Erica Sullivan Wins Open Water Nationals 10K Title, Denies Twichell Four-Peat

2021 U.S. Open Water National Championships

Erika Sullivan won the Olympic-distance 10K to open U.S. Open Water Nationals in Fort Myers, Florida. Sullivan led wire-to-wire in a dominant showing, leading at the finish of all six laps along the way.

Sullivan’s win in 2:02.43 denied three-time defending champ Ashley Twichell a fourth-straight win. Twichell finished about 18 seconds behind, with the two well ahead of the rest of the field. Sullivan and Twichell swam first and second the whole way. Haley Anderson made a mid-race surge into third at lap 3, but couldn’t reel in the top two as the race wound down.

Here are official results, per USA Swimming on social media:

Open Water Women’s 10K Finish Order:

  1. Erica Sullivan, 2:02.43
  2. Ashley Twichell, 2:03.01
  3. Haley Anderson, 2:05.21

Full results are not yet available, but we will update as they are published. Olympic qualification is already set for this summer – Anderson and Twichell will represent the United States by virtue of their top-10 finishes at the 2019 World Championships in the 10K.

The event will serve, though, as a selection meet for the U.S. National team and the perks and funding that go along with that status. Sullivan secures her spot on the team. Anderson and Twichell were already locked into national team status as Olympic entrants. The entire top 5 in this 10K will earn 2021 National Team status through October, so two more athletes will have earned their National Team roster spot today. We’ll update as more results become available.

This week’s meet also serves as a selection event for the 2021 World Junior Open Water Swimming Championships, set for August 13-15 in Victoria, Seychelles. The two highest-placing finishers within the age bracket will qualify for the World Juniors 10K. Here’s a look at the age brackets and qualifying events for World Juniors:

2021 World Junior Open Water Championships – Selection Criteria

  • 5K Event
    • Ages 15-16 as of December 31, 2021 (Athletes born in 2005 or 2006)
    • Two highest-placing eligible swimmers from the 5K event on Saturday
  • 7.5K Event
    • Ages 17-18 as of December 31, 2021 (Athletes born in 2003 or 2004)
    • Two highest-placing eligible swimmers from the 7.5K event on Sunday
  • 10K Event
    • Ages 19-20 as of December 31, 2021 (Athletes born in 2001 or 2002)
    • Two highest-placing eligible swimmers from the 10K event on Friday

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1 year ago

I’m very curious to see what time Erica Sullivan will post in the women’s 1500 meter freestyle at the 2021 Olympic Team Trials.

Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 year ago

About a 15:48 if I had to guess but it wouldn’t surprise if she was a little faster. I’m curious to see she how does across all 3 distances 4-8-1500

Reply to  Taa
1 year ago

Early Predictions
400 Free
1. Katie Ledecky 3:57.98
2. Leah Smith 4:02.77
3. Erica Sullivan 4:04.80

800 Free
1. Katie Ledecky 8:09.15
2. Bella Sims 8:18.58
3. Erica Sullivan 8:21.40

1500 Free
1. Katie Ledecky 15:32.76
2. Erica Sullivan 15:47.79
3. Ashley Twichell 15:57.78

Reply to  TeamUSA
1 year ago

I don’t envision Katie Ledecky exerting herself at the 2021 Olympic Team Trials especially with the heats and final of the women’s 1500 meter freestyle amended to the program.


It’s best to save it for the biggest stage of all.

Last edited 1 year ago by Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
Reply to  Smith-King-Dahlia-Manuel
1 year ago

Some other names that we should all be aware of are Katie Grimes and Bella Sims. Grimes placed 4th, earning a spot on the nat team at just 15!!! And same with Sims, she (in the pool) is already an 8:27.01 in November??? Both of those girls will be a huge threat at trials, and Grimes (with a 16:20 in season), could very well challenge Sullivan or Twichell for that second spot! Gonna be very fun to watch

What's up?
1 year ago

USA Swimming’s coverage for the 2 races today has been terrible. There’s no start list (psych sheet) published anywhere to even see who’s entered in the races, the livestream only covered 32 min of the women’s race, that’s roughly 25% of one race, and there’s no full results. What’s the deal?

Last edited 1 year ago by What's up?
Reply to  What's up?
1 year ago

Every year we hear that the coverage will be better, and every year it’s the same…

Reply to  What's up?
1 year ago

And three hours after the conclusion of the men’s race and I can’t find the results on either the USA Swimming website nor the host club website…

Reply to  HoosierEli
1 year ago

We have not been given the results from USA Swimming.

1 year ago

Womens top 3 times faster than mens top 3 times. Has that happened before?

Reply to  PowerPlay
1 year ago

By a lot!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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