BERKELEY, Calif. December 13. THE third-ranked California men's swimming program signed five athletes to national letters of intent, head coach Nort Thornton announced today. The 2006 incoming class includes Nathan Adrian (sprinter), Aaron Casey (distance freestyle), Troy Nissen(breaststroke), Byron Scoggan (individual medley) and Scott Sorge (freestyle). Nissen, Scoggan and Sorge were all selected to compete with the U.S. Junior National Team against Australia Jan. 3-7, 2006, in
Adrian, who competes for the Tacoma Swim Club in Washington state, will help continue Cal's tradition of strong sprinters. In October, Swimming World Magazine said, "Among the 18-and-unders, the most promising sprinter appears to be 17-year-old Nathan Adrian." He boasts times of 23.43 in the 50- and 50.99 in the 100-meter freestyles and has qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 50-meter free and 100-meter butterfly.
At the 2005 U.S. Open Dec. 1-3 in Auburn, Ala., Adrian placed seventh in the 50-meter (long course) freestyle in a time of 23.72, was seventh (51.06) in the 100-meter freestyle and took 18th (56.27) in the 100-meter butterfly. In the 100 free, he beat Florida All-American and U.S. Olympic
gold medalist Ryan Lochte, who was eighth (51.17). Also, at last summer's U.S. National Championships, Adrian was 19th (50.99) in the 100-meter free, one spot ahead of current Cal sophomore Garrett Wagner (20th, 51.13).
Nissen, from Sacramento, finished 17th (2:19.41) in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 2005 U.S. National Championships. That time qualifies him for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials in the event. The Rio Americano High School product also earned high school All-American honors in the 100-yard breaststroke, swimming the nation's eighth-best time (56.90) as a junior.
Scoggan, from Elk Grove in the Sacramento area, also competed at last summer's Nationals. He was 20th (2:07.24) in the 200-meter IM, two spots behind current Cal sophomore Louis Vayo (18th, 2:05.87), and has also qualified for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, in the 200-meter IM. Both
Nissen and Scoggan, who also earned high school All-American honors in the 500-yard free (12th, 4:34.71) compete for the Arden Hills Swimming club.
Casey competed at 2005 Nationals in his hometown of Irvine, Calif. Swimming for Irvine Novaquatics, Casey finished 53rd in the 800-meter free (8:29.15), two spots ahead of current Bears senior Ryan Lean (55th, 8:30.24).
Sorge, a high school All-American in the 50- and 100-yard frees from Dove Canyon, Calif., is another incoming sprinter who competed in the 100 free at 2005 Nationals. He swam a time of 53.21 in the prelims but did not reach the final. In the same event a few days later at the Junior National Championships, Sorge was 12th (53.15). His times include 21.06 in the 50-yard free, 45.73 in the 100-yard free and 1:40.97 in the 200-yard free. Sorge, who also competes for the Mission Viejo Nadadores, and Nissen earned spots on the 2005 Men’s Scholastic All-America Team.
The current edition of the Golden Bears, who have a 3-0 dual-meet record, next competes at the Snowball Invitational on Jan. 5, 2006, in Colorado Springs, Colo.