Nathan Adrian on 2021 Trials: “Not what I was hoping for, certainly”


Reported by James Sutherland.


  • World Record: Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 20.91 (2009)
  • American Record: Caeleb Dressel – 21.04 (2019)
  • US Open Record: Cesar Cielo (BRA) – 21.14 (2009)
  • World Junior Record: Michael Andrew (USA) – 21.75 (2017)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: Anthony Ervin (USA) – 21.40
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: Nathan Adrian – 21.51
  • Wave I Cut: 23.19
  • Wave II Cut: 22.71
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 22.01
  1. Caeleb Dressel (GSC), 21.04 =AR
  2. Michael Andrew (RPC), 21.48
  3. Nathan Adrian (CAL), 21.73

Caeleb Dressel used his game-changing start to launch himself into clear water right off the hop in the men’s 50 freestyle final, soaring to victory in a time of 21.04 to tie his American Record set at the 2019 World Championships.

Dressel’s swim also lowers the U.S. Open Record of 21.14, set by Cesar Cielo in 2009, and ties for both the fourth-fastest swim ever and the fastest textile swim of all-time.

The 22-year-old Dressel solidifies his entry into three individual events in Tokyo, as did the race’s runner-up, Michael Andrew.

Andrew, who won the 100 breast and 200 IM earlier in the meet, closed like a freight train to separate himself from the rest of the field and touch second in 21.48, just two one-hundredths off his personal best set at the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships.

Touching third was the veteran, the all-time great, Nathan Adrian.

Adrian, 32, clocked 21.73 to finish third, .05 quicker than his semi-final swim to mark his fastest swim since 2016. This will be the first time since 2004 that Adrian is absent from the U.S. Olympic team.

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1 month ago

This didn’t look like an easy interview for him, but as always took it in stride and kept a good perspective on the situation

Classy as always

Reply to  Teddy
1 month ago

Quite possibly the ‘CLASSIEST’ of class acts in the sport of swimming.

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  Teddy
1 month ago

He’s super classy.

Doesn’t get rattled.

Never made any excuses ever whenever he underperformed.

1 month ago

Please keep going! Not ready for him to leave

Reply to  SwamFly
1 month ago

When he was interviewed i think by Michelle Tafoya (by the way, really didn’t like many of her questions, especially towards the end trying to drum up drama when the meet truly is about the elation of qualifying for the Olympics), I think she asked him about future, and Adrian said something about it only being 3 years from now…that ‘could’ keep him around. I mean, if Anthony Ervin could win a gold medal at 35, I see no reason why Adrian can’t be the same or at least close to it.

Reply to  jim
1 month ago

Dressel is definitely a good reason why he can’t get gold…

Reply to  deepblue
1 month ago

If he maintains his current level, it’s more about just executing his races well enough to get onto the team for relay. I don’t think people expect 35 year old Adrian to be top 2 to swim individually in the 100fr, but he was clearly on form enough this year to make the team, just bombed his semis swim.

Reply to  jim
1 month ago

It isn’t like he was that far off. Dressel and MA will likely still be around in the 50, and David Curtiss and maybe others will be better, so it won’t get easier, but he might be able to pop off a good enough 100 to make the team. I’d think speed is the first thing to go as you age and he still has plenty of that.

Reply to  jim
14 days ago

Wondering if Nathan tries to become a 50 free specialist or sticks with his bread and butter 100

Coach Macgyver
1 month ago

Nathan Adrian is USA swimming’s Tim Duncan. Solid fundamentals, an outstanding leader and instrumental in helping develop his teammates.

Reply to  Coach Macgyver
1 month ago

I’ve always hated the spurs. but Tim Duncan… he is the man.

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  mcmflyguy
1 month ago

What team do you got?

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Coach Macgyver
1 month ago

Nathan Adrian: The Big Fundamental

Eric the Eel > Michael Phelps
1 month ago

I feel like Adrian is going to comeback in Paris

Joel Lin
1 month ago

He will be 35 in 2024. I’d say he’s likely to make the relay at Trials in 2024, as did Lezak in his final meet. I also hope so very much.

SwimFan NU
1 month ago


1 month ago

More power to him to stay on the sport – from a standpoint of building a stronger “business” around swimming I think it is important to have a good mix of veteran names and up-and-coming new guys. Adrian is a guy who has solid name recognition and brand potential, and I think brands seeing famous swimmers as a target is important. Dressel isn’t exactly “new”, but I think he has the potential to have a “Phelps-esque” run on medals in Tokyo and move into that level of fame that only a few swimmers have ever achieved.

1 month ago

he’s make a great commentator.

Getting older sucks. I’m 43 and the worst part is that you can’t recover from hard work like you used to.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Chris
1 month ago

Just wait.

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