Reported by Lauren Neidigh.
At the 2015 World Championships, Team USA sprinting veteran Nathan Adrian didn’t get a chance to swim the 400 free relay because the Americans failed to qualify for the championship final. For years after the London Olympics, the state of American sprinting was rocky. Tonight, however, Adrian is very pleased with the current state of the USA sprint squad.
Adrian on American sprinting:
“We’re in a good place. For so long I had to answer all these questions about what happened to American sprinting, and I don’t have to answer those questions anymore. I’m happy about that.”
On day 1 of the 2017 U.S. Nationals/World Championships Trials, the men’s 100 free was one of the top races to watch. Several men had a breakthrough in the event, with swimmers like Townley Haas (48.20) and Zach Apple(48.14) making huge time drops to dip into the 48-low range.
Adrian raced alongside fellow Rio Olympian Caeleb Dressel, as the 2 swimmers finished just a hundredth apart. Adrian came from behind to win the race in 47.96, whle Dressel took 2nd in 47.97. Haas rounded out the top 3 with his 48.20, while Apple notched 4th in 48.23 to finish just off his prelims time.
The Americans seem to be well on their way to redemption. With 4 men in the 48-low range or better, the Americans are the heavy favorites going into Budapest. It took a 48.31 for Adrian to win 2014 Nationals, which served as the qualifier for 2014 Pan Pacs and, in turn, the 2015 World Championships the following summer. Tonight, it took a 48.23 just to make the top 4.
In 2014, it took a 49.12 to make the top 6, and only 3 men were under 49 seconds. Two of those men, Jimmy Feigenand Ryan Lochte, were just barely under 49 with a pair of 48.9s. Tonight in Indianapolis, Michael Chadwick took 5th in 48.48 and Blake Pieroni was 6th in 48.49.