 free spot for Rio

It took him four years longer than he had hoped, but Nathan Adrian will swim in the 50 freestyle at the Olympics next month.

Adrian, who finished third in the sprint event at the 2012 trials, won the event on Saturday evening at the U.S. Olympic Swimming trials in 21.51 seconds to hold off Anthony Ervin at 21.52 as both will go to Rio in that event.

“It means a lot,” Adrian said in a post-race interview right after he finished. “Glad to be here with my buddy (Anthony), training partner. Here we both had a chance. That’s what we’re excited about — winning medals for Team USA.”

Check out this video of Nathan talking to the media in the mix zone, right after his victory.

Nathan Adrian 2nd seed in 50 finals

Anthony Ervin reacts with Nathan Adrian, right, after their heat in the men's 50-meter freestyle semifinal at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Friday, July 1, 2016, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Anthony Ervin reacts with Nathan Adrian, right, after their heat in the men’s 50-meter freestyle semifinal at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Friday, July 1, 2016, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian will swim in the finals of the 50 freestyle on Friday after getting the second-fastest qualifying time from Wednesday’s semifinals.

Nathan touched the wall in 21.60 seconds, as Anthony Ervin had the fastest time in 21.55 out of the two semifinal heats.

The final will be held Saturday night.

Nathan missed out on the event in London after finishing third at trials. He’s already secured his first individual swim in the 100 free after winning that event on Thursday. It’s almost a certainty that Nathan will swim in both relays as well.

Nathan Adrian wins 50 semi heat

Nathan Adrian smiles after winning the mens 100-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Thursday, June 30, 2016, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Nathan Adrian smiles after winning the mens 100-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Thursday, June 30, 2016, in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Nathan Adrian came back from a late night to win his heat in the 50 meter freestyle Friday morning.

After qualifying for his third Olympics Thursday night, winning the 100 free and giving himself a shot at defending his 2012 gold medal, Adrian touched the wall in 21.96 — good enough for fourth place. He is the American record holder in the event in 21.37.

The semifinals begin at 5 p.m. local and can be seen at nbcolympics.com or on tape delay at NBC at 8 p.m.

Nathan Adrian press conference and video

In case you want to know what Nathan Adrian said during his post-race interview with the media contingent, and believe you me, it’s a packed house in that media room, check out this link here. Here is the video link as well.

Or, just go ahead and read below… Enjoy it Bremerton. This is a fun ride.

U.S. Olympic Swim Trials Media Conference

Thursday, June 30 2016

Nathan Adrian

THE MODERATOR: Thank you for joining, Nathan Adrian, defending Olympic Champion in this event, 100 Meter Freestyle tonight. He punched his ticket to Rio. So Nathan, go ahead. You had to sit around before tonight, your first final, so tell us how it feels to have that behind you.

NATHAN ADRIAN: Feels good! I think we were faster than we were certainly four years ago, so that feels good, but the world is also faster, so there’s that to keep in mind, but just to be able to pop a 47 right now, knowing that if we can hopefully be a little bit faster in about a month is good.

Q. Nathan, obviously some of your peers have changed coaches, moved, had life changes. Yours seems like it was pretty steady and consistent, the same as it was in the lead-up to ’12; is that true?
NATHAN ADRIAN: Yes and no. I credit Dave for, you know, being just — using his knowledge, and we all know that Dave is and has been a very, very successful collegiate coach and being a little bit malleable to coaching a little bit older athletes, and it’s a little bit different. The physiology is a little bit different. I don’t know why, but at this point I find at this point it’s super easy to grain strength in the weight room, and it’s a lot harder to do the yards in the pool; whereas, when I was younger it was the opposite way. I was struggling to put on some muscle, and I could just crush it every day in the pool.

So with that in mind we just kind of shift our emphasis a little bit and made sure that we were doing the proper recovery we needed to do to be fast in the pool.

Q. This is a message for Cameron McEvoy. What do you think about — for the Olympic Games?
NATHAN ADRIAN: What do I think about his time or — yeah, he’s good! Just as James was good four years ago! I just look forward to racing him. I think he’s an incredible racer and, you know, there is nothing more fun than getting the best guys in the world together in the same pool and just seeing what happens.

Q. Nathan, you smile more than most sprinters do. A lot of sprinters at all levels have an intense personality, some of them have a scowl or intense look. Talk just a little bit about your personality in that realm of sprinters and how you turn on the intensity when you hit the water.
NATHAN ADRIAN: I guess it is in my nature to be a little — just approach things with a smile; I think it’s easier that way. You know there are certainly days when I’m not smiling under the water when we’re grinding it out a little bit, but you guys don’t see that.

It just kind of sounds cliche in that racing is the most fun thing, but it is, man! That’s one of the tricks that Dave uses to keep training fun for us is that we get to race in practice every day, because if not, I would be long gone. I couldn’t do it.

