Nathan Adrian — Yes, Nathan Adrian — Wins 200 Free At USA Swimming Nationals

nathan adrian

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

GREENSBORO – It’s widely known that Nathan Adrian trained like a distance swimmer during his younger days growing up in Washington state, but since arriving at the University of California-Berkeley the concentration has been on the 50 and 100 freestyles. Judging by his pacing in winning the 200 free at the USA Swimming nationals, he reached deep into that background to post his first national title in the event.

Adrian posted a 1:32.83 to win over a field full of athletes who specialize in the 200 free, and he never lost the lead. In fact, he swam the race as most 200 freestylers do, picking up the kick in the third 50 and using that familiar windmill stroke in the final seven yards. 21.41, 23.43, 24.01 and 23.98 were his splits.

The question has to be asked: Is Adrian eyeing the 200 free in time for the 2016 Olympic Trials? His rival, James Magnussen, had hinted at adding the 200 free to his program, but has not fully committed to that. In any case, Adrian is showing some endurance that could pay off in his 100 free.

“Getting out of the comfort zone helped me, especially when it hurt on that last 50,” he said.

Michael Wynalda, the top seed, did everything he could to run down Adrian, but was likely shocked that he couldn’t track him down, and finished second with a 1:33.95, a little more than a second off his lifetime best. Ohio State’s Josh Fleagle took third with a 1:34.33, just a couple of tenths off his lifetime best.

Indiana’s Blake Pieroni (1:34.55), Club Wolverine’s Hassaan Abdel Khalik (1:34.69), Louisville’s Trevor Carrol (1:35.57) and Matthias Lindenbauer (1:36.31), and Justin Glanda (1:36.41) took the rest of the top eight spots.

Winning the B final was 2010 Commonwealth Games champion Robbie Renwick, a full second ahead of Townley Haas’ 1:35.19 and Anze Tavcar’ 1:35.32. Maxime Rooney accelerated through the final 100 to win the C final with a 1:35.46, beating the 1:36.90 by True Sweetser and 1:37.33 by Grant House.

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