Erica Sullivan

View Current photo via Courtesy of Jack Spitser

Erica Sullivan is a competitive swimmer who represents the United States internationally. She is a 2021 Olympian in the 1500.

National/International Career

2016 Olympic Trials

Sullivan finished 12th in the 800 freestyle at the 2016 Olympic Trials as a 16 year old.

2017 Winter Nationals

Sullivan finished second in the 1650y free and third in the 500y free at Winter Nationals.

2018 U.S. Open Water Championships

The 2017 Junior National Champion in the 5K won the U.S. Open Water National women’s 5K title in 58:18.16 and finished third in the 10K.

2018 U.S. National Championships 

Sullivan earned the bronze in the 1500 freestyle (16:02.88), getting her a spot on the 2018 Pan Pac team, her first  USA “A” team. She also fifth in the 800 freestyle (8:26.98), 37th in the 200 backstroke (2:14.45), and 39th in the 400 IM (4:53.60) at the Phillips 66 National Championships.

2018 Age Group Swimmer of the Year – 17-18

From the pool to open water, Erica Sullivan had a stellar season in the 17-18 age group. Sullivan finished as the top-ranked junior in the 800 and 1500 frees in long course and the 1000 and 1650 in short course. In fact, she was 5th among American swimmers of any age in the 1500 (16:02.88) and 800 (8:26.27) in long course. In short course, she had the 2nd-best 1000 free (9:17.32) in the nation behind only the great Katie Ledecky, and had the third-ranked 1650 free (15:36.52).

College Commitment

On June 22, 2017, Sullivan announced her verbal commitment to swim for the University of Southern California. At the time, she was ranked as the #8 recruit in the class of 2018. In September of 2018, it was announced that Sullivan would sit out a semester, which later turned into deferring her enrollment until after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. After Dave Salo retired following the 2020 season, Sullivan ultimately wound up decommiting to USC and later committed to Texas.

2021 Olympic Trials

At the Trials in Omaha, Sullivan punched her ticket to Tokyo in the 1,500 free, finishing 2nd in 15:51.18 behind Katie Ledecky. This makes Sullivan’s first-ever Olympic qualification.

2020 Olympic Games

Sullivan started her first Olympics off strong, throwing down a huge personal best in the 1500 at 15:46.67, giving her the 3rd seed heading into the final. In the final, Sullivan kept the momentum rolling, swimming her own race and dropping another massive personal best, 15:41.41, to touch for silver behind USA teammate, Katie Ledecky.

International Medals

Place Event Year Meet
Silver 1500 Free 2020 Olympic Games

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
lcm 400 Free 4:06.35 04/10/21 2021 FL GAIN Invitational
Sarasota, Florida
lcm 800 Free 8:24.02 06/18/21 2021 Olympic Trials
Omaha, Nebraska
lcm 1500 Free 15:41.41 07/27/21 2020 Olympic Games
Tokyo, Japan
scy 500 Free 4:34.07 04/10/21 2021 FL GAIN Invitational
Sarasota, Florida
scy 1000 Free 9:17.13 12/13/18 2018 NT King Marlin Pro-Am Class
Dallas, Texas
scy 1650 Free 15:23.81 12/22/19 2019 King Marlin Pro-Am Class
Dallas, Texas
Erica Sullivan (photo: Jack Spitser) Erica Sullivan (photo: Jack Spitser) Erica Sullivan (photo: Jack Spitser) Sandpipers Erica Sullivan Katie Grimes Bells Sims Ron Aitken (photo: Jack Spitser) Erica Sullivan (photo: Jack Spitser) Erica Sullivan (photo: Jack Spitser)