Downingtown East senior Alexa Fulton, the Daily Local News Girls Swimmer of the Year for the third year in a row, has completed a legendary swimming career for the Cougars, particularly at the PIAA 3A state championships.
Six gold medals — three in the girls 50 free, three in girls 100 free. Three PIAA 3A Girls Swimmer of the Meet awards, and a PIAA state meet record time in the girls 50 free.
But when Fulton was asked what was her favorite memory of her Downingtown East swimming career, she replied it was her third-place finish in the 50 free at States as a freshman.
“I remember it as a breakthrough performance for me,” said Fulton. “That experience paved the way for future successes at high school States, and cemented it as one of my favorite meets to compete at.”
It’s been said that the toughest thing to do in sports is repeat as a champion, and at States this March, Fulton certainly felt the pressure.
“Going into States this year, I felt like I was under a lot of pressure,” said Fulton. “Coming off of such a strong sophomore and junior season, I was nervous I wouldn’t be able replicate my success my senior year. Going into the meet, I knew there was a lot of tough competition and defending my titles wasn’t going to be easy.
“I was able to deal with the pressure thanks to my teammates and coaches. They knew I was dealing with a lot of stress and helped to make the meet fun.”
Fulton responded to the pressure like a champion, first winning a gold medal in the 50 free (.02 off her record-setting time at States last year), then one day later won the gold medal in the 100 free, recording a time of 49.08, with second-place finisher Sydney Gring of Muhlenberg High School in hot pursuit at 49.15.
“It just means so much to me, to end my senior year with a win, especially after such a close race (in the 100),” said Fulton. “It wasn’t easy. (Gring) really made me earn that. I could see her right next to me and I knew I had to have a really good finish. I just put my head down and swam as fast as I could to the wall. And just pray.
“I wanted to end my career on a good note. I knew it wasn’t gonna be easy. I knew I was gonna have to swim really well to be coming out with wins in both events my senior year. I’m just so happy that I could end it like that.”
Downingtown East girls swim coach Sean Wyatt said, “Alexa has been the epitome of consistency during her high school career and she continued to show that this year at states. It was incredible watching Alexa grow and really open up this year. She swam with her heart at States.”
Following her gold medal performance at States, Fulton focused on the YMCA National April 3-7 at her favorite swim venue, the Greensboro (N.C.) Aquatics Center.
“My favorite experience at Nationals is the relays,” said Fulton. “I love being able to swim and compete with my best friends. We usually have tough competition at Nationals, so it’s a lot of fun to cheer on my fellow relay swimmers in close races.”
On the final day at YMCA Nationals, Fulton finished first in the 100 free.
“I am so thankful to have ended my last shortcourse nationals on such a high note,” said Fulton.
Fulton’s favorite swim event is the 50 free.
“The 50 is such a short race, the key to my performance is just being able to turn my brain off and swim as fast as I possibly can,” said Fulton.
Her best-ever performance in the 50 free was at the YMCA Longcourse Nationals last summer.
“Y Nationals has always been my favorite meet, so I think the key to my success that day was a combination of enjoying my favorite meet with my friends and racing very high level competition,” said Fulton. “I have also always been a better longcourse swimmer.”
Fulton, who does her year-round swimming with Upper Main Line YMCA, is an Olympic Trials Wave I qualifier in the 50 free, She qualified for her first Olympic trials in 2021 in Omaha, Neb.
“I hope to get my 2024 qualifying times this summer,” said Fulton. “My most memorable experience of qualifying for my first trials in 2021 was celebrating afterwards with my friends. I remember getting out of the pool and all of my friends running over to hug me. It is one of my favorite swimming memories.”
A two-time USA Swimming Scholastic All-American who carries a grade-point average above 4.0, Fulton will continue her swimming career at the University of Texas. She is planning to major in Statistics and Data Science.
Wyatt said, “We look forward to seeing her go on to Texas and continue her journey. We are very proud of her as a swimmer and as a person.”
Fun facts – Alexa Fulton
Favorite TV show: The Owl House.
Favorite movie: Moana.
Favorite athlete: Missy Franklin.
Favorite pre-meet meal: Sweet Potato
SPRING SPORTS/ 32 mins ago
Spring 2023 PIAA baseball, softball, lacrosse, boys volleyball championship brackets
BASEBALL Class 6A | 5A | 4A | 3A | 2A | 1A SOFTBALL...
WINTER SPORTS/ 2 days ago
Daily Local News All-Area Girls Ice Hockey Teams
First Team F — Jennifer Gallagher, Sr., West Chester Rustin — Gallagher blossomed as...
WINTER SPORTS/ 2 days ago
All-Area: Downingtown West sophomore Ava Thomas records dominating season
Sometimes a player’s skills can stand out with even a cursory look, and you...
Softball/ 4 days ago
Shearer throws perfect game, North Penn tops Haverford for 2nd straight District 1-6A title
ROYERSFORD >> A five-run lead going into the seventh inning felt more than comfortable...
Boys Lacrosse/ 4 days ago
Lansdale Catholic beats Devon Prep, secures third straight District 12-2A title
RADNOR >> Lansdale Catholic was in the midst of a tense, back-and-forth battle with...
Avon Grove takes District 1-6A fifth place game over Abington
ABINGTON >> Thursday afternoon’s District 1 Class 6A fifth-place game between Avon Grove and...
Central Bucks West takes toughest road to District 1-6A title
PLYMOUTH TWP. >> To be the best, you have to beat the best. Fourteenth-seeded...
Greer, Central Bucks West shut out Spring-Ford for first District 1 championship
PLYMOUTH >> Central Bucks West has had no shortage of heroes during an improbable...
De George: Never to be underestimated, Springfield proves championship mettle
WEST GOSHEN — Predictability is hard to come by in high school sports. Players...
District 1 Class 3A Boys Lacrosse: Upon icing championship, Springfield suddenly forced to go ‘next man up’
WEST GOSHEN — Tyler Gougler’s fourth goal was the one that sealed Springfield’s 10-8...
District 1 Class 2A Boys Lacrosse: Injury to star scorer, Rustin’s stingy goalie put Marple in a Box
WEST GOSHEN — The historical balance in the District 1 Class 2A boys lacrosse...
District 1 Class 3A Girls Lacrosse: Penncrest’s overachievers can’t keep up with deeply talented Owen J. Roberts
WEST GOSHEN — When Kat Harding and Kaitlyn Roth wrap up the playoff scoring...