WSU swimmer excels in and out of the pool

Fifth-year Chloe Larson has won a Pac-12 Championship, set records while at WSU



Chloe Larson, Pac-12 50-meter freestyle champion, is recognized on the field alongside Butch T. Cougar during a football game against Martin Stadium on Sept. 11, 2021, in Martin Stadium.

KAT MCKINNEY-ROLEY, Evergreen reporter

When thinking of great swimmers, the likes of Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky come to mind.

For Cougs, the name that comes to mind is fifth-year Chloe Larson.

Larson, who has paved the way for WSU swimming, has made history in the pool and on the record boards as well.

Larson is the first WSU swimmer to win an individual Pac-12 Championship title in the 50-meter freestyle. The swimmer has been a force in the pool since her freshman year at WSU. Her experience and hard work for the Cougs have not gone unnoticed by her coaches or teammates.

“It’s been a whirlwind,” Larson said. “It’s been a great last four years. Obviously, I’m staying for my fifth year. I really do love it here, and I’ve grown so much as a person from swimming and from teammates.”

From the time she was in high school, Larson knew she wanted to compete in the conference of champions. While swimming in this highly competitive conference, Larson said she felt like coming to WSU helped push her to accomplish the goals she set for herself. One of those goals was winning a Pac-12 title.

“It’s meant so much to me; never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would win a Pac-12 Championship,” Larson said. “I think it just shows that hard work and dedication do pay off.”

Larson also holds pool records for Gibb Pool and has served as a positive role model for the swim team and program.

“She has raised the bar in the classroom,” head coach Matt Leach said. “It’s someone that works hard all the time and does things the right way. When things go right, they deserve every ounce of what they have been able to achieve.”

Leach went on to explain how hard Larson has worked to get to where she is today.

“She’s a great person, she’s got a great heart and she cares about her teammates. She cares about everything that she does here,” Leach said. “It’s one of those stories where she comes in as someone that wants to work, and then all of the sudden, she puts herself in a position to do some amazing things.”

Not only did Larson have the opportunity to swim for and win a Pac-12 Championship, but she also had the opportunity to swim at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Larson has not only made an impact on the coaching staff at WSU but also on her teammates.

“Chloe means so much to me personally,” fifth-year swimmer Taylor McCoy said. “We’ve been through thick and thin together. We are very like-minded people outside of the water, and so she has always been a support system for me and has always been there for me personally. She is a great friend to everyone on the team, including me.”

Larson has a big heart and a determined work ethic that has made an everlasting impact on the swim program at WSU. She has also paved the way for the WSU swim program and put the program on the map as the home of a Pac-12 champion.

This might be Larson’s last year here at WSU, but her legacy will forever stay and be a part of the WSU swim team.