NCAA Champion Ella Eastin Announces Retirement After Dysautonomia Diagnosis

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Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Eight-time individual NCAA champion Ella Eastin has officially announced her retirement from the sport of swimming after a successful career at Stanford University and SoCal Swim Club. Eastin shared she developed chronic fatigue and dysautonomia – “a nervous system disorder that affects my cardiovascular health, my energy, my mental stability and so much more,” she wrote on social media.

“Over the past year and a half, I have been battling a seemingly undiagnosable illness that incapacitated me. I lost my ability to manage daily activities and had to be taken care of by family and friends. I couldn’t live a normal life, much less one of a professional athlete,” Ella Eastin wrote on social media.

“I finally decided that for the first time, the health of my body and mind had to take priority. Those that know me are aware that I have previously happily sacrificed my time and wellbeing for this sport. This wasn’t an option this time around as I couldn’t finish a warm up, much less a whole practice. I tried for months, praying that one day I would wake up feeling “normal” again. I was finally assured that my thoughts and feelings were justified when I found a doctor that was able to tell me that I developed chronic fatigue and dysautonomia.”

Eastin received an NCAA postgraduate scholarship where she will pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a registered nurse.

Ella Eastin helped Stanford win three NCAA titles from 2017 – 2019 as she was the first Division I woman to win the 400 IM NCAA title four times, an event she still holds the American record in. She also holds the 200 IM and 200 fly American records that she set in 2018 in the lead-up to being named CSCAA swimmer of the year that season. She won two NCAA titles in those events each while swimming for head coach Greg Meehan.

Eastin was the 2013 junior national champion in the 400 IM, where she still holds the meet record to this day as she was also the world junior champ that year. She broke out on the national stage in 2017 by touching second in the 400 IM at the 2017 World Trials, but she was disqualified. She ended up making the 2017 World University Games team where she won gold in the 200 butterfly and silver in the 200 IM.

Eastin would have been a favorite to make the 2020 Olympic Team in both IMs and the 200 butterfly but she will pursue a post-swimming career. She is ranked as the 8th fastest American ever in the 200 IM, 14th in the 400 IM, and 19th in the 200 fly.

“I have been blessed by my swimming career in that it gave me lifelong friends, priceless experiences, and prepared me to take on any challenge that may come my way,” Ella Eastin wrote on social media. “I fell in love with the water at a young age, and through this experience, I have fallen in love with it again. I still love swimming outside in the sun as my body allows me and plan to keep it as a restorative activity in my life.

“You may just see me again behind the blocks one day. Thank you to all of those that have supported me on my journey and continue to as I begin taking steps to become a nurse- another lifelong dream. Good luck to those chasing their dreams at Olympic Trials next month- my heart and soul is with you! See you again on the pool deck soon.”

Ella Eastin’s career in photos:

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1 comment

  1. avatar
    Anonymous

    you take care of “the inside” before the ” outside”…….the tough times will go and good times will return!!!!!………be strong and enjoy the little things…..

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