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Kate Westlake: Jack of All Trades, Master of Swim

Caris Han, Staff Writer

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Many Sunset Apollos lead double lives outside of school. They are not only students, but a master of folding, a magician with bread, and skillful multitaskers in the busiest hour. And Kate Westlake is, in fact, a jack of many trades.

Besides stacking multiple IB classes during her time at Sunset, she swims for the Multnomah Athletic Center (MAC) and with Sunset Girls Swim Team. As a club swimmer, she has competed at the state level as well as at senior sectionals and senior zones. The latter two are a type of swim meet that incorporates most Western states of the US- only the top swimmers in this region must qualify to compete.

However, the most successful moments in her swimming career have taken place with the Sunset team.

“In 2014-15 we claimed district champions, and in 2016 we placed 2nd. However, at HS state of 2016 our team really scored big. I was a part of the 200 & 400 free relay teams (along with Alayna Connor, Lindsay Swail, and Angie Lindsay) that both won 1st place and set OSAA state records,”says Westlake.

  • Kate high-fives her teammate at the height of the moment during a competition. Winning was exhilarating for the Sunset Swim team.
  • Alanya Conner, Lindsay Swail, Angir Lindsay and Kate Westlake commemorate their win by biting their winning medals as the pose for a picture. Kate is hoping their hard work will pay off again during her final season as a senior.


Additionally, the 200 and 400 meter free relay qualified for an All America Consideration Award with the time of 1:35.65 and 3:28.46, respectively.

Kate continues, “Without a doubt, this was the proudest and most exhilarating moment of my athletic career- and who knows what will happen this year! I would definitely encourage all Sunset students to attend hs state if not districts as well; not only are these meets beyond exciting, but the team would be beyond appreciative for the support!”  

Beyond her aquatic endeavors, Kate’s passions continue. She started off ambitious even as a little girl, putting up posters to be a dogsitter and recycling her neighbors’ trash to earn extra cash.

Now, as a senior, Kate lifeguards for the Sunset pool every Sunday for about 4 hours while working for her mother, Ellen Ferguson’s business called EQ Swimwear. EQ stands for Emotional Quotient; it’s motto is to live up to your potential and be the best that you can be.

Kate mostly works from home during the school year, except on some weekends, whenever her mother needs her and her two siblings to help. At home, she manages the business’ contacts online such as adding emails, while she also prints EPC codes, otherwise known as the barcodes on merchandise. In the mid-steps of production, she helps “bag and tag” the items as well.

Kate carefully cuts out a fabric sample. The beginning stage is completed; cutouts are later sewn together and the EQ brand is pressed onto the clothing.

Caris Han
Kate carefully cuts out a fabric sample. The beginning stage is completed; cutouts are later sewn together and the EQ brand is pressed onto the clothing.

So, how does she do it? Aside from her hard work (8 practices a week!), everyone knows that behind every successful Apollo is a strong support system: her family and friends are her constant source of motivation. Especially Kate’s mom, as she swam competitively when she was Kate’s age as well. Her mom relates to the hard practices or disappointing meets and offers warm words of encouragement to push through every circumstance.

Kate says, “Whenever I’m struggling in the pool or at school, I remind myself of all of the great memories and relationships that I have made in these environments, and it reminds me of how lucky I am to have these opportunities. But above all, I pray-a lot. I wouldn’t be where I am today without all that God has blessed me with. And for that I am so grateful.”

She continues, “What I can expect from my commitments is self betterment. While what I commit myself to now might seem overwhelming, I can’t help but be grateful for these opportunities that will make my life a lot easier in the future. And as long as I’m having fun, any trial can be overcome with a lot more ease.”

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Kate Westlake: Jack of All Trades, Master of Swim