Erica Sullivan Finishes 3rd At NCAA Championships
Long-time open water swimming stalwart and USA Swimming national 10 km champion Erica Sullivan of the University of Texas briefly led in the early part of the 500-yard freestyle at the NCAA Women’s Swimming Championships and hung on for third place.
Thomas, the University of Pennsylvania swimmer who became the first transgender NCAA champion in Division I history, won comfortably in 4:33.24 after a burst over the last 150 yards. Thomas beat three American silver medalists from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in her victory: Emma Weyant won a silver medal in the 400m individual medley, Sullivan won an Olympic silver medal in the 1500m freestyle, and Brooke Forde won a silver medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
While the controversy over Thomas’ participation in the women’s championship continues among athletes, parents, officials, fans, the media, and the general public, both Sullivan and Forde publicly supported Thomas’ participation in the championships.
500-yard Freestyle Results
- Lia Thomas (University of Pennsylvania) 4:33.24
- Emma Weyant (University of Virginia) 4:34.99 – Olympic silver medalist
- Erica Sullivan (University of Texas) 4:35.92 – Olympic silver medalist
- Brooke Forde (Stanford University) 4:36.18
- Evie Pfeifer (University of Texas) 4:37.29
- Paige McKenna (University of Wisconsin) 4:37.35
- Kensey McMahon (University of Alabama) 4:40.06
- Morgan Tankersley (Stanford University) 4:40.08
Upper photo of Erica Sullivan courtesy of Texas Sports.