Edward Kim wins record 7th and 8th state titles
February 26, 2014
By Christina Corrales-Toy
Eastlake’s Edward Kim didn’t need directions to find the top of the winners’ podium at the 4A state swimming championships Feb. 21-22.
After all, the march across the blue, hex-shaped steps at Federal Way’s King County Aquatic Center had become a familiar path for the Eastlake senior.
He ascended those stairs for the last time in his storied high school career Feb. 22, after collecting his record seventh and eighth individual state titles.
“I’m kind of sad, but happy at the same time, because it was a great finish,” he said after his final race.
Kim, who will swim for Harvard next year, became just the second male swimmer in state history to win eight individual state titles with his victories in both the 100 and 200-yard freestyle.
He captured the 200 with an automatic All-America time of 1 minute, 37.42 seconds, and the 100 in 43.90, also an automatic All-America time.
Since swimmers are allowed to race in only two individual events per season at state, Kim’s accomplishment means that he won every time he competed solo.
Shortly after achieving one of his greatest high school swimming goals, the significance of what he had done hadn’t quite sunk in yet as the meet came to a close.
“It still hasn’t. I don’t think it will for a few days,” he said with a smile.
For all of his individual accolades, though, Kim was quick to point out that what he will miss most about his high school career are his teammates.
It seemed fitting, then, that Kim’s last high school swim, and last trip to the state podium, was with his 400-yard freestyle relay teammates Markus Zimmerman, Chirag Das and Jackson Berman.
That relay team placed fourth with a time of 3:14.48.
“We could not have finished it better,” he said. “The team aspect is my favorite part, and that’s what I’ll be leaving behind. I’ll definitely miss that.”
Berman, a junior, also came away with an individual medal, placing seventh in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:47.84.
Caleb Alleva, Kim, Berman and Zimmerman combined to take sixth place in the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:30.13.
medal at state
Skyline senior Paul Jett wrapped up his high-school swimming career with three medals, two of them individuals, at the state meet.
Jett swam the 50-yard freestyle in 22.75, good for eighth place, before taking fifth in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 52.21.
“It’s a big deal,” he said of making it to state. “It’s not really about the medals, though. It’s more about the team.”
Fellow senior Ryan Collins also took home an individual medal, earning eighth place in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 52.57.
Skyline’s last medal came in the 200-yard freestyle relay. Nick D’Alo, Jacob Leahy, Collins and Jett placed seventh in 1:30.81.
“Being a senior, I don’t know if I would have swam my four years if it wasn’t for this great team,” Jett said. “These guys are probably my best friends.”