Anthony Ervin celebrates on the podium after his win in the 50-meter freestyle swimming final during the Santa Clara International Grand Prix, Saturday, June 2, 2012, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Two Bay Area athletes who graduated from the University of California at Berkeley had very different results in the swimming pool Thursday.
Jessica Hardy finished last in the finals of the women’s swimming 100m freestyle with a time of 54.02. She still has the 50m freestyle and a women's 4x100 relay later this week.
The loss follows a bronze medal though, after Hardy came in third for Team U.S.A. in the women's 4x100m freestyle relay over the weekend.
Her fellow U.S.A. and Cal teammate, Anthony Ervin, had a much better day. Ervin came in third in the men's swimming 50m freestyle, which qualifies him to compete in the finals.
"I definitely had some first-race jitters," Ervin said after the race. "It didn't feel like that was everything coming together, so hopefully I can make that happen in the next two swims."
He still had his warmups on when his rivals had taken theirs off and were waiting behind the blocks. "I felt like I was a little rushed," Ervin said. "When they blew the whistle I was still taking off my shoes. I was like, 'Ahhhh.' Twelve years ago was a long time ago. Maybe it's the same kind of venue, working within the same kind of institution, but I have grown a lot over the last 12 years."
London is a return to the Olympics for Ervin after a 12-year absence.
He tied American Gary Hall Jr. for the gold at the 2000 Sydney Games before leaving the sport.
He spent several years traveling around the world and exploring other interests, including higher education, music, tattoos, and teaching people all over the world about swimming and tsunami flood relief.
He sold his Sydney gold for $17,100 to help victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.
He is currently finishing his masters degree at U.C. Berkeley in “sport, culture and education.”