Erica Sullivan, #2 Female Miler in SCY History, is Going to Texas

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United States National Team member Erica Sullivan has chosen the University of Texas for college, looking to begin in fall 2021. Sullivan trains with Sandpipers of Nevada.

The second-fastest miler in short course yards history behind only Katie Ledecky on the women’s side, Sullivan was initially committed to the USC Trojans for fall 2018 but de-committed in June 2020; she has had her fair share of road bumps the last few years.

She had been planning on going to USC for film; Texas has a highly ranked film school, too. According to The Wrap, a publication focused on the film industry, USC has the #1 ranked film program in the country and Texas has the #9 ranked program. Among other Power 5 schools with top 10 programs are UCLA (#3) and North Carolina (#10).

“I decided to commit to the University of Texas, Austin. I am excited to work with Carol in the future, for she has shown immense support of my career path and I’m excited to see what we will accomplish together in the future. I am also excited to work with Mitch again after our previous memories from Junior Team trips. Texas is the perfect place where I can balance my swim career and my job path post-swim career.

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all those who showed interest in me throughout my college recruiting process the second time around. I am grateful for the time and effort spent talking to me about my future. It was nice to have coaches see what was best for me rather than what I could do for them.

With that being said, I look forward to training with an incredible group of women. Hook em’🤘🏼”


  • 50 free – 23.60
  • 100 free – 51.53
  • 200 free – 1:45.72
  • 500 free – 4:37.95
  • 1000 free – 9:17.32
  • 1650 free – 15:23.81
  • 200 back – 1:55.26
  • 200 fly – 2:00.67
  • 400 IM – 4:18.00


  • 200 free – 1:59.99 (achieved during pandemic)
  • 400 free – 4:06.36
  • 800 free – 8:26.13
  • 1500 free – 15:55.25

After graduating high school in spring 2018, Sullivan appeared ready to enroll at USC that fall. She wound up deferring a semester, to a January 2019 start, then in late 2018 decided to not enroll in the 2018-19 season or the 2019-20 season. That two-year deferral was due to her continued progression as an open water and pool distance standout (she finished third in the 1500 free at the 2018 U.S. Summer Nationals), and at the time, she said she wanted to still join USC but ‘after the Tokyo Olympic cycle.’

Towards the end of the 2019-20 season, however, longtime USC head coach Dave Salo stepped down from his role to focus on Olympic hopefuls and USC distance coach Catherine Kase relocated to Idaho. Shortly after that coaching shuffle, and the beginning of the pandemic’s first wave in the United States which caused the Olympics to move to 2021, Sullivan announced she was de-committing from USC and entering the college class of 2025. In that announcement, she illustrated key details into her initial deferral and her family hardships at the time.

Next fall, Sullivan will start her freshman year at Texas as one of the best distance swimmers the NCAA has ever seen. At the last NCAA Championships, in 2019, Sullivan would’ve won the 1650 free title by over 15 seconds (roughly the time it takes to sprint the final pool-length, including the preceding flip turn).

She joins Ava CollingeEllie AndrewsJordan MorganMorgan Brophy, Riley Courtney, Channing Hanley, Sadie Runeman and Olivia McMurray in Texas’s class of 2025.

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6 months ago

Congrats to Erica and the Texas team! Can’t believe it’s been 2+ years since she was supposed to start at USC. She must be really ready to start college…

6 months ago

So glad Erica found a new home after all of the hardships! Excited to see what she can do there.

6 months ago

Hmm.. The UT Women’s Swimming team is lucky to get a swimmer of this caliber. For her film major, Texas is a great choice. I hope it works out on the swimming end.

Reply to  Guerra
6 months ago

She should honestly train with the men’s team.

Reply to  Swim
6 months ago

Is it still that bad there? 28 years of underachieving…

Reply to  Swim
6 months ago

Back in the late 80s when Schubert coached the women’s team, we had a season where the men’s and women’s distance groups would train together a couple of times a week, with Schubert leading three hour old school animal lane workouts. Think 12-13K beast mode. Not sure if the NCAA rules would disallow this now, but it was a great change up.

Corn Pop
Reply to  1001pools
6 months ago

Did anyone make it internationally?

Reply to  Guerra
6 months ago

Allright, allright, allright!

Reply to  Guerra
6 months ago

I like the way Carol developed Joanna Evans and Evie Pfieffer

Reply to  Austinpoolboy
6 months ago

Agree with you, but Evie was monster from the very first freshman race.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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