Ultra Swim Swimmer of the Month: Erika Brown, Tennessee

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.

It’s been a month of fast swims at the college level, and two of the biggest dual meet wins have gone to Erika Brown and the Tennessee Volunteers.

The senior Brown currently leads the official NCAA ranks in the 50 free, 100 free and 100 fly, and looks like one of the NCAA’s top sprint weapons. All three nation-leading swims came at the Vols October 19 dual with national power Virginia. The Cavaliers entered Knoxville one of the hottest teams in the country, and ranked #3 in our season-opening NCAA Power Ranks.

But the Volunteers knocked them off, thanks in large part to four wins from Brown. The senior opened the meet with a relay run-down while anchoring the 200 medley relay – she entered the pool trailing UVA by three tenths, but surged past the Cavaliers with a 21.5 split to seal the win and a 14-point swing. She went on to beat star UVA freshman Kate Douglass in the 50 free 21.96 to 22.26, then led a 1-2 finish with a 48.17 in the 100 free. Later, she touched out Douglass again with a 51.12 in the 100 fly.

All three times lead the NCAA’s official ranks – though the 100 fly would technically sit behind Michigan sophomore Maggie MacNeil‘s 49.57, if Michigan’s intrasquad were eligible for NCAA ranks. With no other teams present (Tennessee and Virginia were supposed to compete at Michigan, but bowed out due to waterborne illness concerns), Michigan’s times don’t officially count for NCAA rankings.

Earlier in October, Tennessee dusted South Carolina in a long course dual, with Brown going 25.89 and 56.90 in long course 50 and 100 frees, plus 2:19.99 in a long course 200 back. And later in the month, Tennessee beat another ranked team – Louisville. On the road, Brown again won four events: the 200 medley relay, 100 back (53.03), 100 free (48.86), and 100 fly (52.59).

Comparatively, Brown is way ahead of where she’s been in October the past two seasons:

October 2017 October 2018 October 2019
50y free 22.65 22.83 21.96
100y free 49.45 49.94 48.17
100y fly 52.61 52.98 51.12


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OG Prodigy
4 years ago

Those progressions are incredible, congrats!

Fish Food
4 years ago

What a great competitor. Fantastic selection.

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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