Older sprinters Adrian and Ervin earn US Olympic swim berths
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) The youngsters are turning the U.S. Olympic trials into a coming out party.
Nathan Adrian crashed their good times by winning the 100-meter freestyle Thursday night, earning a trip to Rio to defend the title he won four years ago.
The 27-year-old sprinter who trains at California touched in 47.72 seconds, beating second-place Caeleb Dressel by just over a half-second. Dressel made his first Olympic team at 19, the youngest swimmer in the final.
''Last time it was old guys, like me, and now it's young guys, so I guess I'm just bucking the trend a little bit,'' Adrian said.
Not to be left out was Anthony Ervin, who finished fourth and made his third Olympics at 35. Jason Lezak was 36 when he swam at the 2008 Beijing Games.
''I might be an old man, but I'm younger than most of you,'' Ervin teased reporters. ''Being around these younger people kind of makes me feel young.''
Ervin tied for gold in the 50 free with teammate Gary Hall Jr. at the 2000 Sydney Games. He drifted away from the sport for over a decade, selling his gold medal and donating the proceeds to charity, before rekindling his desire. He finished fifth in the 50 in London.
Bent over and gasping for air after the race, Ervin couldn't stop smiling while struggling to gather his thoughts.
''Right now I'm just feeling my body,'' he said. ''I'm not going to celebrate too much yet. There's a lot of work to be done between now and Rio because the rest of the world is badass, and we want to be bad, too.''
No swimmer has won back-to-back 100 free titles since Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands in 2000 and 2004.
Adrian and Ervin used to train together at Cal before Ervin moved to North Carolina this year.
''It's always good to have Tony around,'' Adrian said.