Home Sports Local Sports Carlsbad to host District 3 swimming and diving meet

Carlsbad to host District 3 swimming and diving meet

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ARTESIA – Shelley Ebarb, the head coach of the Artesia High Swimming and Diving Team admits her squad has been lacking in experience this year.

Ebarb said the season started slow as a local swimming pool shutdown at the end of September for two months due to renovations.

“So we had to get a bus and go to Carlsbad, we could only go a couple of times a week,” she said.

“So we went three times a week during those two months,” she added.

It was hard to find bus drivers and when they did transport them to the Cave City they could only use the side ends of the pool because the Carlsbad team would be working out.

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“So we didn’t want to bother them so we had to use the short end with one half at one end and one half at the other end and we went back-and-forth all the time and we would drive down there and spend an hour in the pool and then would have to get out and come back home,” Ebarb added.

She added the team, “had a rough start.”

“In spite of ourselves the kids have improved,” Ebarb said. “The older swimmers they need the practice and so they haven’t progressed like they should have because they missed a lot of practices.”

Ebarb has praise for sophomore Chaise Wolf. She said he is close to qualifying for state in the 50 freestyle,”we’ll see Saturday if he can make it.”

“It’s been kind of a burden this year to get them in shape,” she said of the swimmers. “I’ve got a really good team of good kids and they’re happy and they had a good time. I don’t have any trouble with them, so they’ve had a lot of fun.”

The Bulldogs hosted “their home meet” on Jan. 20 in Carlsbad and Saturday all teams in District 3 will be heading to Carlsbad for the district swimming and diving meet.

“I’m not expecting the relays to qualify (for state),” she said. “Just because of the new kids and the lack of practice time. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Chaise might qualify in an individual event.”

“We’re just looking to improve and get ready for next year,” Ebarb added. “Because they’re all young and I only have four seniors and three of those four seniors were brand new swimmers this year.”

Artesia will be competing against Clovis Saturday. Ebarb said they have a strong program.

“Hobbs has a really strong boys team. Las Cruces, we have not competed against at all this year, they don’t usually come to this part of the state. They’re in our district, so we never see them until district.” she said.

Carlsbad and New Mexico Military Institute are also competing, according to Ebarb.

The Artesia swimming and diving team have been vagabonds for a number of years since the former Artesia High Natorium was torn down years ago. It was located across the street from the Bulldog Bowl. It was announced recently that Artesia will be getting a new pool that is expected to have an indoor facility that would benefit AHS. It is expected to be done by next year.

However, the grand opening is set for May, 2019 and the cost is expected to be $19.5 million.

“We’ve needed a pool for longtime,” Ebarb said. “They tore our pool down five years ago so we’ve been struggling.”