IRVINE, CALIF. – Anthony Ervin, the 33-year-old sprint star who was the 2000 Olympic gold medalist, showed he is again at the top of his game as he won the 50-meter freestyle in the final race of the 2014 Phillips 66 National Championships Sunday. Ervin topped another Golden Bear star, Nathan Adrian, 21.55 to 21.69, to win gold.
Ervin had retired from swimming in 2003, but returned to the pool in 2011 and now spends a considerable amount of time training at Cal’s Spieker Aquatics Complex with Cal coach David Durden. Besides Ervin and Adrian, Bear senior sprinter Seth Stubblefield placed seventh in the 50 free with a time of 22.34.
Ervin now joins Adrian, Tom Shields, Bear sophomore Ryan Murphy, and Cal juniors Josh Prenot and Jacob Pebley as members of the Cal men’s swimming and diving program who will be with Team USA for the Pan Pacific Championships, , Aug. 21-24, in Gold Coast, Australia.
In addition, the Bears’ assistant men’s swimming coach, Yuri Suguiyama, has been selected as an assistant men’s coach for the USA squad for the upcoming Pan Pacific Championships
Cal’s Murphy won his second silver medal of the national championships Saturday night, placing second only to 2012 Olympic champion Matt Grevers, who out-touched the Bear sophomore, 52.75 to 53.91, in the 100-meter back. Earlier in the national championships, Murphy was second in the 200-meter back, losing to 2012 London Olympic gold medalist Tyler Clary 1:54.73 to 1:55.99.
As a freshman for coach David Durden in 2013-14, Murphy was the Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year and was the 2014 NCAA champion in the 100 and 200-yard backstroke, helping Cal to its third NCAA team title in the last four years.
Cal was also represented by junior Jacob Pebley in the finals of the 100 back. Pebley placed fifth with a time of 53.90, topping Olympic legend Michael Phelps, who was sixth with a mark of 53.95. He had placed fourth in the 200 back on Thursday with a time of 1:56.68.
The Bears’ men’s swimmers were highly successful at the 2014 national championships. Former Cal swimming star Tom Shields has won both the 100 and 200 fly, and Nathan Adrian won the 100 free. Adrian, Shields, Murphy, Pebley and junior Josh Prenot – all continue to train at Cal’s Spieker Aquatics Complex under Durden. Prenot placed third in the 400 IM and the 200 breast earlier at the national championships.