Ultra Swimmer of the Month: Emma Sticklen

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.

University of Texas junior Emma Sticklen had a phenomenal showing in the Longhorns’ two-day dual against NC State last weekend and has put herself in a favorable position heading into the NCAA postseason.

Sticklen quietly had a very strong showing at the Women’s NCAA Championships last season as a sophomore, placing fourth in the 100 fly (50.29) and seventh in the 200 fly (1:52.22), having qualified first out of the 200 fly heats in a PB of 1:51.45.

This season, after posting respective times of 50.91 and 1:54.76 in the 100 and 200 fly at the Minnesota Invite in early December, Sticklen caught fire against NC State last weekend.

On Friday, the Katy, Texas native fired off a time of 49.79 in the 100 fly, marking a sizeable personal best time as she became just the 11th swimmer in history under 50 seconds in the event, ranking eighth all-time.

All-Time Top Performers, Women’s Butterfly (SCY)

  1. Maggie MacNeil, Michigan — 48.89 (2021)
  2. Kate Douglass, Virginia — 49.04 (2022)
  3. Torri Huske, Stanford — 49.17 (2022)
  4. Claire Curzan, Stanford — 49.24 (2022)
  5. Louise Hansson, USC — 49.26 (2019)
  6. Erika Brown, Tennessee — 49.38 (2020)
  7. Kelsi Dahlia, Louisville — 49.43 (2016)
  8. Emma Sticklen, Texas — 49.79 (2023)
  9. Regan Smith, Stanford — 49.87 (2022)
  10. Gretchen Walsh, Virginia — 49.89 (2022)
  11. Katie McLaughlin, Cal — 49.97 (2019)

Sticklen also recorded a personal best of 1:54.70 in the 200 IM on the first day of the meet, and then on Saturday, she clocked 1:51.37 in the 200 fly to dip under her PB from the 2022 NCAAs and take over the top spot in the country this season, having held off teammate Dakota Luther (1:51.58) for the victory.

Having locked in ‘A’ cuts in both of her primary events, Sticklen can now settle back into a training block through the Big 12 Championships in February before ramping things back up for NCAAs in March.

Two weeks prior to her performances against NC State, Sticklen went 52.1/1:56.3 in the fly events in a double-dual with Alabama and OSU, so it’s clear she’s got her taper dialed in. Following the same recipe for nationals should make for promising results, as she figures to feature prominently in the most stacked 100 fly battle in NCAA history while also having emerged as a title threat in the 200 fly.

About Ultra Swim 

Ultra Swim is the shampoo made for swimmers. It gently removes harmful chlorine, and prevents damaged hair. So swim all you want, without sacrificing your hair.

Like Ultra Swim on Facebook

See all Ultra Swim Products here

Buy Ultra Swim at these locations

Ultra Swim is a SwimSwam partner. 

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

Read More »