Jon Huffman-Eddy decided to take a chance this summer and split his time between two sports that take advantage of his 6-foot-1 frame: basketball and swimming.
After devoting the better part of three weeks to basketball clinics earlier this summer, the 14-year-old Grass Valley native returned to the pool full time and soon learned there is a difference between being in shape for basketball and being fit for competitive swimming.
“When I got back from basketball, I wasn’t in the best shape,” Huffman-Eddy said. “I wasn’t swimming my best. I had to make up a lot of practices just to get back to some places where I was, time-wise.”
After last weekend’s meet, Huffman-Eddy is on his way. He won eight individual events in the boys 13-14 age group during the three-day Penguin Plunge, a season-ending meet held at Nevada Union High School.
Huffman-Eddy won the 500 freestyle, as well as the 200 individual medley and the open 400 IM. He also won the 200 open breast stroke, the open 1,000 freestyle, the 100 breaststroke, the 200 freestyle, and took first in the 100 freestyle.
“My 500 freestyle and the 200 IM were two events I was most pleased with,” Huffman-Eddy said. “On the 500 freestyle, I think I paced it well and had a good time. The 200 IM was just a good race for me. I won my heat by a lot.”
Despite the strong performance, Huffman-Eddy knows that he is capable of doing much more in the pool.
“I’m swimming well now, but I know I could have been going much faster if I had trained for the three weeks I was in basketball,” he said. ” I haven’t taken my swimming that far, because I’ve just started getting the times I’ve wanted from last year.”
Huffman-Eddy, who has been with the Penguins since 1997, missed the Junior Olympic qualifying meet in Roseville in July because of basketball commitments, a three-week list which included clinics with Nevada Union coach Jeff Dellis and camps in Redding and Auburn.
Huffman-Eddy hopes to make some time cuts in the fall to go to the Far Western swim meets next year, and perhaps the Western Zone meet held in Los Angeles. While he plans to tryout for the high school basketball team this winter, he said swimming is still his primary sport.
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The Little League District 11 postseason is off to a hot start.