Aug. 15, 2000
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - California sprint standout Anthony Ervin became the first African-American to qualify for the United States Olympic swim team as he placed second in the finals of the 50-meter freestyle Tuesday night at the USA Olympic Trials in Indianapolis, IN.
Ervin swam the 50 free in a time of 21.80, trailing only 1996 silver medalist Gary Hall, Jr.'s time of 21.76. Hall set a new U.S. and Olympic Trial record with his mark of 21.76, bettering the old record of 22.12 set by Cal's Matt Biondi in 1992.
Ervin's teammate at Cal, Matt Macedo, placed sixth in the 50 free final with a time of 22.51.
On Sunday, Ervin had qualified for the Sydney Olympics by placing fifth in the 100-meter free with a time of 49.29, making him eligible to compete on the 4x100 relay. He is the current world record holder in the 50 free short course meters with a time of 21.21 swam at the 2000 NCAA Championship. He also was the NCAA champion in the 100-meter free and was named the 2000 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year.
Another Cal swimmer who did well Tuesday night was Haley Cope, who finished second in the semifinals of the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 25.48, trailing only winner Dara Torres' mark of 24.93. Cope will next compete in the 50 free finals Wednesday night.
The website for the U.S. Olympic Trials is www.usa-swimming.org. A feature on Cal swimmer Staciana Stitts, who qualified for the Olympics by placing second in the 100-meter breaststroke, is available on the Olympic Trials website.