The 100-meter freestyle at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials was the first final at a long-course national meet for Anthony Ervin. Although Ervin said he thought he would be more successful in the 100 freestyle than in the 50, it turned out that the 50 was his breakout race. In the semifinals of the 50 free, he became the fifth person to swim under 22 seconds, clocking a time of 21.92. In the final, he eclipsed Tom Jager's 10-year old American record with a time of 21.80 but still finished second to his training partner, Gary Hall, Jr., who set a U.S. record of 21.76. The times were the second and third fastest in history. In the 100 free final, Ervin's fifth place finish was good enough to qualify him for the relay.
Six members of Ervin's Phoenix-based training group, Sprint Team 2000, competed in Sydney for various countries. They train under Mike Bottom, a member of the 1980 Olympic Team who also is Ervin's coach at the University of California-Berkeley. Ervin is the youngest member of a group that Hall says is the first "professional-type team in swimming." Hall adds that he believes it will be a model for other groups of swimmers. There are at least 10 athletes on the team; Hall and Ervin, plus Olympic swimmers from Venezuela, Ecuador, Poland and Croatia. At the Olympic Trials, its members marched out in black robes with big hoods. The group has several sponsors, including Platinum Performance, which provided nutritional products to 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus. The swimmers eat "horse bards" which include omega 3 and 6. "The guys are on almost the exact same regimen as what that horse takes," Bottom says.
Anthony won a gold medal in the Men's 50-meter Freestyle at the Sydney Games.