Freshman stunner found her home at WSU

Fountaine has become crucial part of WSU swim team in first year



WSU freshman swimmer Keiana Fountaine at practice Tuesday at Gibb Pool. Fountaine was hesitant to go to college, however, with support from her family she found her place at WSU.

ISAAC SEMMLER, Evergreen reporter

Since the swimming season began earlier in 2018, WSU freshman freestyle swimmer Keiana Fountaine has quickly become one of the most feared athletes on the west coast.

In just five months, Fountaine achieved multiple first place finishes and set a 100-freestyle program record at the Phil Hansel Invitational back in mid-November.

WSU Head Coach Matt Leach said he believes her ambition comes from several different characteristics.

“Keiana’s success is due to a few different factors. Her attitude is always upbeat,” Leach said. “She is the person you want on your team. The second thing Keiana does very well is listen, and I feel she is able to process information in the pool and weight room to make changes quickly.”

In high school, Fountaine was a four-year varsity letter winner in swimming and a three-year letter winner in water polo. Fountaine was named MVP and earned All-League honors while also holding six individual and three relay records for all four years. During her last two years of high school she earned a 4.0 GPA and hopes to pursue a degree in biology here at WSU.

Fountaine has over 11 years of experience in competitive swimming but she said she did not expect to shine in the freestyle races when she arrived in Pullman.

“I honestly did not think I would have this much success as a freshman,” Fountaine said. “I came into Pullman really intimidated by everyone, especially the seniors. The biggest thing for me was to just keep up with the experienced swimmers and stay in my lane. I really look up to them.”

Though swimming is a big part of her life, she likes to spend much of her free time relaxing. When she finds a break in the day, Fountaine said her favorite hobbies include sleeping and watching Netflix. However, she also loves spending her time hanging out with friends on campus and exploring  the Palouse.

Fountaine said it was nice having some time off but she is excited to get back in the pool and compete in her first meet since Nov. 18.

Her parents and immediate family, whom she said she has always looked up to, encouraged her to go to college. Fountaine says she is thankful for having parents who positively influenced her drive for success.

“I mean, there are just too many people to mention that I should be thanking for helping me achieve my goals,” Fountaine said. “Obviously my parents have been a huge influence in my life to go to school but also my uncle who went to University of Washington and encouraged me to attend college up in the Northwest.”

WSU stood out from all the other universities she visited and its uniqueness contributed to her decision to attend. Growing up in Tracy, California, Fountaine had to adjust to a different environment but said she loves life in the Palouse.

“I feel that I really lucked out getting an offer to swim here,” Fountaine said. “When I first visited Pullman, I instantly liked it here and not only that but the coaching staff was incredibly nice and that also played a big role in my choice.”