Arizona Begins 2022 Recruiting with Verbal from Washington HS Champ Billy Oates

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Sprinter Billy Oates of King Aquatic Club in Washington state has verbally committed to the University of Arizona for fall 2022. He’s a junior at Bellarmine Preparatory School, though he competes for Gig Harbor High School.

I’m very excited to give my verbal commitment to swim and study at the University of Arizona! The exceptional coaching, staff, and the tight-knit team atmosphere were key in making my decision. Thank you to all my coaches, family, and friends. Bear Down!


  • 50 free – 20.53
  • 100 free – 47.49
  • 100 back – 49.10
  • 100 fly – 49.23

Oates is a three-time Washington HS 3A State champion and was named the 2020 Washington 3A Swimmer of the Year. As a freshman, he took the 50 free title (20.88) and was the 100 fly runner-up (49.93). In February 2020, as a sophomore, Oates doubled up with wins in the 50 free (20.53) and 100 back (49.10), hitting lifetime bests in both events. He also led off Gig Harbor’s runner-up 200 free relay (21.02).

The summer before his freshman year of high school, Oates moved from northern California to Washington. He also played club water polo part of the year until 2019, and in 2020 he committed his full focus to swimming. His biggest drop since that shift came in the 100 back; he went from 55.23 in 2018 to 51.03 in late 2019 to 49.10 in 2020.

Arizona’s men finished second in the Pac-12 at the 2020 conference championships, behind only 2019 NCAA champions Cal. At that meet, they narrowly defeated Stanford and Arizona State; the Wildcats scored 578 points, followed closely by Stanford (573) and ASU (566).

Oates is Arizona’s first verbal commit for their class of 2026.

If you have a commitment to report, please send an email with a photo (landscape, or horizontal, looks best) and a quote to [email protected].

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Trent Richardson
1 month ago

Congrats Billy and Zona!

1 month ago

Sweet picture dude way to use your surroundings! Tired of the dog pics haha

Jim karpinski
1 month ago

hope he enjoys running up and down the stadium steps 300 times per week.

His Coach
Reply to  Jim karpinski
1 month ago

The WHAT isn’t a problem if Augie successfully sells the WHY. Having said that, WA is a hikers dream, and if given the right carrot, Billy will be the first one to the top.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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