Erika Brown

View Current photo via Courtesy of Jack Spitser

Erika Brown is a competitive swimmer who competes for the Tennessee Vols. She is extremely versatile, registering elite times in freestyle, butterfly, and IM events during her time as a Volunteer.

High School

She started her competitive swimming in Pleasanton, California with the Pleasanton Seahawks. When her family moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, she swam with SwimMAC Carolina and William Amos Hough High School. In North Carolina, she won 2 state championship titles in the 200 free and 400 free relay. She also earned a bronze medal in the 200m free at the 2014 and 2015 USA Swimming junior national championships.

College Swimming

2016-2017

Erika performed well in her first year as a Vol, but didn’t quite reach her best times in her specialty 100 or 200 freestyles. She scored at the SEC championships, placing 10th in the 50 (22.33), 18th in the 100 free (49.53), and 17th in the 200 free (1:46.49). She was also a member of 4 relays, all of which placed 7th or higher.

At NCAA’s, she joined Tennessee as a relay member, and earned her first honorable mention All-America honors as a member of the 13th place 400 free relay.

2017-2018

After her freshman campaign, Erika told SwimSwam she realized she needed to invest in her teammates if she was going to reach her full potential and truly contribute to the team. The results of this mentality were first shown to the world in December at Tennessee’s mid season invite, where she notched best times in the 50 free, 100 free, 200 free, 100 back, 100 fly, and 200 fly. Notably, she went 50.33 in the 100 fly, a time that led the NCAA and beat her best from the previous season by 5 seconds.

At the 2018 SEC championships, signs of Erika’s progress really came to light, as Erika swept her individual events in the 50 free (21.39), 100 free (47.17), and her now signature 100 fly (49.85). Her time in the 100 fly made her only the 2nd woman to break the 50 second barrier in history.

Brown also helped Tennessee win the 200 medley relay, 200 free relay and 400 medley relay with scorching splits of 20.81 (free), 21.40 (free) and 49.11 (fly). The lone ‘miss’ was an 800 free relay in which Brown led off in 1:43.54 and Tennessee took 3rd behind top-10 NCAA programs Georgia and Texas A&M.

2018-2019

At the 2019 SEC Champs, Brown continued her trajectory upwards, winning all 3 of her individual events. That included the 100 free (46.41), 100 fly (49.85), and 50 free (21.15), which she broke the NCAA record in.

At the NCAA’s, Brown placed 2nd in the 50 free (21.23), 4th in the 100 fly (50.38), and 5th in the 100 free (46.99). Although Brown didn’t win an individual event, she did help the Vols to a national relay title in the 200 medley relay, anchoring in 20.98 to hold off a hard charging Abbey Weitzeil of Cal. She also swam on the 7th place 400 free relay (47.28) and 6th place 200 free relay (21.35).

2019-2020

Brown had an electric start to her season, going best times in the 100 free (46.16), 200 free (1:41.66), and 100 fly (49.79) at the mid-season Tennessee invite in November 2019.

Brown kept the good times rolling after her showing at the US Open. To start off SEC’s, she helped Tennessee to titles in both the 200 medley relay (20.57, 3rd fastest split all-time) and 800 free relay (1:41.08, 2nd leg). On day 2, she 3-peated as the SEC Champion in the 50 free, breaking the SEC record with 21.03. The next night, Brown was back in the pool, breaking the American record in the 100 fly with a 49.38, putting her at the 3rd fastest performer of all-time. Brown saved the best for last, swimming to a 45.83 in the 100 free, becoming just the 2nd woman in history to break 46 seconds. Brown’s performances helped the Tennessee women to their first ever SEC team title.

National/International Competition

2018 Short Course World Championships (Hangzhou, China)

In Hangzhou, Brown was an essential part of USA relays, swimming prelims of the 4×100 free and 4×50 medley relays which went onto win gold, as well as anchoring on the finals relays of the 4×50 (gold) and 4×200 (silver) free relays.

2019 US Open (Atlanta, Georgia)

Brown had big performance at the U.S. Open Championships. That includes winning the women’s 100 free in 53.42, beating out the defending World and Olympic Champion Simone Manuel. Coming into the meet, Brown’s best time was just 54.13, a time that was done at the 2018 US National Championships.

This time made Brown the 8th-fastest American in the history of the event, and the 4th-fastest active American at the time (based on times done in the 2010s by swimmers who have not formally retired).

International Medals

Place Event Year Meet
Gold 200 Freestyle Relay 2018 Short Course World Championships
Gold 400 Freestyle Relay 2018 Short Course World Championships
Gold 200 Medley Relay 2018 Short Course World Championships
Silver 800 Freestyle Relay 2018 Short Course World Championships

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
scy 50 Free 21.03 02/19/20 2020 SEC Championships
Auburn, Alabama
scy 100 Free 45.83 02/22/20 2020 SEC Championships
Auburn, Alabama
scy 200 Free 1:41.66 11/22/19 2019 UT Invite
Knoxville, Tennessee
scy 100 Fly 49.38 02/20/20 2020 SEC Championships
Auburn, Alabama
lcm 50 Free 24.57 01/18/20 2020 Pro Swim Series
Knoxville, Tennesee
lcm 100 Free 53.42 12/07/19 2019 Toyota U.S. Open
Atlanta, Georgia
lcm 200 Free 1:57.68 12/06/19 2019 Toyota U.S. Open
Atlanta, Georgia
lcm 100 Fly 58.79 01/17/20 2020 Pro Swim Series
Knoxville, Tennesee
Erika Brown (photo: Jack Spitser) COLLEGE STATION, TX - FEBRUARY 17, 2018 - Katie Armitage, Stanzi Moseley, and Erika Brown of the Tennessee Volunteers during the day four finals session 2018 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships at the Rec Center Natatorium in College Station, TX. Photo By John Golliher/Tennessee Athletics COLLEGE STATION, TX - FEBRUARY 15, 2018 - Associate Head Coach Ashley Jahn and Erika Brown of the Tennessee Volunteers during the day two finals session 2018 SEC Swimming and Diving Championships at the Rec Center Natatorium in College Station, TX. Photo By John Golliher/Tennessee Athletics Erika Brown (photo: Jack Spitser) Erika Brown Meghan Small Nikol Popov Madeline Banic (photo: Jack Spitser) Feb 10, 2018; SEC Swimming and Diving Championships in College Station, TX. Photos by Thomas Campbell/Texas A&M Athletics Erika Brown (photo: Jack Spitser)

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