Bishop Dwenger sophomore freestyle swimmer Erica Evans keeps creating new goals for herself as she continues to lower her race times.
I always want to do my best, but whenever you see a time and how much it has improved and all you do seeing that goal you have reached is make a new one, she said. I always feel like there is room for improvement. You are always happy when you reach a goal, but that just sets a standard for an even higher expectation for yourself.
Evans ranks No. 10 in the state in the 50-yard freestyle (24.25 seconds) and saw a significant improvement from the personal bests she had in middle school after entering Dwenger last season.
My freshman year I had a huge time drop, in my freestyle specifically, said Evans, who also swims the 100 freestyle, 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays. It was nice to see all my hard work throughout the years finally pay off. I didn’t really try anything extremely new; it was just maturity and finally all those miles and miles of swimming and all the yards I put in. I finally realized and my mind kind of clicked, and I figured out what I needed to do in the pool to get those times.
She also noticed something else last year.
I was originally a backstroker, but my freshman year I swam the 50 (freestyle) and realized I was not bad at it, she said. I decided to give that a shot, and it turned out pretty well. I have been a sprinter ever since.
First-year Dwenger coach Brian Graham said he likes what he sees in his potential swimming star despite a limited time around Evans.
I haven’t known Erica very long, but she always comes to practice with a smile on her face and one of the top work ethics on the team, always looking to make the extra effort or slight tweak to her stroke to accomplish her goals, he said. Her effort in the pool, and the results we see from that effort, help to boost the morale of the entire team. She thrives as the anchor leg on our 200-medley and 400-free relays, putting in splits this year that have equaled and bettered her times from the end of last season.
I am excited to see her to continue to develop this season and to see what her future holds. I believe that trend (of dropping time) will continue this season and throughout her high school career.
Evans grew up in an athletic family with her brothers Ben, a senior at Dwenger, and Isaac, wrestlers and football players, and father, Eric, a high school and college football player. She is the only swimmer in her family after taking up the sport when she was 4 years old. She joined the SWAC swim team when she was 5 and the family moved to Fort Wayne.
I have always loved the water and swimming, she said. I tried other sports, but I just kept coming back to swimming. I have a love for the sport.
So goals this year for Evans include continuing to drop time and advancing to the state finals. And one other thing
My biggest goal is to beat the clock because that is my biggest opponent, she said.