11 Reasons Seattle, King County Aquatic Center Are Awesome

2014 Speedo Winter Junior Nationals
Photo Courtesy: Melissa Lundie

By Chuck Kroll

Having spent nearly 200 days of my life at the KING Aquatic Center attending many aquatic events throughout the years since my first visits prior to the 1990 Goodwill Games, I had a blast spending Saturday with the Greater USA Swimming Family! Thank you swimmers, coaches, administrators, officials, volunteers, other press including NBC Sports television and fans for making this a terrific meet as we head towards Omaha and Rio beyond!

1. Michael Phelps


Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Second time here…first was just prior to his making the Olympic Team at the Trials in 2000…great successes in this pool (200 IM, 100 & 200 Fly wins at this meet!)..good memories from 15+ years previous…eating at Mitzel’s restaurant (meatloaf & clam chowder)… good number of people in the stands!

2. Missy Franklin


Photo Courtesy: Annie Grevers

one of her favorite pools…enjoys looking back on her progress in this pool, over the years, swimming in meets such as Sectionals, PAC 12s and Nationals…fast pool, likes the hotel and food offerings in the area.

3. Coach Bob Bowman

Jun 18, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Bob Bowman, head coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils and coach of Michael Phelps, during Day One of the Arena Pro Series at the George F. Haines International Swim Center in Santa Clara, Calif. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Courtesy: Robert Stanton/USA Today Sports Images

success with his swimmers in this pool…likes places where his swimmers swim fast and they do here!

4. Cullen Jones

Cullen Jones

Photo Courtesy: SWTV

has a cousin in Seattle…third time swimming here…loves the pool…comfortable…swims fast here.

5. Coach/Olympian Swimmer Anthony Nesty


Photo Courtesy: Andy Ringgold/Aringo

swam here (1990 Goodwill Games)…success here (won the 100 Fly at Goodwill Games)…loves Seattle including the weather…huge coffee lover including Starbucks…local organizers/teams/facility staff put on really good meets.

6. Hall of Fame Coach Jon Urbanchek

Photo Courtesy: Greg Smith - USA Today Sports

Photo Courtesy: Greg Smith – USA Today Sports

many meets since the 1990 Goodwill Games including the NCAAs and all the time and dollar investment in seeing the success his swimmers have attained here.

7. Simone Manuel

simone-manuel-santa-clara-2015 (2)

Photo Courtesy: JD Lasica

likes the pool a lot…also swam PAC 12 here earlier this year…two for two good meets in this pool!

8. Nathan Adrian

Photo Courtesy: Maddy Olson

Photo Courtesy: Maddy Olson

Great mix of memories…from a 7 year old kid swimming here who had not really bought into the idea of ‘swimming’ at all…to being a 12-13 year old that was a lot for his coaches to handle, through his high school and college career to now…training for his hopefully 3rd Olympic Team!

9. Coach Teri McKeever

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

Photo Courtesy: Griffin Scott

likes bringing team here…many good PAC 12 meets…likes trip to Seattle.

10. Haley Anderson

Haley Anderson

Photo Courtesy: @AGMSports

pool is very familiar and fun to swim at based on her PAC 12 experiences with the USC Team…different being here this weekend without the other girls on the team.

11. Coach/Olympian Swimmer Pablo Morales


Photo Courtesy: Nebraska Athletics

originally swam here at the ’91 Nat’ls…likes Seattle…good meet with his swimmers this week…came in with no Trials cuts…four so far leading into Saturday night finals.


  1. avatar

    I have swum in several USMS championships in that pool. My son lives in Seattle so I always have a place to stay. I love that pool. What other facility has a pirate ship in the warmup pool?

  2. Alyssa-Rain Cozart

    I literally just swam at that pool about a month ago for high school swim state champs!!!! I feel very honored to have been able to swim in a pool that the great ones have been in!!!!

  3. avatar

    The fact that this passes for journalism is laughable. We are essentially convincing young swimmers that if they work hard, get into a great school, and waste their 4(/5/6/7…) academic years, they can write half proof-read “listicles” that literally don’t accomplish the very elementary goal of the article. Michael Phelps, I get. He’s pretty much a good reason for anything else that happens in the sport of swimming. Then the author re-invents the wheel for the duration of the article and expects to get away with it- not today. Articles like this are the reason that the American standard is constantly being lowered. My congratulations to the author on his no doubt “participation medal” in English class.

  4. Malcolm Neely

    12. Hi Chuck. I was the Senior Swim Instructor there in the 90’s plus I coached water polo, masters and high school swimming there. I also met my wife there and pretty much my whole family has worked there including my two daughters.