Q&A With Justin Adrian

Nov. 20, 2003

Justin Adrian is a senior captain for the men's swimming team. He is one of three Husky men to have participated in the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships last season and has already posted the fastest time in the country in the 100 butterfly.

UW Media Relations: What is your shoe size?

Justin Adrian: Seventeen. It definitely helps. But I'm also pushing 50 to 60 more pounds than everyone else is.

UWMR: What are your duties as a captain and how are you different from the other captains?

JA: Luke and I work really well together to get the team going. We complement each other. We were both captains last year so we've worked together before. I'm more of a quiet person than he is; I'm not vocal about everything. I don't get up and motivate people by words, just by actions.

UWMR: Your 100 Butterfly time is the best in the nation. Is that your favorite event?

JA: It's my best event and definitely my favorite. It's pretty easy and over with quick and you don't have to do too much. The quicker you get it over with, the better you do.

UWMR: Do you have any Olympic aspirations?

JA: Possibly. We don't swim meters here, and that's what the Olympic trials are competed in. The two fastest people in history in this event are both from the U.S. and only the top two go. But I'd like to make trials.

UWMR: Your sister just finished swimming for the University of Puget Sound. Are there any other Adrian swimmers we should be looking out for?

JA: Nathan, my little brother who is fourteen. He goes to Bremerton High School, but he commutes to Tacoma to swim. He's about 6'2'' and he's going to be extremely fast. He's really, really good. He's going to be better than I am. It's really exciting. I can live my Olympic dreams through him!

UWMR: What are your goals for the season?

JA: I want to make it back to NCAAs and I want to get the team back there. I really want to get a relay there, because relays are huge and that would be really good for us for recruiting. We are graduating eight seniors this year and those eight seniors are a big chunk of the scoring points right now. We just need to get back to NCAAs and I really want to do well because I didn't do very well last year. I had mono while I was there and it was pretty bad. But that's the main goal, just getting the team back to NCAAs and scoring some points so that Washington swimming will be recognized. If we have guys swimming in a lot of races, it puts our name out there more. That's what we really need out of this year, just to build something on that.

UWMR: Do you have any strategies?

JA: Just go out after it. If you die you die, you swim another day, it doesn't matter. Swimming is so temporary, it's been four years and it's gone by so fast. You've got to make the best of it and really try to win every race. In the 100 fly there is definitely no strategy. You just do it.

UWMR: What is your dry land training like?

JA: The first month is hell. DJ, our strength coach, does an amazing job of snapping us into shape after our month long break in the summer. From 6 to 8 a.m. we spend one hour in the weight room and one hour in the pool 3 times a week. It really gets you into shape and it helps a lot. I think our dry land training is very important and has a lot to do with how fast we swim.

UWMR: How come you don't shave your head or wear a cap like most swimmers do?

JA: I just never have. If I beat somebody and they ARE wearing a cap, it just means I'm that much better than they are. That might sound cocky but it's a strategy. It's kind of like a mental game, and I CAN do it without a cap. I swam one meet with a cap, and that was at Pac-10s last year, and that's only because I was really, really trying to make my cuts. But I really prefer not to wear a cap, it's just not my style.

UWMR: Do you have a favorite type of swimwear?

JA: The jammer. It's the one that goes to the knee. Sometimes I wear the legs, that goes down to your ankles. It's just a different material and a different brand of suit.

UWMR: How has the program changed since you've been here?

JA: It's changed in more ways than you can even imagine. Its gets exponentially better every year. There was definitely a learning curve for Mickey when he came in and he's getting a lot better every year. My freshman and sophomore years we had different weight coaches and everything was kind of disheveled. But this year and last year we've had the same weight coach and he's done an amazing job with us. He really wants us to excel and that has changed a lot of things. The work ethic in the weight room is getting so much better and everybody wants to be there, and that attitude is brought into the pool. I'm really jealous of the freshmen because they get four years of this.

UWMR: Is there anyone who has had a really big influence in your life?

JA: I've learned a lot about patience from my parents. They are awesome people. And my whole family, they've always been there for me and that's been really special for me.

UWMR: What are you into besides swimming?

JA: I like cars a lot. I like to mess around with my car, it gives it a personalized touch.

UWMR: What kind of car do you have?

JA: A Mustang. But I'm selling it to get a truck. My brother and I need a reliable truck so that we can go dirt biking. And that's one thing I really like to do. I just got into it last year. There's a place called Green Mountain near my home in Bremerton. If you ride up to the top you can see Seattle and the whole Puget Sound area. It's a lot of fun.

UWMR: Do you have any plans for after graduation?

JA: I've been exploring a lot of options. I was thinking the Coast Guard or doing the Peace Corps for a couple years.

UWMR: How did it feel to beat 13th ranked Hawaii, two times?

JA: It was an amazing feeling, it was unreal. We have to overcome diving points, so a lot of times we have 'moral victories', where we beat them in the pool, but the opponent beats us because of diving. I thought that was in our reach but to beat them legitimately was huge. It was really intense because it came down to the last relay in both meets, and behind the blocks in those last relays, it was absolute chaos. Everybody was just jumping around, doing cheers, and it really showed how an individual sport can really be a team sport.I was the anchor leg, the last to swim and I was just terrified. There's so much pressure, and everyone is behind you, cheering for you, hitting you on the back. It's crazy. It was a great feeling.

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