Erica Sullivan on Making Olympic Team After Loss of Her Father in 2017


Reported by James Sutherland.


  • World Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 15:20.48 (2018)
  • American Record: Katie Ledecky – 15:20.48 (2018)
  • US Open Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 15:20.48
  • World Junior Record: Katie Ledecky (USA) – 15:28.36 (2014)
  • 2016 Olympic Champion: N/A (New Olympic event in 2021)
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Champion: N/A (New Olympic event in 2021)
  • Wave I Cut: 16:49.19
  • Wave II Cut: 16:44.60
  • FINA ‘A’ Cut: 16:32.04
  1. Katie Ledecky (NCAP), 15:40.50
  2. Erica Sullivan (SAND), 15:51.18
  3. Katie Grimes (SAND), 15:52.12

Katie Ledecky is fittingly the first U.S. Olympic Trials champion in the women’s 1500 freestyle, easily dominating the field for her second win of the night in a time of 15:40.50.

That showing marks Ledecky’s 12th-fastest swim ever, and the 13th-best of all-time, dipping under her season-best from the Mission Viejo Pro Swim by .05.

The race for second looked like it was going to be all Erica Sullivan, who was just 1.36 seconds back of Ledecky at the 400 and remained well clear of the rest of the field through the 1000.

However, with 500 to go, Sullivan’s Sandpipers of Nevada teammate Katie Grimes started reeling off sub-32 50 splits, making up ground. Grimes continued to gain all the way to finish, coming home in 29.43, but it was Sullivan holding on to book an Olympic berth in a time of 15:51.18, taking more than four seconds off her best time of 15:55.25 set in 2019.

Grimes, just 15, took third in 15:52.12, taking more than 15 seconds off her best time set in the prelims (16:07.33). That launches her up from fifth to third in the U.S. 15-16 age group rankings, trailing only Ledecky (15:36.53) and the legendary Janet Evans (15:52.10).

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3 months ago

Love Ashley’s cap! Happy pride month

3 months ago

Congratulations Erica!

Good luck in Tokyo!

Lil Swimmy
3 months ago

she did it for the gays!!

Brent Bernardi
3 months ago

Congratulations Erica on the 2020 Olympic Games! We will be watching and rooting for you. I am a friend and former co-worker of your father. I loved and still love your father and who and what he stood for in life. He is living on through you and your sister. Keep up the great work and we are praying and rooting for you in Tokyo and beyond. Brent Bernardi (Barber-Colman 1984 start with your dad!)

About Coleman Hodges

Coleman Hodges

Coleman started his journey in the water at age 1, and although he actually has no memory of that, something must have stuck. A Missouri native, he joined the Columbia Swim Club at age 9, where he is still remembered for his stylish dragon swim trunks. After giving up on …

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