2018 News-Sentinel.com Boys Swimmers of the Year: Noah Yarian and Tristan DeWitt

Carroll High School swimmer Noah Yarian emerges from below the water during his 100 back race at the 2017 IHSAA State Finals in Indianapolis. (By Tom Davis of News-Sentinel.com)
Carroll High School sophomore Tristan DeWitt competes at the 2018 IHSAA State Finals in Indianapolis in February. (Photo provided)

Becoming a champion is a process, it doesn’t just occur by happenstance.

For Carroll High School swimmers Noah Yarian and Tristan DeWitt, they are in the midst of that journey, but make no mistake about it; they both have their eyes fixated on the prize.

“Over the past 18 to 24 months,” Chargers coach John Gibson said of the pair, “they have both realized that they are capable of competing at more of an elite level.”

The two will share the 2018 News-Sentinel.com Boys Swimmer of the Year honors, as the leaders on the 10-member All-Area squad.

RELATED STORY: 2018 News-Sentinel.com Girls Swimmer of the Year: Mallory Jackson of Carroll High School

Both swimmers share a lot in common, aside from being teammates.

They both were members of the Carroll 200 Medley Relay team that finished third in the IHSAA State Finals in Indianapolis last month, while they were also part of the sixth-place 400 Free Relay squad.

The two Chargers took that similarity to another level, as they both earned runner-up finishes in one individual race and fourth in another.

In an incredibly odd turn of events, both even finished runner-up to the same competitor (Carmel High School sophomore Wyatt Davis). To add to the oddity, both held leads entering the final stages of those races, before faltering late, but that has allowed them a very tangible goal moving forward.

“As I look back at that (100 back) race,” Yarian told News-Sentinel.com, “I saw it too. Definitely where I knew he got me was the last underwater.”

Yarian explained that his burst off of the wall and “underwater” portion of his race will be the focus of his training over the next 12 months, as he pursues a state championship in his senior season.

The University of Michigan recruit (he has verbally committed to the Wolverines) improved significantly over the past two years, so the thought of him eventually dropping enough time to win the race next February isn’t unfathomable.

Yarian went a 52.17 and finished ninth as a freshman, but has since lowered his time to 47.60 this season.

Similarly, he finished 11th in the 100 fly as a sophomore (with a time of 51.15), but has dropped that to 49.30 this year and took fourth.

“Both (Yarian and DeWitt) are in the same boat,” Gibson explained, “their desire level went up. Their bodies definitely changed. They’ve gotten stronger.”

Yarian has grown to 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, while DeWitt is a long 6-foot-4 and has gained 20 pounds of muscle over the past year, which showed dramatically at the state meet.

As a freshman in 2017, DeWitt was a blip on the elite swimmers’ radar, but nothing more.

He finished 16th in the 100 breast and 15th in the 200 IM, but he shot-up the leaderboard last month.

DeWitt took second in the 200 IM with a time of 1:48.12, which was much faster than his 1:54.27 a year ago, and like Yarian, he had the championship in his sights late.

DeWitt’s strength is the breast and free, which are the final legs of the IM race, following fly and back. Rationale thought would lead you to believe that if he was leading heading into the final two lengths (free), he should have won the race. However, Davis got past DeWitt with a free split that was .25 faster. However, DeWitt is focused on that first half of his race moving forward, not so much the latter half.

“I’ve always been able to have, somewhat, of a good finish,” DeWitt explained, “but it was just being able to go out fast and then having enough.”

His work is already paying dividends.

In the state finals, he actually had the fast fly split of any of the eight finalists, Davis included. DeWitt held a .08 lead with 50 yards remaining.

“I’m trying to get my fly a lot better,” DeWitt said, “the next step is backstroke.”

DeWitt also improved dramatically in his 100 breast race, as he dropped his time from 58.11 a year ago to 55.07 in the prelims this season.

Gibson said both swimmers had a mental change following their participation last summer at a camp at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

When the Carroll swimmers were immersed – literally – into a group of nationally-elite athletes, it showed them how to raise their performance level.

“That flipped some switches for them,” Gibson said, “to realize that, not just that they can be at another level, but what it took to do that, by being around other elite swimmers and being in that environment.

“A bunch of things have turned some switches in both of them and they believe that they can do this.”

Other members of the All-Area team include Carroll’s Jack McCurdy and Timothy Cater, as well as Homestead High School swimmers: Trey Cooley, Bryce Warner, Scott Hudson, Riley Anderson, Julian Norman and Zachary Zishka.

For more on prep sports throughout the state of Indiana, follow Tom Davis on Twitter at Tom101010 and on Facebook at Thomas Davis.

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