Long after his upcoming graduation, Isaiah Ross hopes to see a robust and successful swimming program when he returns to walk the halls of Washougal High School. He hopes to see banners that say “swim” hanging in the gym.
For Ross, The Columbian’s All-Region Swimmer of the Year, the Panther swimming program’s success from here on out is a source of pride. Whatever the future has in store for the program, he leaves knowing the integral part he played in its formation.
After all, Ross has been an instrumental part in building it. He was a part of the school’s first swimmers as a freshman, and he hopes his success has blazed a path for more Washougal students to pursue the sport.
“A lot of other schools have bigger programs than us,” Ross said. “Washougal doesn’t have swimming on the wall with all the other sports in the gym. Now we’ve got that kind of stuff and the program’s growing, it’s a great thing.”
Ross capped his high school career with a second- and third-place finish at the 2A state swim meet. He finished second in the 100-yard butterfly in a back-and-forth race the saw the winner, Pullman’s Holdon Elsworth, edge Ross by a half a second in the last few strides.