In London, Nathan Adrian and Arianna Kukors will attempt to continue a long tradition of Northwest success in Olympics swimming.
Sportspress Northwest offers a biographical look at athletes with significant ties to the state in the London Olympic Games beginning Friday.
Today’s focus: Swimming.
Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian, a 2012 Olympian (100 freestyle, relays) is the most recent state-based swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal. Washington will be represented by two swimmers in London.
2012 SWIMMING OLYMPIANS
NATHAN ADRIAN / Bremerton High
BORN: Dec. 7, 1988, Bremerton. RESIDENCE: Berkeley, CA. SPORT: Swimming. EVENTS: 100 freestyle, relays. COUNTRY: USA. OLYMPICS (2): 2008, 2012. HOW QUALIFIED: Won the 100-meter freestyle at Olympic Trials. STATE CONNECTION: Bremerton High School graduate (2006).
Son of a Bremerton school nurse and a retired nuclear engineer, the 6-6, 220-pound Adrian will be competing in his second Olympic Games. In addition to the gold medal he won in Beijing, he has won three gold and one bronze medal at the World Long Course Championships and two gold and a silver at the World Short Course Championships. Adrian also owns four gold medals from the Pan Pacific Championships. He is expected to become a multi-medalist in London in sprints and relays.
OLYMPICS: At Beijing in 2008, won a gold medal as a preliminary swimmer for the USA’s 400-meter freestyle relay team.
CAREER: (2011) — Won two medals at the FINA World Championships, including gold in the 4x100m medley relay and bronze in the 4x100m free relay; individually, placed fourth in the 50m free and sixth in the 100m free . . . Captured the 50m free at the ConocoPhillips National Championships . . . Won two gold medals in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle at the NCAA Championships . . . (2010) — Won four gold medals at the MOO Pan Pacific Championships . . . Earned national titles in the 50m and 100m freestyle races at the National Championships . . . (2009) — Won two gold medals at the FINA World Championships, in the 400 free relay and the 400 medley relay (pr) . . . Set American records in the 50y and 100y frees at the NCAA Championships . . . (2008) — Qualified for the Olympic team by placing forrth in the 100 free at the U.S. Trials . . . Won gold and set a meet record in the 100 free at the Short Course World Championships . . . Member of the 400m free-relay team that broke the world record at Short Course Worlds.
PERSONAL: Graduated from the University of California as a pre-med major . . . Has a brother, Justin and a sister, Donella . . . Justin swam for the University of Washington . . . Hobbies include jet skiing, boating and dirt bikes . . . Member of the California Aquatics Club.
ARIANA KUKORS / Auburn Mountainview, UW
BORN: June 1, 1989, Federal Way. RESIDENCE: Berkeley, CA. SPORT: Swimming. EVENT: 200 Individual Medley. COUNTRY: USA. OLYMPICS (1st): 2012. HOW QUALIFIED: Finished second in the 200 IM at the U.S. Olympic Trials. STATE CONNECTION: Auburn Mountainview High, University of Washington.
Kukors swam for the University of Washington for one year (as a freshman in 2007-08), during which becames one of the most promising young athletes in recent school history. But after that season, Kukors left the UW, started swimming at the King County Aquatics Center, then relocated to Fullerton, CA., to train under Sean Hutchinson, who had moved from King Aquatics to Fullerton.
CAREER — 2011: Won a bronze medal in the 200m IM at the 2011 FINA World Championships . . . 2010: Won the 400 individual medley at the Austin (TX.) Grand Prix on March 5 in 4:37.63, nearly a second ahead of runner-up Katie Hoff . . . Led from start to finish in winning the women’s 200-meter individual medley in 2:11.01 at the Los Angeles Grand Prix July 10 . . . Won the 200-meter individual medley at the U.S. Swimming Championships in Irvine, CA. Aug. 3, clocking 2:10.54, well off her world record time of 2:06.15 (defeated Caitlin Leverenz, who finished in 2:19.84).
2009: Selected co-American Female Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World (tied with Rebecca Soni of the USA) . . . On July 26, at the World Aquatics Championships in Rome, Italy, broke Stephanie Rices world record in the 200-meter individual medley, clocking 2:07.03 in a semifinal heat. A day later, broke her own world record in the 200 IM, clocking 2:06.15 . . . Won a silver medal in the 4×200 freestyle relay at the World Aquatics Championships in Rome, Italy . . . Won the individual medley at the U.S. Short Course National Championship Dec. 4 at the King County Aquatic Center, clocking 1:55.40 . . . Won a bronze medal in the 200-meter freestyle at the U.S. National Championships . . . Won a bronze medal in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 2009 Duel in the Pool at Manchester, England, Dec. 18, clocking 2:23.03.
2008: Placed second in the 200-yard individual medley, third in the 400-yard individual medley and fourth in the 200-yard breaststroke at the NCAA Championships . . . Qualified for the Olympic Trials in seven events, including the 400 free, 100 and 200 back, 200 breast, 200 fly, and 200 and 400 IM . . . Just missed making the 2008 Olympic team by placing third in the 200-meter individual medley and sixth in the 400 IM and 200-meter breaststroke at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, NB.
