Erica Sullivan Upsets Ashley Twichell and Haley Anderson to Win National Championship

Erica Sullivan Upsets Ashley Twichell and Haley Anderson to Win National Championship

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

One normally would not think of Nevada, largely a desert state in the western United States, as the hotbed of ocean swimming, but Sandpipers of Nevada head coach Ron Aitken has gradually, patiently and strategically built an open water swimming powerhouse in Las Vegas.

At Fort Myers Beach in Florida this weekend, his star swimmer Erica Sullivan swam away with the women’s 10 km title at the 2021 USA Swimming Open Water Swimming National Championships. Her runaway victory could be viewed on the USA Swimming livecast here with Mike Lewis announcing.

Erica Sullivan upset Tokyo Olympians Ashley Twichell (second) and Haley Anderson (third) with Katie Grimes in fourth. Sullivan who took a gap year from USC, took the lead early and never looked back.

I feel really tired,” said Sullivan after her first national victory. “I was able to see the buoys OK, but it got choppy and I felt worse as the race went on. I did not know what to expect [her victory] because every race is different.

1. Erica Sullivan 2:02:43
2. Ashley Twichell 2:03:01
3. Haley Anderson 2:05:21
4. Kathryn Grimes 2:05:25
5. Blair Stoneburg 2:11:39
6. Cadence Fort 2:11:49
7. Julissa Arzave 2:12:27
8. Carlie Rose 2:13:11
9. Arabella Sims 2:13:14
10. Mary McKenna 2:15:25
11. Paige Kuwata 2:15:45
12. Anna Auld 2:16:30
13. Sanna Peterson 2:17:40
14. Maggie Wallace 2:18:33
15. Jacqueline Tinneny 2:20:57
16. Mattea Sokolow 2:25:53
17. Abby Licht 2:31:51
18. Claire Dafoe DNF

Erica Sullivan, pre-race introduction. Photo by Chris Morgan.
Erica Sullivan giving post-race interview. Photo by Chris Morgan.

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