Results from the Previous Round
First-seeded Teri McKeever routed 16-seed Thomas Decoud, 80-45, while ninth-seed Anthony Ervin advanced past eighth-seeded Bruce Snyder 46-21.
(1) Teri McKeever
TheBuckeyeBear gives us the run down on Coach McKeever:
Many athletes have tried to transition from competitor to coach, but not all have been as successful as Coach Teri McKeever in parlaying personal victories into mentorship triumphs. She has received many accolades at the helm of Cal Women’s Swimming & Diving and as the first female head coach of the US Olympic women’s swim team; the only reason the Golden Bears’ NCAA record in 2013 and 2014 could be described as "a mere [second and] third place" was because the team took home the national title in 2011 and 2012. These achievements are rooted in her personal experience and coaching philosophy.
McKeever has cited sports as "the first place [she] felt good about [herself]" and strives to instill the same love of swimming in those she coaches. Cal alumnus Anthony Ervin returned to competitive swimming in the 2012 London Olympics because McKeever took his "very fragile mentally kind of persona" and "brought back what it was like to swim for fun." She has been able to harness the mind-body connection in yoga, dance, jump-roping, and other cross-training for her athletes so that swimming is not just the drudgery of thousand-fold laps. Without her diverse training program, alumna Dana Vollmer observed that "you’re going to get good, but you might not get great."
Although McKeever delights in her swimmers’ medals, she is most proud of helping college students develop skills that will "translate into the next 30, 40, 50 years." Her genuine concern for her athletes, alongside her coaching wisdom, attracts world-class swimmers like Olympic gold medal winners Natalie Coughlin and Missy Franklin to Cal. The Pac-12 Conference and the NCAA have both anointed McKeever as Coach of the Year, recognizing her team-building success to be rooted in a commitment to her swimmers’ well-being and excellence.
(9) Anthony Ervin
Anthony Ervin (California) (via SwimmingWorldSPI)
LEastCoastBears gives us tons of good info from the Calympics post on Anythony:
The feel good story of the US Swim trial, Anthony Ervin is again an Olympian. After winning a gold medal in the 50 freestyle at the 2000 Olympics, Tony (his preferred name to friends) retired in 2003 (after the end of his Cal career) when he was 22 years old to explore "other interests".
After joining a rock band in New York and various other youthful exploits (that some articles try to make a bigger deal than others), he eventually found himself teaching swimming to kids in both New York City and Oakland. Last year he began training again, and qualified for London by finishing second in the 50 free (by narrowly edging out fellow Cal bear, Nathan Adrian). Between his colorful sleeve tattoos and a more slender body type, Anthony stands out in the pool.
Also of note, Anthony auctioned off his 2000 Olympic gold medal on eBay to aid survivors of the 2004 tsunami. Anthony did eventual finish his Cal degree in English in 2010 and is now currently in the Cal graduate program for sport, culture and education.
- Event: 50 freestyle
- 2nd time Olympian (In Sydney 2000 Olympics won gold in 50 Free and silver in 4x100 Free relay)
- Cal career: 1999-2002
- A great sentimental comeback story (which NBC will surely milk in the Olympics), Anthony won a gold back in 2000 and proceed to take almost a decade off from swimming. After teaching kids to swim an year ago, Ervin decided to make a comeback and was able to finish second in 50 Free (narrowly edging out Nathan Adrian by 8/100th of a second).
Anthony's slightly different training method/mentality is nicely explained in this USA Swimming article here. Interestingly, the article also conjectured about the success of Cal swimming:
Cal Swimming has long been at the forefront of alternative training approaches. Which could explain why they are – and have been -- so successful. Their two most individualistic and strongest personalities, Ervin and 29-year-old Natalie Coughlin, are also two of the sports most inventive, innovative thinkers. They tinker. They ask. They learn. They reflect. It’s no secret they both are still involved in the sport at an age once considered "ancient."
Read more about Anthony in this SFGate article here.
Grantland has the following interesting short blurb about him:
Enigmatic 31-year-old who won gold and silver in Sydney, retired from swimming in 2003 at age 22, and sold his gold medal to raise money for the Indian Ocean tsunami relief. (Lost his silver medal during his notoriously nomadic travels.) Returned to competition last year. Has such poor eyesight that a competitor had to tell him he had qualified; when Brendan Hansen congratulated him afterward he squinted and responded, "Who is that?" Speaks in full paragraphs, but also says things like "I just want to keep this fun train chugging."