Wilson nears end of outstanding college swim career

Saying 2007 Oak Harbor graduate Evan Wilson had a great collegiate swimming career at Stevens Institute of Technology would be an understatement.

Stellar. Exemplary.  Those might be better choices.

Wilson is now preparing for his final collegiate meet, the Division III national championship in Knoxville March 23 to 26.

He ended up at Stevens in Hoboken, N.J., because of the recruiting efforts of head coach Trevor Miele. Miele recruits nationally and has built Stevens into a powerhouse among Elite 8 conference schools.

Wilson said it also didn’t hurt during his recruitment that Stevens is recognized for its outstanding engineer program, the field Wilson wished to study.

In regard to Stevens’ engineering program, he said, “Their stats are pretty impressive.” Wilson will graduate in 2012 with a degree in engineering management.

While the Division III championships will be Wilson’s final collegiate meet, it won’t be the end of his swimming career. He has qualified for the USA Swimming national championship in August in the 400-meter individual medley.  Currently he ranks fourth among Division III swimmers in that event. (Stevens’ teammate and fellow OHHS grad John Hu is ranked second.) From that meet he hopes to qualify for the Olympic trials.

Unless he makes the Olympic team, which “would take a miracle,” Wilson said, the trials will most likely end his competitive swimming career.

Swimming, however, will play a part in his next athletic adventure -- triathlons. His collegiate swimming eligibility ends this year, but he has one more year of eligibility left to compete on Stevens’ triathlon team.

Wilson said, “I will focus on triathlons; it should be fun to compete in something different.”

Wilson said his success collegiately came from a good foundation thanks to the North Whidbey Aquatic Club and coach Neil Romney. “I was in the best shape of my life after swimming for the club team,” he said.

Romney said of Wilson: “Evan has always been a fierce competitor, consistently swimming his best at the biggest meets. Even after periods of illness, injury or reduced training, Evan can produce stunning swims. He’s a born racer.”

Wilson is the son of Oak Harbor residents Bob and Julie Wilson.

Wilson’s career is filled with highlights; here are a few of the brighest:

2007-8, freshman season: Empire 8 Rookie of the Year; honorable mention all-American (400-yard IM); first national qualifier in Stevens’ history; co-Rookie of the Meet for Empire 8 championships.

2008-9, sophomore season: First all-American in program history (seventh in 400 IM); Swimmer of the Meet for Empire 8 championships.

2009-10, junior year: Empire 8 Swimmer of the Year; all-American in 400-yard IM (fifth nationally); honorable mention all-American in 1,650 (ninth nationally).

2010-11, senior year: Qualified for NCAA Division III championships (March 23 to 26); national Swimmer of the Week (Oct. 27); three individual Empire 8 titles and two relay titles; UNYSCSA Swimmer of the Meet.

School records: 500 freestyle (4:32.68), 1,000 freestyle (9:32.19), 1,650 freestyle (15:45.38), 200 individual medley (1:52.06), 400 medley relay (3:36.69) and 800 freestyle relay (6:49.95).

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