Adrian wins 100 free on first night of U.S. Nationals

While there was much ballyhoo surrounding Michael Phelps’ return to swimming, Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian left no doubt as to who really is the king of American sprinting on Wednesday. Adrian won the 100-meter freestyle at the U.S. National championships in Irvine, California.

Adrian led at the 50, in 22.85 seconds, and won by a near half-body length in 48.31. Ryan Lochte was second and Jimmy Feigen third. Phelps was seventh. The win also gives Adrian his sixth national championship title.

The top four individuals are added to the national team for the next two-year cycle and will head to Australia later this month for the Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast.

Adrian wasn’t that impressed with his time.

“It’s about qualifying,” he said in a post-race webcast interview. “In a field like that it’s always an honor to get your hand on the wall first.”

Adrian said it was very important to not abandon his race strategy considering the amount of talent in the event. Of the eight competitors, seven are Olympians and all seven have won individual golds at the Olympics or

Nathan Adrian
Nathan Adrian

world championships.

“You work all year with a certain race strategy in mind and you really going to do your best if you execute it,” he said. “It’s an extraordinary field and it’s an honor to be a part of it.”

Adrian will swim in the 50 free prelims on Sunday.