This past weekend Billings Aquatic Club swimmer Ethan Harder entered the USA Swimming Junior National Championships as a bit of an outlier, but left as one of the most decorated swimmers.
Ethan's time of 1:45:09 in the 200 meter backstroke was good for third at Nationals, but that time was also good for the fastest ever in Montana swimming.
"When I won the third place it was like the first time I showed any real emotion after the race," said Harder. "I like slammed my fist into the water and everything."
"Out of all the kids that have swam all the way through at 18, 19 year olds, and the kids that have come back in college too, he's the fastest swimmer ever in Montana," said Marshall. "And that's not the only one he's fastest in too, he's actually fastest in the 200 butterfly as well."
A big part of Ethan's success is tied to his work ethic. While some swimmers focus on certain seasons, Ethan trains year round to be one of the best in the state.
"Training year round definitely helps, because if you take a week off you're just out of shape," said Harder. "So it helps if you swim all year round."
"That's what year round swimming does, it offers you the opportunity to work up to those higher levels so you can continue on and swim in college and get that opportunity to really get into some schools that you wouldn't normally get in to." said Marshall.
And while swimming in college is the main goal for Ethan, he's not limiting himself to just that.
"I want to make the higher meets," said Hardin. "Like the Olympic Trials, and maybe the Olympics if I can make top two."
These past Olympics saw Billings native Cody Miller not only make the Olympics, but win gold. So why couldn't Ethan Harder do it as well? At the very least, he's got the medal wearing down pat.