Esterly ’24 Preps to Complete Swimming Feat

Categories: Cadet News, Athletics, Grad News, West Point Magazine
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Cadet Erica Esterly ’24, who made news in 2021 for swimming the New York Open Water (NYOW) 20 Bridges Race, a 28.5-mile lap around the island of Manhattan, is one challenge away from completing the Triple Crown of marathon open water swimming. In August 2022, Esterly, a member of Company B-3 and cadet manager of the Army West Point Women’s Swimming & Diving Team, completed NYOW’s 40 Bridges Race, a double lap around Manhattan. She completed the circuit in 19 hours and 49 minutes, making her both the youngest and fastest woman to finish the 57-mile swim. A month later, Esterly completed the Catalina Channel Challenge, a 21-mile open ocean swim from Catalina Island to Point Vicente, California that features unpredictable currents, strong winds, large Pacific swells and is made even more challenging with a midnight start. After graduating and commissioning this May, Esterly plans to use her graduation leave to tackle another 21-mile open ocean swim, the English Channel. Once she does, she will be one of fewer than 300 swimmers to complete marathon open water swimming’s Triple Crown. “I’m intrigued to see how far my grit can take me,” says Esterly. “I have always loved to push myself to limits that seem impossible when I first imagine them.” Branching Military Police, Esterly is confident that her open-water swim competitions have shaped her mental and physical toughness so that she’s able to handle whatever is thrown at her, just as her West Point experience has done.

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