U.S. Swimming Trials: Bremerton grad Nathan Adrian falls short of second event
Adrian couldn't match his success in the 100, missing out on a second qualification.
Special to The Seattle Times
OMAHA, Neb. — The old guard isn't ready to step aside yet.
Add Anthony Ervin to the likes of Dara Torres, Natalie Coughlin and Jason Lezak, but at the expense of Bremerton's Nathan Adrian. In the men's 50 meter freestyle final, Cullen Jones won the race in a blistering 21.59 seconds — 0.12 seconds off the Olympic trials record.
Adrian touched the wall in less than 22 seconds as he hoped — 21.68, to be exact — but it wasn't good enough to give him a chance to win an individual medal in the 50. Edging Adrian for second was Ervin (21.60), who turned 31 in May.
"There's definitely a level of disappointment," Adrian said before pausing and adding with a laugh, "But I'm planning on going again in another four years. We'll see what we could do then."
Ever since winning a gold medal in 2008 as part of the 400 meter free relay, Adrian was determined to capture individual honors in London this year. He'll only have that chance in the 100 free after winning the final at the trials Friday.
"I would have loved to swim that (50) individually in London, but I just missed my spot," Adrian said.
Instead, Cullen Jones qualified for both events after finishing second to Adrian in the 100, which Jones didn't consider his stronger event.
"Twenty-five (meters) left, I looked over and I saw Nathan; I was like, 'Go, go, go, go.' I just steamrolled straight to the wall," said Jones, 28, reflecting back on the 100. Jones will be competing in the Olympics for the second time.
Adrian looked up to Ervin, 31, ever since he followed Ervin's footsteps at California. They often worked out together in the same pool in Berkeley.
When asked about swimming against Ervin for a shot at an individual event at the Olympics, Adrian said, "It was fun. The 50 is really nothing but fun. It was cool."
But make no mistake, it was no fun for Adrian to finish third.
In other events at the trials, Michael Phelps won the 100-meter butterfly, which qualifies him for another eight events in London.
17-year-old Missy Franklin easily won the 200 backstroke, setting herself up for seven events — an Olympic record for American women.