Blueseventy Swim of the Week: Ella Eastin comes up big in California

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Disclaimer: BlueSeventy Swim of the Week is not meant to be a conclusive selection of the best overall swim of the week, but rather one Featured Swim to be explored in deeper detail. The BlueSeventy Swim is an opportunity to take a closer look at the context of one of the many fast swims this week, perhaps a swim that slipped through the cracks as others grabbed the headlines, or a race we didn’t get to examine as closely in the flood of weekly meets.

As USA Swimming’s major icons – including Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte – grabbed the spotlight in Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the nation’s rising swim stars made some huge strides of her own on the opposite coast.

Crean Lutheran high school senior Ella Eastin knocked down the National Independent High School record in the 200 IM while winning the CIF Southern Section Division 2 title. But even more impressive was exactly how much of an improvement Eastin showed from her previous best.

Eastin already held that record, for independent and private high schools, but it was way back at a 1:55.15 from 2013. Eastin didn’t better that mark in 2014, but came through in a big way this spring, going all the way down to a 1:53.90. It’s not often you see swimmers at that level skipping entire seconds on their way towards a record, but Eastin did just that, leaping past the 1:54s entirely.

In addition, Eastin approached two more major records: the overall national high school record and the 17-18 National Age Group record. Eastin sits within two tenths of both – Dagny Knutson holds the high school record at 1:53.82 and Katie Hoff the NAG at 1:53.77.

Those are two huge names for Eastin to be approaching. In fact, she now sits #5 on the all-time 17-18 rankings, displacing Cal star Liz Pelton. Ahead of her are Hoff and Knutson, plus Celina Li and Maya DiRado, who is swimming professionally out of Stanford and may become Eastin’s new training partner when Eastin joins the Cardinal squad next fall.

Eastin is looking more and more like a gigantic pickup for Stanford, too. With the top two recruits in her class already announcing their deferrals to train for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Eastin will come in as one of the very best freshmen in the nation (provided she doesn’t defer, too). Katie Ledecky will postpone her freshman season at Stanford, meaning Eastin will likely be the top freshman on a Cardinal team that might be the favorites to win next year’s NCAA title.

If Eastin can improve her 400 IM by a similar margin (her lifetime-best is a 4:05.25, also from back in 2013), she’ll be able to cement her place as one of the top young swimmers in the United States, and perhaps make a run at some major international teams in the near future.

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Danjohnrob

Congratulations to Ella on a monster swim, and good luck this weekend at the CIF State Championship! 🙂

Does anybody know thae date when all of the US graduating high school swimmers must make a decision to defer their freshman year of college? How about the date college swimmers must decide if they want to take an “Olympic red-shirt” year?

bobo gigi
liquidassets

Thanks Bobo, she looked smooth and solid throughout all legs despite not being pushed at all. Although she doesn’t have a weak stroke, per se, fly and breast are now her best strokes, relatively, the two strokes that are arguably often the most key for the IM, according to a majority of the coaches who post on here at least.

CardFan

That was a very good swim for Ella. She has ton of rooms to improve. Her butterfly-to-back was a little short. If it was perfect, the time will be better.

She has a very good underwater kick. Also very quick transition at wall. Her back-to-breast turn first push off came up a little short compared to her normal breast turn. I think she might be able to drop a few more seconds by the time she finishes her Stanford career.

Go Ella!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for SwimSwam.com, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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