Former EHS swimming star going to Indy

By Jeff Birchfield
STAR Staff

   In a city that bills itself as "The Racing Capital of the World," former Elizabethton High School swimming star Jeremy Lindauer hopes that speed transfers from the speedway to the pool.
   Lindauer recently signed a letter of intent to become a member of the University of Indianapolis swim team, becoming the first EHS swimmer under current coach Jonell Johnson to compete collegiately.
   "I'm really excited," said Lindauer, who will swim for a school nicknamed the Greyhounds. "I'm still working, getting the financial aid secured. I still have to find out about that, but for the first time in my life I'm excited to go to school."
   For his high school coach, having the star pupil further his career is a source of pride.
   "I'm thrilled," said Johnson. "Personally, it validates the swimming program, the fact that Jeremy has earned a scholarship. I feel so proud.
   "His work ethic is second to none. He got a late start as he didn't start until high school, but he didn't give up. A lot of kids would have left the sport, but he worked hard."
   Lindauer spent his freshman year in college at the University of Tennessee, while concentrating on his swimming with the amateur Blast team out of Maryville and the Johnson City Barracuda club.
   He looks forward to going to the smaller United Methodist school located 10 miles southeast of downtown Indianapolis.
   "UT wasn't exactly what I was looking for in a school," said Lindauer, who also liked the academic curriculum at UIndy. "I wanted to get away from a secular school and go to a private, Christian school."
   Barracuda coach Craig Coraggio is the one who recommended Jeremy look at the University of Indianapolis, where his friend Gary Kincaid serves as head coach.
   "I talked to him and he has a great personality," said Lindauer about Kincaid. "The first time I talked to him he was laughing and had a great attitude. He was very enthusiastic, the kind of coach I like."
   After nine seasons as the Greyhounds' head coach Kincaid has amassed a record of 245-152. Last season was a stellar year, compiling a 48-31 record as a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference and ranking 10th in the NCAA Division II National Meet. Senior swimmer Orel Oral finished out a career where he was crowned seven-times NCAA champion.
   Lindauer becomes the second Tennesseean on Indy's 2003-04 roster that includes swimmers from three foreign countries.
   "At first he (Kincaid) didn't offer a scholarship," said Lindauer, who plans to help the team in fundraisers at the upcoming U.S. Grand Prix F1 race and an Indianapolis Colts game. "My times weren't that good.
   "I have improved since then and I feel I can be one of the better breaststrokers on the team."
   The name Lindauer is royalty to the EHS program as names of the siblings cover the record board at the pool.
   Jeremy still owns three individual records, the 200 I.M., the 100 backstroke and the 100 breaststroke. He also was a part of the boys' teams that set all three current relay records.
   Other record holders in the family include an older brother Brian and younger brother Evan.
   "My family is the reason I started," commented the son of Doug and Ruth Ann Lindauer. "I figured it was the natural thing to do. My brother Brian was my role model. I wanted to be as good as he was.
   "I'm hoping Evan will get more records than me. Having your brother hold those records helps you improve. I think he can beat most of the records at Elizabethton."
   For her part, Johnson is happy to be associated with the family.
   "I've been able to coach three of the seven Lindauers," said the EHS coach. "It's going to break my heart when Evan graduates. They tend to be natural leaders for the team. They are good athletes, good sports and they lead by example."
   That leadership trait could help a few years later as Jeremy has stated a desire to come back and coach the swim team at EHS one day before what he has set as a long term goal to be a collegiate swim coach.
   "I want to coach swimming one day," said Lindauer. "I have to thank coach Johnson. Obviously if it wasn't for the EHS team, I wouldn't have swam for the Barracudas, the Blast and be getting this opportunity now."