BARCELONA, SPAIN – Cal’s Nathan Adrian had an outstanding freestyle split (46.69) in the 400 medley relay and helped the Americans touch the wall first, but Team USA was disqualified in the event during the final day of the 2013 FINA World Championships at Palau Sanit Jordi in Barcelona.
The Americans had the lead (53.02) after backstroker Matt Grevers’ lead-off leg, but breaststroker Kevin Cordes was disqualified on his start. The United States posted the fastest time at 3:30.06. France ended up being declared the winner with a time of 3:31.51.
Earlier, Adrian had teamed-up with fellow Golden Bear Anthony Ervin to pace Team USA to a silver medal in the 400 free relay on July 28 during the first day of the swimming competition. Adrian had propelled the Americans to the lead after opening the 400 relay with a mark of 47.95 after the first 100 meters. Ryan Lochte was overtaken by Australia’s Cameron McEvoy, before Ervin recaptured the lead for Team USA, swimming the third leg in a time of 47.44. Unfortunately, Team USA was edged by France in the final leg.
On Saturday, Adrian placed fourth and Ervin was sixth in the finals of the 50-meter freestyle. Adrian clocked in at 21.60 and Ervin had a mark of 21.65. The winner of the 50 free was world record holder Cesar Cielo Filho, who won the event in a time of 21.32. He set the world record of 20.91 in 2009.
On Thursday (Aug. 1), Adrian placed third in the 100 free finals with a time of 47.84 after clocking the top time of the semifinals (47.95) on Wednesday. At the 2012 London Olympics, he had edged Australia’s James Magnussen, 47.52 to 47.53, for the 100 free gold. Adrian also won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as a member of the United States’ 400 free relay, swimming in the prelims. He captured five NCAA crowns – the 50-yard freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay and 400 free relay – during the Golden Bears’ championship run of 2011.
Ervin won the 2000 Olympic gold in the 50-meter free after tying with Gary Hall, Jr. He was a three-time NCAA champion in the 100 free and was the 2002 Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year for Cal. Ervin also won the NCAA 50-meter free title in 2000 and was a member of the national champion 400 medley relay (butterfly leg) in 2000 and the national champion 400 free relay (second leg) in 2002.
Ervin had finished second to Adrian in the 50 free and was third in the 100 free earlier this summer in Indianapolis during the World Championship Trials. The last World Championships Ervin competed in was exactly 10 years ago, in 2003, at Palau Sanit Jordi in Barcelona. He had retired from swimming shortly after the 2003 World Championships, but returned to training shortly before the 2012 London Olympics were he placed fifth in the 50 free (21.78).
Another Bear who has been training under Cal coach David Durden at Spieker Aquatics Complex in preparation for the World Championships was standout breaststroker Damir Dugonjic. Dugonjic, from Slovenia, placed fourth in both the finals of the 50 and 100 breast, seeing a European record in the 50 breast on Tuesday with a time of 26.83.
Dugonjic swam for Cal from 2008 through 2011 – winning three NCAA titles and owning Cal’s school record in the 100-yard breast (50.86, set in 2009). He competed for Slovenia in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and was a member of NCAA championship 200 and 400 medley relays with Adrian in 2010 and 2011.
Adrian and Ervin, who are training with Durden (along with Dugonjic), were recently featured by Comcast SportsNet in preparation for the 2013 FINA World Swimming Championships Comcast Cal Swimming Feature.