During today’s Pacific Masters Short Course Meters Championships, we got another look at the comeback potential of 2000 Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin. Ervin, who has been out of elite swimming since 2004, has now swum two meets in the last month as he ponders a return before the 2012 US Olympic Trials in June. This is not the first time he’s swum since his official retirement, but this is the most momentum he’s gotten for a true comeback.
In the 100 SCM free on Saturday, he swam a 51.67 to take the top place in the 100 free. That came up just short of the Pacific Masters record he set in September at 50.65. Ervin also took the age group win in the 26.41, though in that race, Brett Bannan (a 25-29 age grouper) touched ahead of him in 25.65. Bannan swam in high school at Los Gatos High School, though I can’t find any record of him moving on in college. That’s a pretty swift time though.
The fact that he added a second on to his time could mean any number of things, but based on what we’ve heard, it’s because of an increase in his training frequency. This could become one of the exciting stories of the Olympic Trials if he does, in fact, participate (certainly as exciting as the returns of Brendan Hansen and Ed Moses), so let’s hope he is encouraged by his results and continues to build momentum.
Tomorrow, Ervin is entered in the 50 free and 100 IM.
Natalie Coughlin also swam in this meet. Her times didn’t show up on the official results, but one of our readers posted in the comments that she went a 57.0 in the 100 free and a 1:01.4 in the 100 back.