Berkeley’s Adrian Scores 100m Free Upset

It was a great day for swimmers, especially for two who hail from the East Bay.

Olympic Swimmer Nathan Adrian
AFP/Getty Images

It was a great day for swimmers, especially for two who hail from the East Bay.

Nathan Adrian of Berkeley won a gold medal in the men's 100m freestyle by one-hundredth of a second at the London Olympics on Wednesday.

His win, by the smallest of margins, marked the first time an American won the gold medal in the 100 freestyle since 1988.

Not only did he dominate, but anchor swimmer Allison Schmitt overcame a half-second lead by the Australians in the final leg of the race, to lead her women's team to victory against the Australians - with a margin of more than a second. And Dana Vollmer, a Cal graduate who has already won a gold medal in the 100 fly, won another gold as part of the Team USA relay, along with teammates Missy Franklin and Shannon Vreeland. The trio set an Olympic record of 7:42.92 seconds, while the Aussies logged 7:44.41

Back in the men's swimming event, Adrian clocked 47.52 seconds to win by 0.01 ahead of world champion James "The Missile" Magnussen of Australia.

Adrian pounded his fist on the water, then put his hands over his eyes as if he couldn't believe the scoreboard.  

"I had no idea, to be honest,'' said Adrian. "I'm a guy that has a lot of speed and I can go out fast and I die a little more than he does. It's a little nerve-racking the second 50. I just had to really focus on it and stay strong.'' 

Magnussen touched in 47.53 to take the silver medal and Brent Hayden of Canada finished in 47.80 for bronze.

Fans immediately began tweeting their support of Adrian, commenting not only on his win, but his incredibly good looks too.

[View the story "Fans cheer for Berkeley's Nathan Adrian, winner of Olympic gold." on Storify]

In other Bay Area swimming news on Wednesday,  San Jose's Scott Weltz placed fifth in the men's 200 meter breaststroke.

Despite not medaling, the finish is quite an accomplishment for the Bellarmine High graduate. Weltz made it to the final of a senior national meet in June. In 2008, he was 38th in the U.S. Olympic trials in the 200-meter breaststroke.

Sam Shulz, Lori Preuitt and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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