Ultra Swim Swimmer of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based swimmer who has proven themselves over the past month. As with any item of recognition, Swimmer of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one athlete whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a swimmer who was visibly outperforming other swimmers over the month, or one whose accomplishments slipped through the cracks among other high-profile swims. If your favorite athlete wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.
The Tennessee women won their first SEC title in program history, led by three dominating wins by senior Erika Brown.
Brown three-peated in all three of her races, winning her third-consecutive SEC title in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly. Her 50 free was a new SEC record, checking in as the third-fastest swim in history at 21.03. Her 100 free (45.83) matched both accomplishments, breaking the SEC record and sitting as the #3 swim (and #2 performer) of all-time. And her 100 fly broke the American record at 49.38, checking in as the #4 performance and #3 performer of all-time.
Brown was instrumental in Tennessee winning 3 of 5 relays at SECs. She anchored in a blistering 20.57 to give the 200 medley relay a win, outsplitting Missouri’s anchor by a full second to win by three tenths. That same night, she returned to split 1:41.08 (best in the entire field) on the 800 free relay, which won by three seconds and ranks #1 in the NCAA this season by more than a second. A 49.88 fly leg (best in the field by about another full second) pushed the 400 medley relay to a win of .07 seconds. the Vols trailed Alabama by a second when Brown left the blocks, but led by a tenth when she finished. And a field-best 21.15 leadoff on the 200 free relay helped Tennessee take second behind only a historically-fast Auburn team.
In her final SEC meet, Brown came up huge, powering Tennessee to a milestone for that rising program. For the month of February, she’s our Swimmer of the Month.
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