Q. Nathan, there was a time when you were not smiling a lot. I think that’s back in your distance days with Jay Benner. How did that work that you did with him back then prepare you for your days at Cal, as you move forward to be one of the premiere sprinters in the world?
NATHAN ADRIAN: You know, I think — I don’t have any sort of education in physiology, so I couldn’t give you a specific reason why doing a ton of aerobic training at the Trials and all that stuff, you know, benefited me now moving toward an anaerobics type of event. But I can say that Jay did an amazing job of instilling a work ethic in me and really teaching, you know, swimming — I think swimming as a sport but Jay specifically taught me ownership over swimming and that what I put in is what I’m going to get out. I think that’s one of the reasons why swimming is such a popular sport today.

Q. You were talking in the Mixed Zone about motivation and day-to-day and how your friends have jobs in the real world. Can you elaborate on that a little bit and how you do push yourself day-to-day as a pro, and it’s kind of a different lifestyle.
NATHAN ADRIAN: Yeah, sure. So one example is that, you know, we spend a lot of down time at these meets, like Scott said, I’m stuck sittin’ in the hotel room for a long time watching the races, getting excited, eating my sandwiches in bed and sending a Snapchat, for instance, of me trying to throw my sandwich wrapper into a trash can. I sent that to a bunch of my friends, and they were like, oh dude, I think that’s one of my chairs! They’re chair salesman, and that was the exciting part of their day!

I’m happy for them, and they’re my best friends, but I get to race, and I get to sit here in front of you guys and, you know, have dreams about trying to win Olympic Gold. That’s what keeps me motivated and, again, swimming is such an objective sport and the glass ceiling is — has not been reached, so it’s exciting to try to push yourself and kind of you alluded to earlier, how do we change things? I’m excited to be on a team with David Plummer, a guy — I’m sorry, is he 31, 32? He’s older than I am, and he keeps improving, and that’s awesome.

I want to talk to him, I want to be like, hey, dude, what are you doing? This is great. Let’s see what things you’re doing that you feel like has made you improve and how can I incorporate that into what I’m doing.

Q. Nathan, how hard is it to stay on top?
NATHAN ADRIAN: I don’t know, I mean, I haven’t — it’s pretty hard! No one has gone back-to-back in major international competitions in the 100 for a while now; right? I was 2012, James was ’13, Cam was ’14, the Chinese guy was ’15. It’s not easy, and going back before that, I guess James was ’11, I was ’10, go me! ‘9, Kaiser, and ‘8 was Bernard, or Eamon? It’s crazy, right? There is a lot of turnover, so I think that’s what makes it so exciting.

Q. Nathan, not to belabor this, and I hope I don’t get too personal but back to the chair salesmen, obviously there are a lot of people who are jealous of your life and look at your life and go, wow, that would be the coolest thing ever to do what he’s doing, but is there anything about your friends’ lives that you look at sometimes, you’re 27 now and go, that’s something that I would like to have?
NATHAN ADRIAN: Job security! (Laughter.) You know, I mean, that’s certainly — 401(k), those kinds of things. You know, there are pros and cons to everything, but that’s the way it goes. I think swimming truly has taught me a lot of life skills that will translate eventually one day well into the work force, and we’ll figure that out when we get there.

Yeah, those guys have a good time, but it is hilarious, but I was just like — I sent them a Snapchat of me trying to make a thing and they were like, dude, check if that’s our chair or not! And I’m like, whatever!

Q. So there’s been a lot of pessimism about the American you 400 Free Relay over the past four years. Obviously what happened in Kazan last year a good example of that, but tonight really some good times. Do you think you proved some things? The other thing, slightly unrelated, what do you think about Josh, since you train with him. Can you comment on that?
NATHAN ADRIAN: To say I’m proud of Josh would be belittling to him, but I’m proud of being a product of the same system that Josh came from. I mean, he swam that race so incredibly smart, and that was just so cool to watch. He was behind by a good margin the first 25, first 50, and I was right next to Murph, who is already on the team, and by the third 50, sorry, by about the 150 we were like, dude, Josh has got it, he might set that world record.

We both knew that he swam an incredibly smart race that he was ready to go and he was going to drop the hammer on that last 50, and I’m just proud to be from the same program of a guy who swims so smart like that.

Knock on wood, hopefully tomorrow I’m going to have those same feelings after the 200 Backstroke. 400 Freestyle Relay, man, I said it last year, I think people are going to underestimate what the Americans are capable of. I certainly don’t think that, you know, 47.7, 48.2, 48.2 and I think Tony had a 48.5, I don’t think that’s the best we have to offer. I think the next month we will be sharpening our tools, and I think that we have the arsenal to be competitive for medals there.

That’s just so exciting. People wanted to count us out for it, but I think I knew better, that we were going to be good.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, everybody.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #2 by #315 at 2016-07-01 03:07:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129

Nathan Adrian secures spot to Rio Olympics

Nathan Adrian, left, celebrates with Ryan Held, right, after winning the men's 100-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Neb., Thursday, June 30, 2016. Held finished in second place. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Nathan Adrian, left, celebrates with Ryan Held, right, after winning the men’s 100-meter freestyle final at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials in Omaha, Neb., Thursday, June 30, 2016. Held finished in second place. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian will have a chance to defend his 100 freestyle gold after winning the event at the U.S. Olympic Swim trials Thursday evening in Omaha, Nebraska.

