Eastside Catholic's Hallowell makes state swimming history

Eastside Catholic
Eastside Catholic's Ethan Hallowell stands on the podium after winning the 100-yard freestyle event during the WIAA 3A Swim and Dive Championships at the King County Aquatic Center. He set a new state record, winning eight individual titles.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Reporter

The names speak for themselves in the world of swimming.

Olympic gold medalist and former Bremerton star Nathan Adrian along with world champion and former Newport standout Ugur Taner once ruled Washington's pools.

But the two never accomplished the feat Eastside Catholic's Ethan Hallowell reached at Saturday's night's 3A state swimming and diving championships at the King County Aquatics Center.

Hallowell became the first swimmer in state history to win eight individual championships over a four-year career, breaking Taner's record of seven set in 1992.

"It’s definitely a very surreal feeling right now, looking back, my freshman year it’s not something that I could ever have imagined," said Hallowell, who will attend Stanford University next fall.

Hallowell won the 200 freestyle in a state meet record and automatic All-American time of 1 minute 38.18 seconds — edging the record set by Mercer Island's Sean Sussex (1:38.21) in 2003. Hallowell also blazed to a championship in the 100 freestyle, finishing in an automatic All-American time of 44.75 seconds.

"In hindsight its very strange to think its already over and that I did go 8-for-8," Hallowell said. "All the close races I had and nerves that came with them have started to come back to me, and it’s all very nostalgic."

Hallowell, along with senior Joe Mahan, junior Braden Walgomott and junior Matt Leist pushed the 200 freestyle relay team to a fourth-place finish in a time of 1:28.98. Lakeside won the event in 1:27.95. Mahan also placed 10th in the 100 free in 48.98.

Eastside Catholic finished 13th overall with 77 team points. Mercer Island won its sixth straight team title with 350 points. Lakeside (227) was second and Shorewood (177) rounded out the top three.

For Hallowell, Saturday's meet was bittersweet. He said wouldn't trade his experiences at Eastside Catholic for anything, but at the same time, he's excited to see what he can do at the next level.

"It's fun to look back on the years and all the good times I had in high school swimming and those memories will stick with me for a long time," Hallowell said. "I know that this is just the start for me. Like Nathan Adrian, Ugur Tanner and all the other great swimmers from Washington, I know that it is the work that is put in from here on out that defines your legacy. I still have a lot of work to do and room to grow.

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