Ella Eastin is an American medley specialist from Orange County, California. Eastin comes from a
family of outstanding athletes. Her father Jeff, played college and international professional basketball, her grandfather was drafted in baseball and her grandmother was one of the first professional golfers. Her younger sister also swims at the University of Michigan. Being born 11 months apart, the Eastin sisters are Irish twins.
Eastin fell in love with the sport at age six with the help of her first coach Todd Larson. He taught her and her sister the strokes and instilled in them the passion for the sport. In 2010, Larson died after a year battle with leukaemia. Eastin said he is the motivation for her to keep swimming.
Swimming for Socal Aquatics and Crean Lutheran High School, Eastin broke numerous national age group and independent high school records. She committed to Stanford and began her record-breaking college career in 2015.
As the number six recruit in the nation, Eastin chose to stay in California and swim for Greg Meehan at Stanford University.
Eastin made an immediate impact as a cardinal picking up duel meet wins throughout the season. She
continued dominating the medley events and 200 yard butterfly at Pac-12’s. In the 400 yard medley, she became the youngest swimmer ever to go under 4 minutes.
But at her first NCAA appearance, she made everyone know who Ella Eastin is. First up was the 200 yard IM. At the halfway mark she sat in second, but a strong breaststroke leg pulled her half a second ahead and the lead continued to grow. Her time of 1:51.65 was a new NCAA, American and US Open record.
After a record breaking start, her momentum continued to build. Eastin again touched first in the 400 IM with a 3:58.40, almost a second quicker than her conference meet. Eastin also picked up a silver in her third event, the 200 yard butterfly. Although her final split was over a second faster than leader Kelsi Worrell, she finished in 1:51.04, 0.08 behind Worrell.
2017 NCAA Championships
Eastin won the 400 IM in 3:57.57, breaking the American and Pool Record. In the 200 IM, Eastin finished second behind Kathleen Baker of California, with a time of 1:52.27. Eastin picked up another win in the 200 Fly, setting a new pool record and out touching Katie McLaughlin of Cal by .02. Eastin recorded a 1:51.35 just ahead of McLaughlin’s 1:51.37.
2018 Pac-12 Championships
Eastin continued her accent to the top of short course swimming her junior year, dropping big lifetime bests at the 2018 Pac-12 Championships. On day 1, she swam the 500, an event that wasn’t too common for her, and finished in 4:34.04, good for 2nd in the nation behind her teammate, Katie Ledecky. On day 2, she took 2nd again behind teammate Ledecky, this time both going under Eastin’s former American record in the 400 IM, Eastin touching at 3:57.32. Eastin put on a show on the final night, dominating the 200 fly. She flipped in a quick 53.51 as she trailed USC’s Louise Hansson, who was out in a blistering 51.81. Eastin outsplit her by a full 2 and a half seconds on the final 50 alone, however, finishing with a big margin of victory and a new NCAA and American record of 1:49.51.
2018 NCAA Championships
Ella Eastin was in top form at the 2018 NCAA championships. Her meet started with a second spot in Stanford’s winning 800 free relay, splitting 1:41.13. On Night 2, heading into a loaded field in the 200 IM, Eastin hammered a 26.3 last split to smash her own American record, stopping the clocks at 1:50.67. While many thought that would be the most impressive swim of the meet, Eastin had other plans. The next night, in the 400 IM, she ripped a 3:54.60, decimating the previous NCAA record by nearly 2 seconds. On the final night of competition, Eastin defended her title in the 200 fly, swimming 1:50.01, making her the only female at the meet to win 3 individual titles and garnering her the Swimmer of the Meet honor. She capped the meet off by splitting a 47.13 on Stanford’s 400 free relay, which came in first for Eastin’s 5th national title on the weekend.
After picking up two junior national titles weeks before, Eastin took to the international stage for the first time at 16 at the World Junior Championships in Dubai.
2013 FINA World Junior Championships
It didn’t take long for Eastin to make her mark. In her first event, 400m IM, she held the lead from start to finish and touched home in record breaking fashion. Her USA teammate pushed behind her the whole way, but Eastin managed to hold on to break the Championship Record in 4:40.02.
In the 200m IM, it was Eastin doing the chasing. At half way there was just 0.07 between Eastin and Lithuania’s Ruta Meilutyte in first. But Meilutyte’s strong breaststroke leg put three seconds between them and the gap was too much to make up. Eastin took silver in 2:13.76.
2014 Junior Pan Pacific Championships
Having gained some international experience, Eastin was named captain for Team USA in Maui. She lead by example, picking up golds in both IM events. In the 400m, she went into the final seeded fourth. But Eastin again led from start to finish, dropping over four and a half seconds to finish first in 4:43.13.
The 200m was a similar story. Eastin took the lead on the butterfly leg and held on the length of the race. She touched in 2:13.12 to take the gold.
She also competed in the 200 and 100 meter butterfly, taking 9th and 19th respectively.
2015 Junior Nationals
Eastin equalled the Junior World Record in 200m IM in 2:12.32 to take gold. She also claimed the title in 400m IM and 200 meter butterfly.
2016 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m)
Eastin captured the silver medal in the 400m IM finishing just .04 seconds ahead of USA Teammate
and bronze medalist, Madisyn Cox. Eastin’s time of 4:27.74 was six seconds behind the winner, The Iron Lady Katinka Hosszu. Ella followed her performance up with another silver medal race in the 200 IM, again finishing behind Hosszu and ahead of Cox in 2:05.02.
2017 World University Games
Missing out on the 2017 World Championship team by means of DQ in the 400 IM at USA’s trials, Eastin attended the 2017 World University Games, qualified to swim the 200 IM/200 fly in Taipai. With so much international experience under her belt, Eastin was once again voted a captain for Team USA. Eastin had a big Day 4 of the meet, first taking silver in the 200 IM (2:11.12) and then anchoring the USA’s 4x200m Free Relay to silver (1:58.61), getting touched out by Russia by only .04 for Gold. Later in the meet, she came back to earn gold in the 200m fly, laying waste to the field with a winning time of 2:08.21, over 3 seconds ahead of 2nd place.
2018 U.S. National Championships
After announcing that she had come down with mono just a month before nationals, Eastin finished third in the 200 IM (2:10.84) at the 2018 Phillips 66 National Championships to make her first ever USA “A” team. She also swam the 200 butterfly, finishing 12th in the prelims (2:10.81).
2018 Female NCAA Swimmer of the Year
Eastin had a sensational NCAA meet, overshadowing even her two teammates who typically refuse to be overshadowed by anyone. Eastin hit the records triple crown (American, NCAA and U.S. Open records) in all three of her individual events during the collegiate season, meaning her swims rank as the fastest in history in those events. This accomplishment made her SwimSwam’s 2018 Female NCAA Swimmer of the Year.