Sometimes swim meets just aren’t meant to be.

That saying, as made famous by no one, certainly applies to the conundrum that’s followed the Hermiston and Pendleton high?schools swim teams this season.

Just before the beginning of winter break, Bulldog coach Kevin Hamblin learned that the Dawgs’ home meet at Blue Mountain Community College, which was scheduled for Jan. 5, would be cancelled due to a scheduling conflict with the Timberwolves’ basketball teams.

This was the third meet cancellation of the season for both teams, and the second of two scheduled home meets to be cancelled.

“I just want to swim,”?Hermiston senior Thomas Hamblin said. “It’s kind of depressing for me. I’ll be a senior.?I have fun at these meets because I have a lot of friends in Baker, a lot of friends from?La Grande, and so it’s fun getting to see those guys.”

Thomas Hamblin said the cancelled meet would most likely not hurt him in the long run, but as many of his teammates are still new to the sport, every meet is crucial.

The Bulldogs have only competed in one so far, in La Grande on Dec. 15.

“For me, a meets a meet, but for some of these younger kids, I mean there are some kids that didn’t make (the La Grande) meet, and they haven’t swam in a meet yet,”?Thomas Hamblin said. “So they’re going to be kind of lost. And especially the next meet we go to, Hood River — it’s a big meet. I mean there are generally like, 10 to 15 teams there.”

Kevin?Hamblin has worried little about the cancelled meets thus far.

“For me it’s not that big of frustration, because nobody really swims well in this pool, because it’s always hot,”?Kevin?Hamblin said. “The water’s hot, the air is hot, it’s crammed, it’s loud, it’s where we practice. It’s a meter pool and most everything else is yard pools.

“It’s an old facility, I’m not trying to complain about it because it’s what we have, but I’ve seen it in the few years I’ve coached around it,” Hamblin added.

He also thinks that the hard work they’ve been putting in during practices is substitute enough for competition.

“Our kids are going to do OK when they get to meets, because they’ve been practicing so much,”?Kevin?Hamblin said. “Individually, they’re going to do better. Competition versus competition is something that we really can’t look at because they’re competing more against themselves than they are other kids.”

Pendleton coach Donna Collins disagrees with Kevin Hamblin.

She said she considers meets as a weekly check on how the team has progressed.

Collins said it makes it difficult as a coach to find out where her team needs to improve.

“The other thing that’s disappointing, especially at the home meets, is when the kids’ friends come and get to cheer them on, so we don’t get to have the local support,”?Collins said.

Pendleton has replaced the cancelled meet with a meet in?Baker between themselves, Baker and La Grande.?

Hermiston, however, will be staying close to home to host their talent show, which starts at 7 p.m. tonight at Hermiston High?School.?

The Bulldogs are hoping to raise $1,500 to put a dent in their extravagant travel expenses.

All is not lost for hosting a meet this season, either.?Collins said Pendleton will be having a meet on?Saturday, Feb. 2, at BMCC to make up for the two lost ones.

Kevin?Hamblin said his team will be there as well. Hopefully for both these teams, the third scheduling is the charm.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.