Step aside, Jimmy Feigen…there’s a new sheriff in town.
Olympic, world, and national swimming champion Nathan Adrian won Saturday’s Fastest Man in Texas shootout, a 50-yard freestyle race that took place at high noon in San Antonio’s Josh Davis Natatorium. The competition was part of the Battle for the Crown/Joan Davis Memorial Invite and featured a line-up of swimming champions. Adrian’s time of 18.79 set a pool record and was the fastest in the United States this year, according to race organizer and Olympic gold medalist Josh Davis. The record-setting swim can be viewed here.
Josh Schneider of Ohio took second place in 19:12, and Texas Longhorn Jimmy Feigen—an Olympic and World silver medalist and the event’s reigning champion— took third place, with a time of 19:53. Feigen had battled illness earlier in the week, but brushed off its affect on his performance.
“I’ve been [feeling] better; I worked through it,” Feigen said. “I felt fine about my performance, happy with it. It’s always a pleasure to race against Nathan [Adrian] … we’re fierce competitors but great friends. We have common goals, but we’re both Americans first.”
Feigen also noted how much he enjoyed swimming in front of his hometown of San Antonio. “It’s always great to come back home,” he asserted. “There’s no place like Texas.”
While signing autographs for fans, Adrian discussed the strong rivalry between the University of Texas and California swim programs. He joked that he was “a little bit ostracized” by the crowd in favor of hometown hero Feigen but affirmed, “there is no animosity…we are friends outside of the pool.”
In addition to bragging rights, Adrian will take home $10,001, the largest purse ever for such an event in the United States. As of Saturday afternoon, Adrian was unsure how he planned to spend the money. “When I create ways to spend prize money [before a race], I have a way of not getting it,” he said, laughing. “I’ll think about it on the plane.”
Davis was pleased with this year’s event, calling it a wonderful tribute to his late mother Joan, who passed away from cancer in 2012 and for whom the invitational is named.
“She’d be so happy,” he said, noting that the day’s race was also in honor of swim moms, who make tremendous sacrifices while supporting their children’s swimming careers. “I hope [they] know that all the meals they make, all the time driving to practice … it was all worth it.”
Final Standings for the Fastest Man in Texas
1 Nathan Adrian, 18.79
2 Josh Schneider, 19:12
3 Jimmy Feigen, 19:53
4 Karl Krug, 19:67
5 Mark Weber, 19:69
6 Mindaugas Sadaukus 19:98
7 Dax Hill, 20:00
8 Cory Bolleter, 20:16