The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Chinook, Harlem City Pools set to open, Federation Swim team season a go


June 17, 2020

Chinook Lions first year Head Coach, Paxtin McCann guides his 13-18 year old swimmers through their early morning land practice on the lawn of the Meadowlark Elementary.

After weeks of being up in the air, City Councils in Chinook and Harlem have elected to open their respective pools for the summer swim season.

The Harlem City Council held their monthly meeting on Monday, June 8 and two topics were heavily discussed. The first being on whether or not to open the pool and the second regarding the implementation of two four way stops at the entrance to the high school.

Both required extensive discussion and more than 30 parents, coaches and swimmers were on hand to support the pool opening. The contentious debates led to the immediate resignation of one member and resulted in the stop sign discussion being tabled. The good news for the majority on hand is that the decision was made to open the pool. The City of Harlem has began advertising for a pool manager and lifeguards to staff the pool and began tasks necessary to clean and fill the pool.

The actual opening date of the Harlem Pool has yet to be set, but hopes are to have staff in place as soon as possible to facilitate the doors being open.

The Chinook City Council met on June 9 for their monthly council meeting and followed suit making the decision to open the pool to the swim team for practice as well as the general public on June 22. The City of Chinook was prepared for the possible pool opening in advance of the decision and has a pool manager and lifeguards already in place.

With pools opening in both locations it means local youth will be able to participate, albeit in a limited basis, in the Montana Federation of Swimmers summer season.

Due to late openings, COVID-19 restrictions, and mandates, each team will only be allowed to participate in three meets: Glasgow - June 20-21; Harlem - July 4-5 and Lewistown - July 18-19. Currently teams in the Eastern Division have been split into a East/West sub-division with just the 6-7 teams in each competing at the three meets separately of the other.

The current plan calls for a Divisional meet only to be held in Sidney, July 25-26 with hopes that teams from both sub-divisions in the Eastern Division can all attend.

Their will be no State Swim meet this year and a overall plan for the Western Division as to a schedule and team participation has yet to be finalized. Regardless of what the west determines it is certain that the two sides won't be competing against each other in 2020.

The Harlem and Chinook Swim Teams have been busy since the early part of June conducting 'Land' practices to help prepare swimmers to be ready when the opportunity to actually get in the pool arrives.

First year Chinook Lions Head Coach Paxtin McCann says he has approximately 34 kids signed up for the season although not all have been able to attend the land practice. McCann expects all to be on hand when the team can get in the pool on June 22.

"We started Monday, June 8 at the Meadowlark with three practice sessions each day. The older kids (13-18) went from 7 - 8:30 a.m. From 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. I had the middle group (11/12) practice and from 9:30 - 10:00 a.m. the little kids (9/10 & 8/Under) practiced," stated McCann. "We've been practicing everyday, Monday-Friday, weather permitting. When the pool opens on the 22nd we will go from 7-11:45 a.m. in the morning and in the afternoon my Assistant Coach, Abby Connor will hold practice from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m.

The first half hour will be on land with the last hour being in the pool for those swimmers that want to get some extra work in."

So far McCann is pleased with the teams approach to the season, "Turnout has been good. Kids have been working hard with land practice but many of the older kids are also participating in football and basketball practice and I'm pretty lenient in allowing them to meet those demands as well."

"With all things considered, to be able to help the kids get back in the pool, compete and start to get back to a more regular activity schedule, is a nice thing to be a part of," concluded McCann.

City of Chinook Pool - Hours & Fees

Monday - Friday

6:00 - 7:00 a.m. - Lap Swim

7:00 - 11:45 a.m. - Swim Team (AM)

8:00 -11:30 a.m. - Swim Lessons

12:00 - 1:00 p.m. - Adult Lap Swim

1:00 - 2:45 p.m. - Rec. Swim Session #1

3:15 - 5:00 p.m. - Rec. Swim session #2

5:00 - 6:00 p.m. - Swim team/Private Lessons

6:00 - 7:00 p.m. - Adult Lap Swim

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Rec. Swim Session #3 (M-T)

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Pool Rental Available (Friday)


1:00 - 2:45 p.m. - Rec. Swim Session #1

3:15 - 5:00 p.m. - Rec. Swim Session #2

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Pool Rental Available


1:00 - 2:45 p.m. - Rec. Swim Session #1

3:15 - 5:00 p.m. - Rec. Swim Session #2

7:00 - 9:00 p.m. - Rec. Swim Session #3

Friday and Saturday evenings can be reserved for pool parties ~ MUST CONTACT THE POOL MANAGER IN ADVANCE

Fees City Outside of City

Family Season Pass $70 $85

Single Season Pass $50 $60

Grandparent Pass $55

(Grandchildren must live more

than 50 miles away)

• Lap Swimming/Individual $3.00./Visit

• Public Swim Lessons

$25.00/Child, Ages 3 and up

Session 1 - June 22 - July 3

Session 2 - July 6 - July 17

Session 3 - July 20 - July 31

Session 4 - August 3 - August 12 $20


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