Monthly Archives: March 2011

Former Puma Abravanel in Los Angeles

He won’t be playing along side David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy, but former Kitsap Pumas player Leon Abravanel is a member of the Los Angeles Blues, who will make their debut in USL PRO this year.

Abravanel, who is listed as a defender on the Blues’ roster, played with Kitsap in 2009. He didn’t see much action until the end of the season, then had a tryout with Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake.

He’s the third former Kitsap player to land in USL PRO — a league two tiers below MLS and one tier above the Premier Development League, where the Pumas play — in recent weeks. Kitsap’s third-string goalie last season Derby Carrillo signed with New York, while 2010 defender Jamel Wallace signed with Richmond.

Abravanel, Carrillo and Wallace didn’t necessarily make a lot of noise during their time with Kitsap (Carrillo didn’t play at all and Wallace was a part-time starter toward the end of last season). But they’ve obviously done enough — and know enough of the right people — to get a chance to play with some bigger clubs.

It still makes me wonder why some of Kitsap’s more well-known players aren’t catching on at the next level. … Anybody???

All Quiet On the Pumas’ Front

For those like me who are waiting to hear who’ll be playing for the Kitsap Pumas this season, you’re going to have to wait a bit longer.
Kitsap executive director Ben Pecora told me today the team is still working on player signings — “negotiations are ongoing” — but there’s no news to report yet.
I’m guessing we’ll start getting some information next week. The team is scheduled the train Monday, Wednesday and Friday, which should give coach Peter Fewing some added time to look at some players.
Regarding the goalkeeping battle, it sounds like the Pumas are still deciding between Dustyn Brim and Garrett Staples. Both are overage players and the team can probably only afford to keep one of them.
I chatted with Staples briefly today. He said expects a decision to be made toward the end of training next week.
Staples said if he doesn’t make the squad over Brim, the team’s No. 1 keeper the past two seasons, he’d rather know sooner than later so he can explore other opportunities.
I’ve got a call in with defender Daniel Scott, who didn’t attend the team’s invitational tryout session last weekend at Battle Point Park on Bainbridge Island.
Scott recently tried out for NSC Minnesota of the North American Soccer League, but didn’t receive a contract offer.
Despite missing tryouts, it sounds like it’s still in the mix for Kitsap.

Adrian featured by Bob Schaller for 20 question Tuesday

A regular feature in the swimming world — is Bob Schaller’s 20 Question Tuesday — the former spotlight on national team swimmers. recently merged with USA, and you can still read Mike Gustafson’s articles there.

Schaller, who has featured Bremerton Olympic sisters Tara and Dana Kirk as well as Bainbridge’s Emily Silver in the past,  spoke with Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian.

Adrian, as any of you who read this blog regularly knows the Cal senior helped the Bears to their first NCAA swimming & diving championship last weekend. He also won the 50 and 100-yard freestyle and ended his collegiate career with 12 NCAA titles.

Schaller is a great interviewer, and was able to get Nathan to go in-depth on several questions.

Here’s an excerpt:

Bob: How much do your teammates mean to you? It seems like a freakishly close-knit group, even a family. Is that correct?
 It’s pretty wild to be part of a team like this. I never fully understood it until about last year when I realized what a group of people we had. After the (last) relay (this year), some of the guys had tears in our eyes. It’s unbelievable to think that just a few years ago I walked onto Cal’s pool deck as a kid, with no idea of what a swim team really could be. We showed ourselves with these last couple of years what a team can be. It’s fun to look back on all the memories, whether it was PAC 10s or driving to the USC meet – we drive to USC, we don’t fly. And that’s a long bus ride going through Grapevine. I think about our training camps at the (Olympic Training Center) in Colorado Springs, where you are sort of stuck in a dungeon for two weeks with just the guys, the pool and the cafeteria. It’s a special group.

You can read the full feature here.

Adrian named Pac-10 scholar-athlete of the year

California senior Nathan Adrian was named a Pac-10 scholar-athlete of the year for swimming on Monday.

Adrian, a Bremerton native, is a public health major with a 3.75 grade point average and is one of six conference athletes who earned recognition for the 2010-11 winter season.

Adrian earned 2010 CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine All-Academic All-America honors and first-team Pac-10 All-Academic status from 2009-10. He also earned CoSIDA District 8 All-Academic status in 2009.

In the pool, Adrian helped the Bears win their first NCAA Division I swimming and diving championship over the weekend. Adrian won the 50-yard freestyle, 100 free and three relay titles. He also set American record in the 50 free in 18.66 seconds.

Adrian won 12 NCAA championships for Cal, including relays and set two American records, both in the 50 free during his collegiate career.

Adrian, Cal Bears win NCAA swimming championship

NCAA swimming champions, California, celebrates their win at the University of Minnesota. Nathan Adrian of Bremerton, drapped in the banner, is holding the trophy.

It came down to the final race and Nathan Adrian brought home an NCAA swimming and diving championship to California after anchoring the 400 free relay on Saturday at the University of Minnesota.