WASHINGTON: Set six school records and helped four relay teams set UW records . . . Named a three-time All-America after finishing in the top four of three events at the NCAA Championships . . . Selected Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year after winning Pac-10 individual titles in the 200 and 400 individual medleys and finishing fourth in the 200 breaststroke . . . Set school records in the 100 backstroke (53.63), 100 breaststroke (1:00.87), 200 breaststroke (2:09.78), 200 butterfly (1:58.35), 200 individual medley (1:55.26) and 400 individual medley (4:06.68) . . . Won 16 of the 18 individual races she entered and placed second in two other races . . . Won five 200 butterfly races, three 200 individual medley races, three 200 breaststroke races, two 200 freestyle races, two 200 backstroke races and one 100 backstroke race.
PERSONAL: Swims with the Fullerton Aquatics Sports Team (FAST) . . . Sister Emily swam for the University of Auburn . . . Enjoys shopping, sleeping, discovering new restaurants, going to the beach, reading and watching movies . . . Graduated from Auburn Mountainview in 2007.
SWIMMING MEDALS BY WASHINGTONIANS
GOLD: Helene Madison (Seattle), 100 free, 400 free, 400 relay, 1932 Los Angeles; Jack Medica (UW), 400 free, 1936 Berlin; Kaye Hall (Tacoma), 100 back, 400 relay, 1968 Mexico City; Rick DeMont (UW), 400 free, 1972 Munich; Tom McBreen (Spokane), 4×200 relay, 1972 Munich; Mary Wayte (Mercer Island), 200 free, 1984 Los Angeles; Meagan Quann (Puyallup), 100 breast, 400 relay, 2000 Sydney; Nathan Adrian (Bremerton), 400 relay, 2008 Beijing.
SILVER: Medica, 1,500 free, 800 relay, 1936 Berlin; Nancy Ramey (Seattle), 100 fly, 1956 Melbourne; Lynn Colella (UW), 200 fly, 1972 Munich; Wayte, 400 relay, 1988 Seoul; Tara Kirk (Bremerton), 400 relay, 2004 Athens; Margaret Hoelser (King Aquatics), 200 back, med relay, 2008 Beijing; Quann (Jendrick), med relay, 2008 Beijing; Emily Silver (Bremerton), 4×100 relay, 2008 Beijing.
BRONZE: Olive McKean (Washington Athletic Club), 400 relay, 1936 Berlin; Hall, 200 back, 1968 Mexico City; Jack Horsley (Seattle), 200 back, 1968 Mexico City; Robin Backhaus (UW), 200 fly, 1972 Munich; Tom McBreen (Spokane), 400 freestyle, 1972 Munich; Doug Northway (UW), 1,500 free, 1972 Munich; Rick Colella (UW), 200 breast, 1976 Montreal; Wayte, 400 relay, 1988 Seoul; Hoelzer, 100 back, 2008 Beijing.
Athletes with connections to the state who have qualified (or been selected) to compete in the Olympics:
|Athlete||Sport||Gms. #||Country||State Connection|
|Nathan Adrian||Swimming||2||USA||Bremerton native|
|Scott Baynes||Basketball||1||Australia||WSU grad|
|Sue Bird||Basketball||3||USA||Seattle Storm guard|
|Kim Butler||Basketball||1||G. Britain||Bellarmine Prep|
|Dave Calder||Rowing||4||Canada||University of Washington|
|Will Crothers||Rowing||1||Canada||University of Washington|
|Tyler Farrar||Cycling||1||USA||Wenatchee native|
|Amanda Furrer||Shooting||1||USA||Mead High, Spokane|
|Scott Gault||Rowing||2||USA||University of Washington|
|Rob Gibson||Rowing||1||Canada||University of Washington|
|Lauren Jackson||Basketball||4||Australia||Seattle Storm forward|
|Anthony Jacob||Rowing||1||Canada||University of Washington|
|Ebba Jungmark||Track||2||Sweden||WSU grad|
|Seth Kelsey||Fencing||3||Canada||Brush Prairie|
|Ariana Kukors||Swimming||1||USA||Auburn Mountainview|
|Meagan Kalmoe||Rowing||2||USA||University of Washington|
|Bernard Lagat||Track||4||USA||Washington State University|
|Giuseppe Lanzone||Rowing||2||USA||University of Washington|
|Amy LePeilbet||Soccer||1||USA||Spokane native|
|Adrienne Lyle||Equestrian||1||USA||University of Washington|
|Adrienne Martelli||Rowing||1||USA||University of Washington|
|Arielle Martin||Cycling||1||USA||Spanaway native|
|Conlin McCabe||Rowing||1||Canada||University of Washington|
|Tamari Miyashiro||Volleyball||1||USA||University of Washington|
|Haley Nemra||Track||2||Marshall Is.||Marys.-Pilchuck|
|Brett Newlin||Rowing||2||USA||University of Washington|
|Kara Patterson||Track||2||USA||Seattle native|
|Jennie Reed||Cycling||3||USA||Seattle native|
|Jarred Rome||Track||2||USA||Marys.-Pilchuck High|
|Janine Sandell||Volleyball||1||Great Britain||University of Washington|
|Hope Solo||Soccer||2||USA||University of Washington|
|Travis Stevens||Judo||2||USA||Bellevue native|
|Courtney Thompson||Volleyball||1||USA||University of Washington|
|Aretha Thurmond||Track||4||USA||University of Washington|
|Queen Underwood||Boxing||1||USA||Seattle resident|
|Eric Uptagrafft||Shooting||1||USA||Spokane resident|
|Tejay van Garderen||Cycling||1||USA||Tacoma native|
|Brad Walker||Track||2||USA||University of Washington|
|Mary Whipple||Rowing||3||USA||University of Washington|