He’s running out of new things to do.
Chesterton junior Kyle Whitaker was named the Indiana High School Swimming
Coaches Association Male Swimmer of the Year for the second consecutive
Whitaker is the first two-time winner of the award.
“To win it two years in a row and to have the highest score since they’ve
handed it out,” Whitaker started, “it’s a great honor.”
Whitaker tallied 342 power points. Points are awarded based on the time a
swimmer tallies in their individual events at the State Finals.
“It’s never been done on the boys side before,” Chesterton coach Kevin Kinel
said. “As everybody is finding out, he’s a pretty special kid. I think he’s
going to set some records that won’t be broken for a while.”
Whitaker was the state champion in the 200-yard Individual Medley with a
time of 1:45.25, setting a national public high school record in the event.
The swim was the State’s Performance of the Year.
He also won the state title in the 100-yard Butterfly with a time of 48.00
seconds. His preliminary time of 47.85 seconds set a state record.
“I try not to think about those kinds of things,” Whitaker said. “If I swim
well enough those things happen. The better the swim, the better the
Always one to understate his accomplishments, Whitaker may not even realize
the effect he’s having on the swimming world.
“What I’m doing now is a really big responsibility,” Whitaker said. “I
understand that. Everybody is trying to beat me. It gives you that extra
“I want to boost Indiana swimming and the last couple of years records are
falling like crazy. It’s nice to help lead that charge.”
And Kinel, who’s not new to coaching a phenom, isn’t surprised by how well
Whitaker handles the accolades.
“He has things in perspective as much as you can at his age,” Kinel said. “I
think his parents have raised him to be grounded. I’m just amazed how calm
and cool he is about everything.
“He’s just having fun.”
And that’s the side the people don’t get to see.
“I think that’s what makes him able to handle the pressure,” Kinel said.
“He’s having fun and, yes, sometimes too much. I’ve had to reel him back in
“But, he’s got a long, great career ahead of him. If he didn’t take time to
be a kid, I think he’d burn out.”
And even if that happens, Whitaker already understands the legacy he’s
“When I was younger, I wanted to be Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte,”
Whitaker said. “If kids now want to be like me that’s great. You really have
to watch yourself and the things you do in and out of the pool.
“You train hard and live up to the reputation. Those other kids are watching
and they’re a constant reminder.”
So, what’s left for the junior. One more year, one more award.
“If he wins it again for a third time, who’s ever going to do that again,”
Kinel said. “It would be a fitting way to end his career. He’s done about
everything else you can do.”