I caught up with 2013 Gig Harbor High School graduate Evan Indahl, who is now a freshman at the University of Utah. Indahl won a Class 4A state championship in the 500-yard freestyle last year with the Tides.
Here’s our question-and-answer session:
Jon Manley: Looking back at it now, what does the state championship mean to you?
Evan Indahl: When I think of Gig Harbor High School, and home, that’s what I think of first. I think of the feeling I had when I won state. It means more to me than anybody can imagine. That was the best feeling ever. It means a lot, for sure.
JM: How’s your season going so far?
EI: It’s going really good. I’ve improved all my times already after only swimming with new coaches for three months. I’ve dropped my state-championship time. My goal is to get an NCAA B cut (consideration time).
JM: What’s the biggest difference between high school and college swimming?
EI: Racing kids that have trained all their lives, it’s a different level, in a way. You know that everybody you’re racing has everything you have. High school swimming was more relaxed and fun. It’s more of a job in college. It’s fun, but it’s more of a career-type atmosphere.
JM: On the girls side at Gig Harbor High this year, senior Carolyn McCann set a state record. Did you contact her when you found out?
EI: Totally. Me and Carolyn grew up together. When I found that out, I told my coaches. I said, ‘We need her at Utah.’ I was so excited for her. She’s the hardest worker I know. I was really happy for her.
JM: Gig Harbor has had a lot of success. What makes Mike Kelly an effective head coach?
EI: Mike Kelly knows how to get you pumped up. He gives me workouts that gave me what I needed to have, but at state, when I won that 500, I knew that I did all the work, but I had a mental barrier. He talked to me and got me psyched. He knows so much. He’s a really good communicator. His knowledge sets him apart, and his opinion on the sport. It really helps the swimmers a lot.Sports reporter Jon Manley can be reached at 253-358-4151 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_jon.