Sports

Falcon flipping to state championship meet

From competitive wakeboarding to swimming to diving, Kentlake junior Evan Eidal just can’t get enough of the water.

Eidal, who started diving his freshman year, topped the high school boys swim and dive season with his first ever trip to the state championship meet this weekend.

Growing up on a lake meant the water was always a part of Eidal’s life. He first recalls getting on a wakeboard when he was about four years old.

“It’s all just really fun to me,” Eidal said of the different water sports he participates in.

At the district meet, Eidal came up just short of the 300 point qualifying barrier for the State meet, scoring 298.45. However, Eidal’s fifth place finish earned him an allocation to the championship meet.

“The things that stand out the most are the intangibles — the character that he has for a young man,” Kentlake diving coach Joseph Brace wrote in an email. “He does what he says he is going to do when he says he is going to do it. Evan has a great work ethic, he shows up and performs without complaint and is always seeking to get better.”

Eidal said he tried out for the high school swim team because his sister had been a swimmer. There were only three varsity diving spots that year and only two divers, so Eidal figured he’d give it a try. At that time, he split his work pretty evenly between diving and swimming, but over the past two years his focus has turned to diving.

Diving may have captured his attention but head swim coach Jim Tanasse also pointed out his contributions as a sprint freestyler and in the 100 butterfly for the swimming side of the team.

“Evan is a young man who never makes waves but demonstrates on the board and in the pool his real work ethic,” Tanasse said.

In addition to wakeboarding for fun, this past year Eidal competed in the INT wakeboarding league. In Washington state the competitive wakeboarding season runs from April to October. Eidal explained that wakeboarding competitions focus on completing tricks over a certain stretch of a lake.

It was about three years ago that Eidal undertook learning more wakeboarding tricks. Eidal said he watched a Youtube video that inspired him.

“After watching that I was like, ‘man, I’ve got to learn all that,’” Eidal said. “All the flips and spins and I saw that and I thought it was really cool.”

His current favorite dive is a front 1.5 full twist. And, according to Brace, Eidal has also done well this year with his inward 1.5 somersault tuck and his inward dive pike.

“It helps and it hurts,” Eidal said of the impact wakeboarding has on his diving. “(In) diving you are supposed to have your feet together and wakeboarding you don’t. That gets me.”

To continue to improve his diving, Eidal joined a club diving team last year.

“This year I have seen him grow in his confidence but also his consistency and form as a diver,” Brace wrote in an email. “Coming from wakeboarding there isn’t much esthetic form but there is a sense of good body control, so with that being said his form has improved much over this year. He has also added a good amount of difficulty to his list that has allowed him to be more competitive then he was last year.”

The hard work has paid off for Eidal who is looking forward to State this weekend. He is expected to perform eight dives in the preliminary round, with an additional three if he makes it to finals.

“I was excited,” Eidal said of when he found out he was going to the championship meet. “I set that goal to make it to State at the beginning of the season.”

 

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