Nathan Adrian Weighs in on 400 Free Relay, Why Top Seed Should Pick Their Lane

In the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman HodgesGarrett McCaffrey, and Gold Medal Mel Stewart, SwimSwam welcomes both the biggest names in swimming that you already know, and rising stars that you need to get to know, as we break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

We sat down with Olympic champion and USA sprinting legend, Nathan Adrian to get his wisdom through 2 days of the Olympic Games. The most interesting thing he said: we should start a petition that top seed gets to choose what lane they swim in at night. Why? Adrian prefers the outside lane for his events, especially a 100 free because that way competitors can’t ride your wave as much. Adrian noted that on the lead-off of the 400 free relay, everyone knows US star Caeleb Dressel will be out fast and they gravitate to him like a magnet, trying to benefit from the wake he creates.

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sly
2 months ago

Not a good idea

Khachaturian
Reply to  sly
2 months ago

i disagree

useless comment
Reply to  Khachaturian
2 months ago

Wow great point!

Khachaturian
Reply to  useless comment
2 months ago

andiencjcbkc

Last edited 2 months ago by Khachaturian
Cate
Reply to  sly
2 months ago

How many Olympic medals do you have?

Meow
Reply to  Cate
2 months ago

This is always the dumbest comeback on this site. People can have reasonable opinions about swimming without being Olympians.

dddddddd
Reply to  Meow
2 months ago

How many Olympic medals do you have?

Kachow
2 months ago

Actually a cool idea. It would make it little bit more exciting if the first seed after prelims would get to pick first what lane they want for finals and second seed gets second pick and so on.

ACC
Reply to  Coleman Hodges
2 months ago

I feel like we shouldn’t be incentivizing going slow in prelims on purpose. As it is there’s not really an advantage for going the fastest in prelims as opposed to getting 2nd or 3rd or 4th.

Cate
Reply to  ACC
2 months ago

You just aid the same thing. Going slower is incentivized no matter what.

Idc
Reply to  Coleman Hodges
2 months ago

Makes qualifying higher even more rewarding as well

Little Mermaid
Reply to  Coleman Hodges
2 months ago

Waves? Did waves play any role in the 100 women’s fly race?

torchbearer
Reply to  Little Mermaid
2 months ago

Waves didnt seem to affect Chalmers…46.4….

DJTrockstoYMCA
Reply to  Coleman Hodges
2 months ago

Actually this idea has been tossed around for decades by swimming coaches. The damn NCAA and FINA organizations seem to be interested in power – Not advancing the excitement and mojo of our sport. The choice for seeding of finals based upon qualifying, the stupid 15 m rule (check the 100 m backstroke mens final in 1992), no hand touch flip turns needed for Fly and Breast, bring back salt water pools and allow WR swim therein, bring back timing to 1/1000th (fewer ties and swim-offs), add the 800 medley, 800 – 4x200IM, 200 Free and 200 Medley relays, get rid of the stupid mixed medley, add the 50 m in all strokes, get rid of the 1500 and 800… Read more »

Admin
Reply to  DJTrockstoYMCA
2 months ago

No.

Idc
Reply to  DJTrockstoYMCA
2 months ago

I like everything besides the one hand touch/turns and when you say 800 medley do you mean relay or are you trying to kill somebody in the individual?

JVW
Reply to  Idc
2 months ago

An 800 IM would be kind of cool. Kind of like the Ironman Triathlon of swimming. Plus, every swimmer probably had a sadistic coach who made them do one in practice at some point in their career.

Last edited 2 months ago by JVW
Idc
Reply to  DJTrockstoYMCA
2 months ago

The choose the order reminds me of the pro swim random order which sucked

Canadian Swammer
Reply to  Idc
2 months ago

I was a 200IMer and I did some fast Fl/Fr/Br/Bk efforts in workout and I always wondered if it might be faster. I found it easier to kick out far and tempo the backstroke at the end.

Xman
Reply to  Canadian Swammer
2 months ago

My favorite IM workout is doing a pattern of medley relay order follow by standard order.

I don’t think fly being first slows the other strokes down.

