IRVINE, CALIF. –Tom Shields and Nathan Adrian, two former Cal men's swimming standouts under Golden Bear head coach David Durden, shined during the first evening of the 2014 Phillips 66 U.S. National Championships. Shields topped the field in the 200 fly with a time of 1:55.09 over Olympian Tyler Clary’s 1:56.00. Adrian, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist in the 100 free, won the U.S. National meet in that event with a mark of 48.31, topping Ryan Lochte’s 48.96.
Cal’s Anthony Ervin, a 2000 Olympic gold medalist (50 free), was fifth in Wednesday night’s 100 free (49.08), while Bear senior Seth Stubblefield, the only non-Olympian in the A Final field, was eighth (49.34).
Shields and Adrian now advance to the Pan Pacific Championships in Gold Coast, Australia in August.
“In a field like this, it is an honor to have touched the wall first,” said Adrian, commenting on a 100 free field that seven of its eight competitors were USA Olympians. “It was an extremely talented field.”
“I am extremely excited because I had never won a U.S. National title,” said Shields. “I thought if I was to win a national title it would be in the 100 fly, not the 200 fly.”
Shields competed at Cal from 2010-13, while Adrian swam for the Bears from 2007-11. The two swimmers (Adrian 13, Shields 17) won a combined 30 NCAA titles (individual and relays) while leading Cal to NCAA team titles in 2011 and 2012 under Durden.
On the women’s side, the Bears’ Missy Franklin was the national champion in the 100 free (53.44), and former Cal star Natalie Coughlin was seventh (54.52).
“It was a very good night for the Cal Bears with wins in the three of the first four events,” said Durden. “We will get some rest and attack it again tomorrow.”