Nathan was behind California teammate Anthony Ervin at the 50 split, but gained ground quickly and went ahead to touch the wall first in 47.72, just .20 seconds off his winning time at London in 2012.

“It means everything,” Nathan said during a post-race online interview. “We put in four years of really hard work (and) thankfully the jitters are over. We punched our tickets right there.”

Caeleb Dressel finished second in 48.23. The top remaining four finishers will be added to the team as USA Swimming takes six total to fill out all the relay teams.  Those finishers include a lot of first-time Olympians.

“I’ve been saying it for a whole year,” Nathan said. “People have underestimated how good American sprinting is. With another month of rest, I think we’ll just be a little bit faster and ready to race.”

Once the trials are completed, the U.S. team will head to San Antonio for training camp beginning July 13 before eventually heading to Atlanta and then Rio.

Nathan Adrian top qualifier in 100 free at Olympic trials

Nathan Adrian swims in the men's 100-meter freestyle preliminaries at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Wednesday in Omaha, Neb. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Nathan Adrian swims in the men’s 100-meter freestyle preliminaries at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, Wednesday in Omaha, Neb.
(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

It was business as usual for Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian as he posted the fastest qualifying time from Wednesday’s heats and will swim in the semifinals of the 100-meter freestyle at the U.S. Olympic Swimming trials in Omaha, Nebraska.

Nathan’s time of 48.43 seconds was just off his personal best this year of 48.00. Nathan has been the fastest sprinter in the country and looks to qualify for his third Olympic team and defend his 100 free gold medal he won in London in 2012.

North Carolina State’s Ryan Held was the second fastest at 48.46.

The semifinals are live at 5 p.m. on NBCOlympics.com and also on the NBCSportsExtra live app for your smartphone. Or, you can watch the tape delay on NBC at 8 p.m.

Olympic Trials psych sheets, TV schedule & “The Body Issue”

Hold onto your hats, or swim caps as the case may be, Nathan Adrian fans … trials are less than a week away and momentum is building.

The hype is likely going to be on overload when ESPN The Magazine’s The Body Issue hits newsstands July 8. Not only will Nathan’s — Bremerton’s favorite swimming son — fate be assured for the Rio Olympics by then, his introduction to the rest of the country (and world) will be peaking. Nathan joins the ranks of fellow Olympic champions Michael Phelps and Natalie Coughlin to be featured in the tastefully-positioned nude issue.

Don’t forget. Nathan isn’t new to ESPN. He joined fellow Olympian Jessica Hardy in a great video entitled “The Opaque” a few years ago.

Nathan is also a Tommy Hilfiger spokesmodel and recently donned a cardigan and black-rimmed eyeglasses for a pre-Olympics photo shoot.

Nathan Adrian as one of several "Class of 2016" baseball-card style photo ops in advance of the Rio Olympics (Contributed photo)
Nathan Adrian as one of several “Class of 2016” baseball-card style photo ops in advance of the Rio Olympics
(Contributed photo)

Amidst all the distractions away from the pool, Nathan has still managed to post some of the best times leading up to the swim trials. He is the top seed in the 100 and 50 meter freestyle events, and barring a MAJOR upset, should be earmarked to anchor both relays in Rio.

One way he’s been so consistent is the technology he’s been able to use thanks to his sponsorship from BMW. High-speed motion capture technology and video analysis have helped him shave precious milliseconds off his time. Check out this story that ran in Popular Science magazine.

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s how Nathan won the trials 100 free in 2012 and just missed out on the 50 free.

Here’s the link to the psych sheets for the Olympic trials and a link to the event schedule and TV schedule.

Olympian Tara Kirk Sell says don’t cancel the Olympics because of Zika

Bremerton’s Tara Kirk Sell, and her sister Dana Kirk Martin, paved the way for swimmers to dream big. The sisters were the first to make a U.S. Olympic swim team when they competed at the 2004 Athens Games. Tara won a silver medal as a member of the 4×100 medley relay.

She now lives in Baltimore with her husband and two young children, and wrote this op-ed piece for the Baltimore Sun. Kirk Sell, a public health researcher and associate at the UPMC Center for Health Security in Baltimore, gives a great insightful voice on the public health concerns of Zika from the Olympians point of view. There has been talk from some in the public health sector to cancel the Rio Olympics due to Zika.

Here’s an excerpt;

“With the Zika outbreak in the Americas raging and the growth of scientific support about potential birth defects from maternal infection, some in public health have called for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio to be postponed or moved. As a fellow public health researcher and a pregnant Olympian swimmer and silver medalist at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, I have a close-up perspective on both sides of this issue and believe this opinion does not balance the risks appropriately.”

You can read the full article here.