SwimSwam’s 6th-ranked recruit in the girls’ class of 2016 Ella Eastin has verbally committed to Stanford, she told SwimSwam via text late Tuesday evening.
“I am so excited and am looking forward to competing in college while getting a great education. I am relived to have made my decision and I can’t wait to see where the other swimmers in my class decide to go,” Eastin said, punctuating her message with a “Go Card!”
That will give Stanford head coach Greg Meehan one more weapon to work with in the spring of 2016, where his team keeps looking stronger-and-stronger for an NCAA title run.
Eastin can swim any of the four strokes, and swim them well, which not surprisingly makes her an incredible IM’er. Her best times:
- 100y free – 49.77
- 200y free – 1:48.33
- 500y free – 4:44.47
- 100y back – 53.72
- 200y back – 1:55.58
- 100y breast – 1:01.75
- 100y fly – 53.93
- 200y fly – 1:58.69
- 200y IM – 1:55.15
- 400y IM – 4:05.25
Where she’ll end up focusing her efforts as she matures and grows closer to the elite international senior travel teams for the U.S.A. could go in a lot of directions, but she shapes up to be very much like an Elizabeth Beisel type – a fantastic IM’er, with a specialty in perhaps the 200 backstroke, but the ability to swim any event with success.
Specifically, Eastin’s best times would have put her into the A-Final at NCAA’s in the 200 IM and the 400 IM, and she would have been close to scoring in the 200 back as well.
One of the benefits for Eastin going to Stanford is that the Cardinal have so much depth in the sprints that she won’t be forced to do anything outside of her comfort zone. While as an IM’er, that can sometimes be a benefit, in a case like Eastin she’ll have the freedom to choose what she focuses on, and what stroke she wants to push each year, because Stanford won’t need her on any relays. If she develops into a 48-low 100 freestyler, maybe she winds up on the 400 free relay, but the Cardinal’s title hopes won’t rest on it.
In that sense, she has a scenario very much like Chase Kalisz at Georgia, and one in which he’s bloomed. Because of the presence of Nic Fink, Kalisz hasn’t been forced to focus on breaststroke, and now he’s one of the top 200 flyers in the country. Another example of this comes from Stanford themselves: Maya DiRado didn’t have to be anything as a freshman or a sophomore except a great individual swimmer, and so by the time her junior and senior year came around, she had suddenly become a world-class butterflier (not what she came to Stanford as) and she was able to do a little bit of everything for the Cardinal.
Eastin swims for the SoCal Aquatic Association and Crean Lutheran High School. In 2013, she led Crean Lutheran to their first-ever CIF Southern Section Division III title, and in the process broke Missy Franklin’s National Independent High School Record in the 200 yard IM. At Stanford, she’ll be reunited with Crean Lutheran partner Lindsey Engel, who was also on that history-making team.
Eastin is the second top-10 recruit in the class of 2015 for Greg Meehan, after #1-ranked Katie Ledecky committed very early in the process.