Anthony Ervin swam his first official USA-Swimming recognized race in four years on Saturday, and by most measures he swam pretty well.
Day 2 is in the books from the 2011 Elite Pro-Am in Oklahoma City, which has one of the biggest purses of any meet in the country.
Ervin’s most recent retirement has been 4 years long, but the 2000 Olympic gold medalist showed that he’s still got that natural speed that made him one of the best sprinters in the world at a very young age. The 50 free shootout was today, with 8 swimmers in a “quarter-final” down to 4 in a “semi-final” and 2 in the final, head-to-head.
Ervin touched first in the four-man semifinal in 19.41, which was the fastest he would go on the day. He ended up facing-off head-to-head against SwimMAC’s Josh Schneider, who has some experience in these sort of high-intensity sprint battles, and Schneider took first in 19.28 for the $1,200 grand prize. Earvin was just a hair slower than the earlier round, and was 2nd in 19.42.
There’s no real strong comparisons for measurement for a 30-year old Ervin in a 2011 world. It’s way faster than a 26-year old Ervin went four years ago. It’s also a sliver faster than he was at the 2000 Pac 10 Championships as a freshman in 2000, which was just a few months before he went for Olympic gold.
The women’s race was won by SwimMAC’s Andrea Georoff, who was a huge piece of the Georgia sprint relays in the mid-2000’s. She won in 22.46, which just bested Longhorn Aquatics’ Jackie Vavrak in 22.58.
Jillian Tyler topped the 200 breaststroke in 2:09.04, which is decent though not as good as her 100 on Friday. The top amateur in that race was 14-year old Sydney Agnell of the Kansas City Blazers in 2:18.86.
In the men’s 200 breast, former Stanford swimmer (currently training with Trojan) John Criste finished very well to take a solid win in 1:54.35. Another comeback retiree Ed Moses was in the hunt in this race until the final lap, and touched in 1:54.99.
And finally, David Plummer topped an impressive backstroke field in 45.89. That’s actually the best time of his career by half-a-second (he’s a much better long course swimmer than short course), showing that his underwaters are much improved. That’s his best shot at holding off Matt Grevers to make the Olympic team in 2012.
Eugene Godsoe was 2nd in 46.17, with Adam Mania 3rd in 46.26.