Aug. 2, 2012
LONDON -A day after Cal's Nathan Adrian won the Olympic gold in the 100 free, two other members of the Golden Bear family have put themselves in position to medal. On Thursday (Aug. 2) sprinter Anthony Ervin (2000-03), the 2000 Olympic gold medalist in the 50-meter freestyle, swam well in the preliminary rounds of the 50 free, clocking in at 21.62 in the semifinals and has the second fastest time (behind USA's Cullen Jones and Brazil's Cesar Cielo's time of 21.54) entering Friday's final.
In Thursday's preliminary rounds of the 100 fly, Serbia's Milorad Cavic (2003-06) swam 51.66 in the semifinals and enters Friday's final with the field's fourth-best mark. Cavic, who was edged out of the 2008 Olympic gold in the 100 fly in Beijing by USA standout Michael Phelps, placed second to Phelps in the morning heat, 51.72 to 51.90.
In another morning heat of the 100 fly, Switzerland's Dominik Meichtry (2005-08) placed first in Heat Two with a time of 53.40, but did not advance to the semifinals.
Ervin is one of the most intriguing stories of the London Olympics. Retiring in 2003 after winning two golds (50 free and 400 medley relay) and a silver (400 free relay) as a 19-year-old at the 2000 Sydney Games, he returned to competitive swimming and placed second to Cullen Jones in the 50 free at 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials as a 31-year-old.
Adrian (2007-11) etched his name among the school's all-time greats when he captured the 2012 Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle Wednesday (Aug. 1), out-touching Australia's James Magnussen by one one hundredth of a second, 47.52 to 47.53, for the title. He became the first Cal men's swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal in the 100 free since Matt Biondi in 1988. He is the first individual Cal Olympic champion in men's swimming since Ervin won the gold in the 50 free in 2000.
So far it has been an outstanding London Games for Adrian. On July 29, he swam the lead-off leg of the United States' silver medal-winning 400 free relay. He is next slated to swim the freestyle leg of the United States' 400 medley relay on Friday (Aug. 3).
Between his freshman and sophomore years at Cal, Adrian swam in the prelims of Team USA's 400 free relay that won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He went on to lead the Bears to the 2011 NCAA team title while capturing 11 individual/relay national titles and earning first-team Academic All-American honors during his Cal career.