In a decision that both fell along family lines, and tested the lines of other relationships, Hough High School senior Evan Heldman has verbally committed to the University of Alabama.
He will join his older brother Alex Heldman, who currently attends Alabama.
While following in his brother’s footsteps is part of the allure, there’s a little twist to this one. According to his older brother, Evan is dating Alyssa Marsh, daughter of SwimMAC Carolina coach head David Marsh, who just so happens to have coached rivals Auburn to a record 12 NCAA team titles.
Editor’s quip: we’re told that so far, the decision has not jeopardized any of Heldman’s personal relationships.
Evan Heldman has swum for 3 clubs and 12 coaches in 5 years since he started swimming seriously in the 7th grade, and it happens to have been at 3 of the more successful clubs in the country. He started at the Cy-Fair Swim Club in Houston, then moved on to the Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta, and now is at SwimMAC training primarily under Pam Swander, with occasional sessions under David Marsh.
Evan is a middle-distance freestyler, swimming 1:40.27 and 4:33.34 in the 200 and 500 yard freestyles at his best. He has Winter Juniors qualifying times in both the 200 yard free and the 200 meter free (1:55.57).
His progression as a junior is very impressive and has really elevated his stock to the level where an SEC program like Alabama would seriously recruit him. Heldman dropped five-and-a-half seconds in his 200 free between Sectionals as a junior and Sectionals as a senior, and 8 seconds in the same year in his 500 free.
Looking at his bigger progression in the 200 free is even more impressive:
- 11th grade: 1:40.27
- 10th grade: 1:45.25
- 9th grade: 1:50.24
- 8th grade: 2:03.25
- 7th grade: 2:20.98
At 6’2″ and 170 pounds, he’s got good size, but still with some room to fill out. Heldman’s times right now wouldn’t have an immediate impact, but as much as anybody else in this class of 2015, his meteoric improvements generate a lot of excitement about the possibility for the future. While another 5-second drop as a senior seems unlikely in the 200 free, he still projects to be a part of the Alabama 800 free relay as a freshman, and could be fighting to get into the C-Final in the 500 and score some points there individually as well.