Midlothian Swim Teams Forced To Scramble When They Lost Their Practice Pool
Some things are just impossible to do without.
For example, a swim team without a pool, which is what the swimmers at Midlothian High and Midlothian Heritage were facing before recently getting the right to use the pool at the Duncanville ISD Natatorium for the coming season.
“We are incredibly thankful for the opportunity to get back in the water to train, and we are so grateful to Duncanville ISD for opening their doors to us,” said Midlothian coach Jaron Ward.
The no-pool situation came about when the pool at the Main Street Gym had to be shut down permanently in August due to needing an exorbitant amount of repairs. That left the Midlothian and Heritage swimmers searching for a new home.
“When we lost the pool at Main Street Gym, it was a hard hit to both high school teams. It is weird to be a swim team that has no pool to train in,” Ward said.
Ward said himself and Heritage coach Cassandra Canales, both new to the district, joined Athletic Director Todd York to make numerous calls and send out many emails looking for a facility that fit their needs.
“We needed a pool that is 25 yards, at least four lanes, starting blocks over at least six feet, not more than 30 minutes from campuses every morning, and that wasn’t cost prohibitive,” Ward said. “It also needed to be indoors/covered so we can stay in the water beyond October.”
Why Not Use The Pool In Mansfield?
Some folks have wondered why they didn’t go just a few miles up the road to Mansfield.
Ward said that while that would have been wonderful, it just wasn’t possible, given Mansfield ISD’s schedule.
“They have programming all day, and there just wasn’t room for us. The only place that met our needs and was available was Duncanville,” he said. “It was just a matter of administrations communicating, getting all the right information, passing it off to the legal department to draft and approve a rental agreement.”
The contract allows Midlothian and Heritage to use the pool for the rest of the school year, but Ward said the plan is to continue using the facility until the swimmers have a facility of their own. Last year’s bond election passed by voters includes a new recreation center with an indoor pool. However, the rec center is down the list behind the new public safety building, city hall and the new library. So, it could be years before the recreation center is built.
“We are super excited that Duncanville graciously opened their doors to us, Canales said. “We know that our facility is a little further away from coming to fruition, but we look forward to the day where our kiddos can come to swim at home.”
Now, the focus shifts to the season itself. Midlothian began the campaign with 19 swimmers, most of which are returners from last year. Heritage has 21 on its roster, including seven returners.
Midlothian qualified a relay for state last season
“I believe we have a great opportunity to repeat some of that success this year. Our new district and region are a little bigger and faster than the previous alignment, but we are training hard, and committed to excellence,” Ward said. “I can’t wait to see how our swimmers grow and improve. It is going to be a lot of fun this season.”
Canales added, “None of the Jaguars went to state last year, but our goal is to change that this year! We have a lot of young potential this year and I look forward to seeing what they do, now that we have a good training facility.”