Idc
Reply to  DJTrockstoYMCA
2 months ago

BRING BACK 50 STROKE AND 100 IM SCY PLEASE

Meow
Reply to  Idc
2 months ago

100 IM is the very best event and the best part of masters swimming. I’d love to see it at NCAAs.

torchbearer
Reply to  Meow
2 months ago

Dive, 2 strokes, turn, 2 strokes, turn, 2 strokes, turn 2 strokes….nah

12345
Reply to  DJTrockstoYMCA
2 months ago

What you said about FINA and NCAA is probably true, but I think you’ve gone too far making unnecessary oppositions more based on opinions than actual statements

Sharkspeed
Reply to  Coleman Hodges
2 months ago

I think it’s a cool idea!
And what if the first seed choose last but has priority over others?
This way first seed could not only choose their favourite lane but also play with who they want to swim next to.

Last edited 2 months ago by Sharkspeed
yardfan
Reply to  Coleman Hodges
2 months ago

FINA and USA Swimming use the following rules for seeding swimmers.
 SW 3.1.2 Except for 50 meter events in 50 meter pools, assignment of lanes shall be (number 1 lane being on the right side of the pool (0 when using pools with 10 lanes) when facing the course from the starting end) by placing the fastest swimmer or team in the center lane in pool with an odd number of lanes, or in lane 3 or 4 respectively in pools having 6 or 8 lanes. In pools using 10 lanes, the fastest swimmer shall be placed in lane 4. The swimmer having the next fastest time is to be placed on his left, then alternating the others to… Read more »

M d e
Reply to  Coleman Hodges
2 months ago

It doesn’t really make sense to me. Wouldn’t everyone just pick the lanes next to Dressel anyway regardless of what lane he is in?

I don’t think the drafting had a tremendous impact on the race.

Stephen
Reply to  Coleman Hodges
2 months ago

It’s the Chalmers factor

ACC
Reply to  Kachow
2 months ago

I feel like that wouldn’t be the ideal way to do it. If I was the top seed I might want to be away from a certain swimmer (Ledecky wanting to have a lane separating her and Titmus so that she can’t draft). The way you described the second seed would have the advantage because they could choose whether or not they want to be next to the first seed.

Maybe a white elephant situation would be best. 8th chooses, then 7th can either take the 8th place’s choice or choose their own, and keep moving down to first.

MickeyMouse
Reply to  ACC
2 months ago

ohhhh the DRAMA this would create, I love it

Gogo bibi
Reply to  Kachow
2 months ago

I think there is a reason why they used the classic lane orda

Last edited 2 months ago by Gogo bibi
Facts
2 months ago

Imagine if top seed in prelims got to pick who swims in their heat in semifinals

Idc
Reply to  Facts
2 months ago

Don’t let rowdy hear this or we will get a whole speech abt the second heat

Idc
Reply to  Facts
2 months ago

Actually scratch that are you rowdy cause who else would say that???

The White Whale
2 months ago

FINA will never go along with it because it’s an American’s idea.

DCSwim
2 months ago

Don’t they do this in track?

Mediocre Swammer
Reply to  DCSwim
2 months ago

I think so, but in track (at least in the 200 and 400), being in an inside lane is a disadvantage because the turn is tighter. And the start is staggered so wanting to start either “ahead” or “behind” someone is a lot different than everyone starting equal.

Steve Nolan
2 months ago

I mean football teams get to decide which way they’re playing based on a coin toss, might as well add some incentive to go fast in the morning.

Might make it a bit tougher for your average swimming fans to acclimate to – v much used to fastest teams in the middle of the pool – but it’s not like that doesn’t still happen anyway.

I’m not gonna listen to this for another couple hours but Nathan, Nathan did you see Brett Hayden Nathan he went so fast and he’s old too that’s a good sign buddy see you in Paris and LA <3

Marsh
Reply to  Steve Nolan
2 months ago

Steve, I am in love with you

Dressel will come 3rd in 100 free
2 months ago

Interesting idea, but no from me.

Spectatorn
2 months ago

The Torri Huske hot take!
remember this number – 47.78s!

If NBC does not recognize Adrian is a gem, SS need to jump in an get Adrian on their podcast more 🙂

Last edited 2 months ago by Spectatorn
icyswim13
Reply to  Spectatorn
2 months ago

Would that time for Torri mean a sub-55 LCM fly too?

Penguin
Reply to  Spectatorn
2 months ago

It’s exciting until, right after, they remind us she’s on her way to Stanford.
Go Torri, and I know quite a few mid level swimmers who improved a lot on the farm, but I can’t help but be worried.

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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