Tennessee’s Erika Brown Swims Wrong Stroke in 200 Medley Relay Prelims; Vols out of Final


Prelims of the 200 medley relay at the 2018 Women’s NCAA Championships had an odd result. The Tennessee Volunteers, who were seeded 5th, missed the top 16. The most puzzling part of that result was Erika Brown‘s 22.97 anchor split. Brown has proven to be more than 2 seconds faster than that in her best anchor split (a 20.81 from the SEC Championships).

When she dove in for the free leg, Brown swam butterfly on the first lap. She did an open turn, and then switched to freestyle on the 2nd lap. The unintentional stroke mix up didn’t lead to a disqualification, but the Volunteers now won’t earn any medley relay points at this meet. Last night, they were disqualified for a Lochte Rule violation in the 400 medley relay final.

Officials told coaches they didn’t notice Brown swimming fly, so they couldn’t call it a DQ. The stroke rules of freestyle in a medley relay clearly state that freestyle means any style other than fly, back, or breast. Had they caught it, they would have called a DQ.

“Stroke — In an event designated freestyle, the swimmer may swim any style,
except that in a medley relay or an individual medley event, freestyle means
any style other than butterfly, breaststroke or backstroke. Some part of the
swimmer must break the surface of the water throughout the race, except it
shall be permissible for the swimmer to be completely submerged during the
turn and for a distance of not more than 15 meters (16.4 yards) after the
start and each turn. By that point the head must have broken the surface.

Before the free leg, Tennessee was certainly on track to make the final. They touched in 1:14.69 with 50 yards to go. It took a 1:37.04 to get 8th, so Brown would’ve needed to go a 22.35 or faster for them to get in, which is easily doable for her. There was a re-swim announced in the 200 medley relay, but it was Virginia Tech, not Tennessee. No explanation was given as to why there was a re-swim. Virginia Tech swam next to Tennessee in their prelims heat.

Brown will compete in tonight’s 100 fly final. She’s the fastest woman in the nation this year and will go head-to-head with USC’s Louise Hansson, who dropped a 49.90 this morning to become the 3rd fastest performer ever behind Brown.

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ct swim fan
4 years ago

How can all of the officials not know the disqualification rule or at least cal an obvious infraction. Doesn’t say much for their expertise or that they were paying very close attention. Makes you wonder if all/some of those negative reaction times on relays should have been disqualifications rather than have been allowed because no one saw a violation.

4 years ago

Erika is invested in her team. Is it possible that her coach Mike Kredick told to to try swimming 25 fly/25 free as an outside the box way of testing a Bill Boomer theory?

Reply to  MarkSpits
4 years ago

Matt Kredich

4 years ago

First off what were the officials doing? Having a coffee break?

4 years ago

Officials they the smartest peep ever!?

4 years ago

The officials at The Big Ten Championship failed to notice the OSU women’s 200 medley relay disqualification… but they were DQ over 12 hours later after the mention in a coaches meeting. Interesting.

ole 99
Reply to  Questioning
4 years ago

Seems about right. Big Ten championship meet officials always seemed to let Cody Miller get away with as many dolphin kicks as he wanted in BR/IM.

Reply to  Questioning
4 years ago

They may be DQed still then, on the basis that one of the officials reports themselves for a bad call.

Mushroom man
4 years ago

This is so rediculous. How didn’t EVERY OFFICIAL ON DECK MISS A GIRL DOING THE WRONG STROKE. The fact that the they have the audacity to call the Lochte rule but miss this is so embarrassing. Anyone officiating this meet should be banned from working a meet again.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Mushroom man
4 years ago

Maybe they just thought they were really really far behind?

Reply to  Mushroom man
4 years ago

Why don’t you people chill a bit…what will come next? Stone them to death? These folks are volunteers with some of them better than others. I’m retired official who at the end of my officiating career had deteriorating eyesight. Due to the extreme shortage of officials I kept on officiating even though my preference was to retire…

4 years ago

Why would changing stroke make her go slower?

Becky D
Reply to  50free
4 years ago

A change in stroke combined with shock, and a sprinkling of dread.

4 years ago

Weirdest thing I ever saw at a National meet was the #3 swimmer in an 800 relay dive in on the #2 swimmer as he turned for his last 50. I was in the water as #2 swimmer on another team about 3 yards behind that team. Totally freaked me out.

But swimming the wrong stroke tops that.

Hope she shakes it off and recovers mentally, she’s extremely talented.

ole 99
Reply to  PowerPlay
4 years ago

I had to dive over/on a teammate who miscounted during an 800 free relay (SCY). No injuries or dq. We even won.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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