Erica Sullivan, David Heron Win 10K Open Water National Titles

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Erica Sullivan and David Heron took the 10K open water national titles on Friday morning in Fort Myers, Florida as this meet served as qualification for the open water national team status as the Olympic roster has already been selected from the placings at the 2019 World Championships.


Sullivan won the women’s race from start to finish at 2:02:43, taking down the two women that will represent the United States at the Olympic Games this summer in Ashley Twichell (2:03:01) and Haley Anderson (2:05:21). Sullivan was hardly challenged as the Texas commit was leading at every single lap, improving on her third place finish from the 2019 nationals. She will race in the 5K on Sunday morning.

Sandpipers’ Katie Grimes finished fourth ahead of Wisconsin commit Blair Stoneburg to officially take the 18 and under national title.

The Sandpipers of Nevada nearly swept the 10K on Friday as Brennan Gravley, now representing the University of Florida, finished runner-up to David Heron of Mission Viejo. Heron held off Gravley on the last lap as they both used a tactical race, pressing down the pedal on the second half. Heron won at 2:05:24 while Gravley won silver at 2:05:25.

Tennessee’s Joey Tepper took a big lead on the front half, seemingly trying to replicate Sullivan’s feat in the women’s race.

Tepper had a huge lead until about lap five of six when the chase pack caught him and swallowed him up, leaving Tepper in a race with Louisville’s TC Smith and Arizona State commit Dylan Gravley. Tepper hung on to finish in the top four and as the 18 and under national champ as Smith ended up with the bronze medal overall at 2:06:25.