SWIM CLUB TO HOST INVITATIONAL THIS WEEKEND

June 15, 2003 11:00 pm

The water will be churning with aquatic action at Veterans Pool this weekend, as the La Grande Swim Club will be hosting its annual La Grande Invitational Swim Meet Saturday and Sunday.

The Swim Club will also host a spaghetti feed from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at the Valley Fellowship next to Pioneer Park to help raise money for the kids.

La Grande High School coach David Deming will be coaching the Swim Club this summer. He said club numbers are up big — up to 62 swimmers this summer from 44 last year.

Deming said that perhaps the recent success of the La Grande high school boys swim team — a team that's won three straight state championships — has helped encouraged a lot of kids to come out for the Swim Club this summer.

"Maybe it made a difference. I know they were extremely excited to have me as the coach because of the high school recognition," said Deming.

One of Deming's assistants will be Michael Esser, a La Grande High graduate who was a member of the 2001 state championship team.

The La Grande Swim Club features swimmers from eight and up to 18. One of the strong young swimmers will be Matt Cook, a two-time state champion.

Meanwhile, state high school champions Matt Hibbert (100 backstroke, 100 butterfly) and Owen Kenton (200 medley relay, 400 freestyle relay) are on the team. Laura Martin and Elizabeth Esser, members of the girls' high school team, are also on the swim club.

Deming expects teams from Burns, Pendleton and John Day to be among those at the invitational, which begins at 9:15 a.m. both days. Deming thinks Burns will have a deep and strong team.

"We're excited. We're hoping we can come out and win our meet," he said.

Tickets for the spaghetti feed can be purchased at E & M Farm Supply or from members of the swim club. They can also be purchased by calling 786-1695.