Nationals Preview: Q&A with Elizabeth Beisel and Nathan Adrian


Just six days and counting until the start of the Phillips 66 National Championships in Irvine, Calif. This meet will be the biggest national-level meet until the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, as spots on five international team rosters are at stake, including the 2014 Pan Pacific Championships team and the 2015 World Championships Team.


Olympians Elizabeth Beisel and Nathan Adrian are both looking to land a spot on those Pan Pac and World teams next week in Irvine. In today’s Q&A, they talk about their goals and approach to the big meet.


Elizabeth Beisel Portrait. (Medium)Elizabeth Beisel

Which events will you be swimming?
I’m not 100 percent sure on my final schedule, but as of now I will be racing in the 200 fly, 200 free and 200 back, 400 IM, 400 free and 200 IM.


Which events are you looking forward to swimming the most, and why?
I am most looking forward to swimming the 400 IM. So far this season, my IM has been way better than it ever has been before, so I am hoping to go as close to a best time as I can at Nationals. 


What are your goals for the meet?
My goals are honestly just to have fun and make the Pan Pacific team. Swimming is such a serious sport sometimes, and going t

o huge meets like this is where it should all be taken in and enjoyed. 


Which event/s other than yours are you most looking forward to watching?
I cannot WAIT to watch the distance freestyles. I think Katie Ledecky is going to dominate them and hopefully break some more world records. Who doesn’t like watching world records be broken anyways? 


Do you have any rituals/superstitions before you race?
The only ritual I have is when I get up on the blocks, before they say “take your mark,” I ALWAYS clap three times. I don’t even know why I do it, but it has become habit so I am sticking with it. 


What song best describes you or your situation as you head into this meet? Why?
Probably “It’s the Final Countdown” by Europe. Only because (I think everyone will agree with me on this one) this summer season is one of the longest, and I haven’t rested or shaved since March, so the fact that Nationals and taper time is FINALLY here makes me so happy. I have definitely been counting down the days until taper and Nationals for a while now. 


What’s your favorite pre-race meal?
Anything Italian. Last year when Nationals were in Indianapolis, we ate at Bucca di Beppo almost every night, and I absolutely love that place. My go-to meal would probably be lasagna. 


If you could have any celebrity come watch your race at Nationals, who would it be, and why?
I have always loved Leonardo DiCaprio. I would probably faint if I saw him in person. I also love Blake Lively, too. Oh AND Jennifer Lawrence. I’d be happy if any of them knew who I was, let alone cheer me on!


If you meet all your goals at this meet, how will you celebrate?
The last night after the meet I will probably eat A LOT of chocolate, or cake, or something. Then hopefully get back to work for Pan Pacs.


Pretend your life at this meet and the weeks leading up to it were being made into a movie. What would thi

s movie be called, and who would play you? What’s the plot?
The movie would be called, True Life: I’m a Procrastinator. This entire past month I was supposed to have been moving out of my apartment into a new one, but of course I still have yet to do that with a week to go until we leave for Nationals. I guess I keep telling myself I work better under pressure (and it’s taper time, so I don’t want to strain myself, right?) but I know I will be so mad at myself once I start packing all of the cardboard boxes I bought (at least I got those to start with). I think someone funny would play my character, like Amy Poehler. If she turned the part down I guess I would settle with Blake Lively. Haha. 


If you were to design your own suit or cap for this meet, what would it look like?
It would DEFINITELY be bright pink and have some glittery seams or something sparkly. I would stand out like a sore thumb, but I would love that. I think we need more color and glitz on our racing suits, similar to what gymnasts have for their leotards. 


Since you love being in the water, if you could be any water animal, what would it be and why?
A dolphin HANDS DOWN. I absolutely love dolphins. They are extremely smart and beautiful. They also blow really great bubble rings, and lately I have been practicing my technique. 


Nathan Adrian Portrait. (Medium)Nathan Adrian

Which event/s other than yours are you most looking forward to watching?
I always look forward to the 100s of strokes. This year I think the 100 back and 100 fly for men will be especially exciting. 


Do you have any rituals/superstitions before you race?
Not necessarily. I think every race is different, so the preparation should reflect that in some way. I certainly have some guidelines that I will adhere to, but nothing really strict. 


What song is on your iPod right before a race? Why?
Nothing at the moment! Especially as we get to the championship season, the atmosphere is more than enough to get me excited and ready to race fast. 


What is your favorite pre-race meal?
I enjoy a good sandwich before a finals session. Nothing too fancy, but I like to eat about two hours before my race, and that will ensure that I won’t get hungry before swimming. 


If you meet all your goals at this meet, how will you celebrate?
Disneyland! Just joking. I will probably go to bed and get ready for a really long flight to Australia. 


Pretend your life at this meet and the weeks leading up to it were being made into a movie. What would this movie be called, and who would play you?
The Life and times of Nathan Adrian, played by Jackie Chan. I chose Jackie Chan because I like to pretend that I know Kung Fu and do flips through ladders and other random household objects to escape my nemeses.


If you could be a water animal, what would you be and why?
Dolphin. They seem like they have the most fun of any sea creature I have ever seen. 


Catch all the action from the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships, including the live webcast, photos, daily wrap-ups and results, at usaswimming.org/nationals.