The Bears won the 400 relay in two minutes, 47.39 seconds.

Cal won the team title with 493 points, holding off Texas, 470.5 and Stanford, 403. It was a near Pac-10 sweep as Arizona finished fourth.

It’s the first team championship for Cal since it won back-to-back titles in 1979 and 1980.

Adrian was named the swimmer of the meet and set a pool record in winning the 100 free earlier in the meet in 41.10 seconds, just off his personal best of 41.08 set in 2009. It was also the third-best time ever in NCAA history. Adrian is one of seven swimmers to win the event at least three times, joining former California greats Matt Biondi (1985-87) and Anthony Ervin (2000-02).

Adrian, a senior and Bremerton native, will likely turn pro in the coming weeks. 

He will swim later this summer in the world long-course championships in Shanghai, China, and is already considered the United States best hope in winning an Olympic gold medal in the 100 in London in 2012.

Adrian three-peats in 100 free at NCAA swimming


Nathan Adrian of Cal preparing for the start of the 100 freestyle finals at the NCAA swimming and diving championships in Minnesota.

California senior Nathan Adrian won his third straight 100-yard freestyle title at the NCAA swimming and diving championships at the University of Minnesota Saturday. Adrian won in 41.10 seconds, holding off Jimmy Feigen in 41.66. It was the third fastest time in NCAA history.

The Bremerton native, who qualified as the eighth seed from the preliminaries, said in a post-race interview on that strategy came into play in order to gain a clean outside lane. Adrian’s teammate Graeme Moore swam next to him in Lane 7.

“It’s really fun swimming next to him,” Adrian said of his close friend.

The win helped California gain a slightly bigger lead over Texas in the team standings, 387 to 377.5 but the title will likely be won in the 400 free relay. 

ESPN analyst and former sprint Olympian Rowdy Gaines always seems to enjoy watching Adrian swim.

“This guy is so incredible to watch,” Gaines said during the broadcast.

Nathan Adrian, three-time NCAA champion in the 100 freestyle.

Adrian will also swim the 400 free relay and is the likely choice to be the anchor for Cal. Check back for an update soon.

Adrian barely qualifies for 100 free finals at NCAA’s

Two-time defending champion Nathan Adrian barely qualified for the finals of the 100-yard freestyle at the NCAA Swimming and Diving championships Saturday morning.

Adrian, a Bremerton native, had the top seed heading into the preliminaries in 41.75, but swam a surprising 42.39 in his heat to qualify eighth — the final spot in the finals. Adam Brown of Auburn had the day’s top time in 41.75. Jimmy Feigen of Texas qualified second in 42.01.

Adrian will now swim in an outside lane, something that has been to his benefit in the past. He swam in Lane 8 at the U.S. trials for the 2008 Olympics and went on to win a gold medal as part of the 400 free relay in Beijing.

Speaking of the relay, Adrian and teammates Graeme Moore, Tom Shields and Josh Daniels notched the top time in the prelims in two minutes, 49.61 seconds. Auburn qualified a close second in 2:49.73.

In the relay, Adrian swam an opening leg of 42.19, still not close to his best time.

You can bet Adrian will be determined to overcome his bad swim and earn his third straight 100 free championship later tonight. I’ve seen him have times like this, where you wonder if something’s the matter, but Adrian and Cal coach Dave Durden know what they’re doing and it’s quite possible they are saving him for tonight. Basically, the plan was just do enough to qualify (although I still don’t think the eighth spot is something either had in mind) and be fresh for tonight as the Bears are looking to win their first NCAA title since 1980. Moore also qualified for the 100 free finals, giving Cal two finalists.

The finals begin at 5 p.m. and is live streaming the meet. I’ll also blog about the race and you can read a full story on Sunday.

Adrian anchors Cal Bears to win in 200 medley relay


California’s 200-yard medley relay made it look easy and it was Nathan Adrian who swam the anchor leg to give the Bears a win to open the NCAA swimming and diving championships at the University of Minnesota moments ago.

Guy Barnea, Damir Dugonjic, Graham Moore and Adrian finished in one minute, 23.12 seconds to repeat as champions.

Here’s a couple of screen shots from the finals — I admit, not the best quality — but you can watch live streaming here.

Nathan Adrian being congratulated by a teammate after anchoring the Cal Bears to a win in the 200-yard medley relay Friday.


Adrian qualifies for finals in 100 fly at NCAA swimming

California senior and Bremerton native Nathan Adrian advanced to Friday night’s finals in the 100-yard butterfly at the NCAA Swimming and Diving championships at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Adrian, who set an American record in the 50 free Thursday, touched the wall in 45.89 seconds, to qualify sixth. Adrian said earlier this week that his goal was to make the finals in order to gain more points for Cal, which was sitting in third place in the team standings after the first day of the meet.

Adrian will swim in the finals at 5 p.m. You can watch a live streaming web feed here.

Also, Navy’s Olaf Olson, a Bainbridge High graduate, finished 30th in the 3-meter diving event. The top 16 divers move on to the finals.