Another week, another big meet for Billings Aquatic Club swimmer Ethan Harder. During his first international meet of his career at the Mel Zajac Invitational in Vancouver, BC, Canada, Harder proved he deserves to represent the Team USA Junior National Team, bringing home three top five finishes, including swimming the lead leg in the 400 Medley that his team won.
And how about some talented competition, in his first preliminary of the weekend in the 200 backstroke, Harder was up against none other than Olympian Ryan Lochte, who he out raced, taking the fourth spot in the preliminaries with a time of 29.45 seconds, while Lochte came in right behind him in fifth at 29.86 seconds. Then in the finals, Harder improved upon his time in the prelims, bringing home third place with a time of 29.19. Ethan also shined in two other individual events, placing fourth in the 50 meter backstroke, and reaching the finals in the 100 meter fly, finishing 22nd overall.
Harden's biggest success came in the 400 Medley Relay, though, building a great start for his USA Junior National Team with a first leg of 28.38, as his team took first place with a time of 3:40.88. The race also offered Ethan the chance to swim with future Texas Longhorn teammates Jacob Foster and Alexander Zettle, with Zettle swimming the fastest leg on the anchor with a time of 24.87.