Westmont women’s swimming has signed its first recruit in the high school class of 2021, Ella Chaisson of Burbank, head coach Jill Jones Lin announced Tuesday.
“I’m thrilled to have Ella join our team,” Jones Lin said in a statement. “She comes with a great athletic résumé and love for the sport of swimming. Additionally, Ella’s passion to build community and create a family environment on our team is incredibly important and I cannot wait to start working with her next year.”
In 2019 as a sophomore at Maranatha High School, Chaisson placed third in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:07.94) and fourth in the 200-yard individual medley (2:11.67) at the CIF-SS Division 4 Championships. She then served as team co-captain as a junior, a season which was cut short due to COVID-19.
“Spending my high school years at Maranatha, I appreciated the loving and supportive environment,” Chaisson said in a news release. “After visiting Westmont, I felt the same energy and I knew I could call it home.
“I liked that Westmont was a small private college where you can get personal attention in your academics as well as be mentored and develop a strong character.”
Chaisson, who as a sophomore also set a Raiders Invitational 200-yard individual medley record (2:10.72) and placed first in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:07.41) at the Chino Hills Husky Invitational, swims club for the Rose Bowl Swim Team.
“I have been in club swimming since I was 8-years-old and always look forward to taking it to the next level,” Chaisson said. “I feel the same as I am about to enter college and take swimming to an even higher level.”
Chaisson’s personal-best times include 1:07.94 in the 100-yard breaststroke, 2:26.56 in the 200-yard breaststroke, 2:10.72 in the 200-yard individual medley and 4:38.46 in the 400-yard individual medley.
“When I met Coach Jill and some of the women on the team, I felt that they had a strong bond, like they were a family,” Chaisson said. “I am excited to be in a great environment like this to grow not only as a swimmer but in my character as well.
“After not competing for a while because of the current pandemic, I am excited about competitions and competing once again. I am looking forward to swimming with this new team and being coached by an incredible coach and leader. As a Southern Californian, I am excited about living and swimming in beautiful Santa Barbara.”
“I was amazed how beautiful it was and how welcoming and inviting the people were,” Chaisson added, regarding her experience visiting Westmont. “I was also drawn to the strong kinesiology program. I learned that the swim team was relatively new and wanted to be a part of it.”
Chaisson said she plans to major in kinesiology at Westmont in her pursuit of a future career in physical therapy.
Westmont women’s swimming began its 2020-21 season on Nov. 7 as part of the Virtual Quadrangle. Jones Lin said the team is trying to schedule a second virtual meet before the end of the calendar year, before hopefully competing in a meet in either January or February to allow Warriors to qualify for the NAIA National Championships, which are set to take place from March 3-6 in Knoxville, Tenn.