Erika Brown Swims 24.9/54.1 in Long Course Time Trial at Tennessee Invitational

Braden Keith
by Braden Keith 16

November 25th, 2019 College, SEC

2019 Tennessee Invitational – Long Course Time Trial

  • November 24th, 2019
  • Alan Jones Aquatic Center, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • LCM (50m) pool
  • Results (PDF)

As the dust settled on an electric weekend of racing in Knoxville that saw school records and all-time top-10 swims all over the results at the Tennessee Invitational, a handful of swimmers hung around for a long course time trial meet the day after.

While long course times can’t be used for NCAA Championship qualifying, these time trials attached to mid-season invites give athletes the opportunity to chase Olympic Trials qualifying times in some cases, and just to get more long course racing practice in other cases, while taking advantage of the tapers that many athletes already have working.

While Virginia and Indiana went home early, swimmers from the host school Tennessee, Georgia, and D2 Carson-Newman stuck around for the opportunity.

Tennessee senior Erika Brown stole the show, much like she did throughout the week prior, on Sunday. Brown swam a 24.92 in the 50 free and a 54.15 in the 100 free at the meet. Her best times in those events are 24.71 and 54.13, respectively.

Over the preceding 4 days, in yards, Brown swam lifetime bests in the 100 free (46.15), 200 free (1:41.66), and 100 fly (49.79). She also just-missed a best time in the 50 free, swimming 21.15 off a 21.19.

Brown falls into the category of “more racing experience,” as she already has all of her necessary Olympic Trials qualifications. In the 2018-2019 season, she was tied as the 3rd-fastest American in the 50 free, and was the 6th-fastest American in the 100 free (with the top 6 in the latter event traditionally being taken to the Olympic Games).

There was only one new Olympic Trials qualifier that we saw come out of the meet, though there were a handful of times that came close, and some others who were already qualified but improved their seed.

That new qualification came from Tennessee’s Trude Rothrock, who swam 25.97 in the 50 free as she chased her teammate Brown. Rothrock’s previous best time was a 25.98 from 2016, before the qualification period opened, and this summer she swam 26.18. The Olympic Trials cut is 25.99.

Other Notable Swims:

  • Tennessee’s Alexis Yager was already qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 100 breaststroke, but improved her seed with a new lifetime best of 1:10.31. Her old lifetime best of 1:10.52 was done in 2016, when she was only 17 years old, and she swam a 1:10.93 this summer.
  • South Arican swimmer Michael Houlie swam a 1:02.24 in the 100 breaststroke. Houlie was the 2018 Youth Olympic Games champion in the 50 breaststroke, and is likely to be chosen for South Africa’s Olympic team next summer.
  • Canadian Tess Cieplucha swam a 4:45.25 in the women’s 400 IM. She crushed her best time in this event across the spring and summer of 2019, after stagnating in it for 3 years, dropping 6+ seconds to go 4:38.96 at the Canadian World Championship Trials.
  • University of Tennessee’s Tjasa Pintar, a Slovenian-born swimmer, swam a lifetime best of 55.76 in the women’s 100 free. That cut half-a-second off her old best time of 56.22 done in the summer of 2016. It also gives her an Olympic “B” qualifying time, though her 19-year old teammate Neža Klančar still blocks her path to the Olympic Games in that event.
  • Tennessee’s Meghan Small swam her best time in the 200 free since 2013, when she was only 15-years old. Now 21, Small swam 2:02.30 on Sunday – just short of the Olympic Trials standard of 2:01.69. She already has Olympic Trials cuts in 5 other events.
  • New Tennessee transfer Kaitlin Harty swam a 2019-best time in the 100 back of 1:01.67. She was already qualified for the Olympic Trials in this event via a 1:01.91 from US Nationals this summer, but this time is her best since she was in high school in 2016.


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1 year ago

Lots of kids improving times after plateauing for a while. Very inspiring!

1 year ago

Wonder why Virginia and Indiana went home early. Long course experience is always great, especially before Trials.

Reply to  John
1 year ago

Us open is soon

Reply to  John
1 year ago

They will probably get another shot, maybe after conference meet and NCAAs when they are more rested?

2 Cents
Reply to  John
1 year ago

$$ That’s why. They have LCM pools at home and great competition within their own. Plus, maybe they were not invited to stay. Who knows?

Reply to  John
1 year ago

Because there’s much more to being a student-athlete on a travel trip than just one session of long course swimming in November?

Reply to  John
1 year ago

Because they’re also in school . . . ?

1 year ago

It would be interesting to see some stats comparing programs short course and long course success this past season! Tennessee definitely getting it done on both ends

Reply to  Heehaw
1 year ago

It looks like Tennessee is placing an emphasis on long course competition. They definitely want to have those athletes ready for trials!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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