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El Dorado swim coach juggles family, work, etc.

by Tony Burns | January 22, 2022 at 5:35 p.m.

El Dorado swim coach Courtney Canady has given new meaning to the term multi-tasking this season. The former All-State Lady Wildcat and two-sport athlete at Ouachita Baptist University has been so busy, she’s almost forgotten she’s pregnant with her second child.

“It’s going good,” she said of her pregnancy. “I feel like I really haven’t had time to think about it because I’ve got a 1 ½ year-old running around on this go-round, too. Between swim and school and teaching and everything else, I really haven’t had time to think about it.”

Canady, along with her husband Skyler, said their daughter Sailor’s little sister, Cali, is expected to arrive on Feb. 28, two days after the 5A State Swimming & Diving Championships in Russellville.

A swimmer and distance runner in high school and college, Canady’s stamina has been tested this season. Raising a child, she said, has probably improved her coaching.

“I feel like my time is more valuable now. Having a kid helps me ensure I’m making good use of my time with the athletes in the pool.”

Canady’s time lately has been spent trying to find a date for El Dorado’s home swim meet that was postponed on Jan. 13. The team doesn’t have another meet scheduled until Feb. 3. The conference meet is scheduled for Feb. 10.

“The biggest challenge has been finding meets in general,” she said. “There’s so many pool facilities that are strict and either they don’t want to host or they’re afraid with COVID and being shut down in the past. You have to understand they make money with the pool during the week and when you have a swim meet, you have to shut the pool down. So, there’s not been as many meets in general.”

El Dorado’s roster consists of just 10 total swimmers, including seniors Jana Powell and Edwin Gonzalez. Individually, Adrianna Arnold and Braden Major have both qualified for state in several events.

Canady hopes to take as many swimmers to Russellville as possible, especially since COVID-19 ruined last year’s chances at the state meet. Plus, the more available helpers the better just in case Cali decides to arrive early.

Canady chuckled at the thought, although, perhaps a bit nervously. 

“Teaching, coaching and parenting have been quite the task, but I’m always up for a challenge,” she said. “The most difficult part has been separating the three - realizing you’re not a teacher or coach when you come home to your own kid. They just need you to be mom.” 

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