By Jason Haddix For The Herald Bulletin
The Herald Bulletin
---- — PENDLETON — Dylan McCammon sat poolside Monday afternoon before diving practice and was happy about the Herald Bulletin 2014 Boys Swimmer/Diver of the Year honor, but was quick to put it in perspective compared to his lofty plans.
“To me it doesn’t feel like it is that much of an accomplishment, because I have such higher goals I want to accomplish,” McCammon said.
The Pendleton Heights sophomore diver has aspirations of earning honors linked to state, national and international stardom.
One of his immediate goals is becoming a state champion before his time with the Arabians concludes.
During this season’s state finals he earned a fifth place finish with a score of 456.90, a dramatic improvement on his performance during his freshman season, where he tallied a score of 383.4 to finish in 13th.
“I took (last) summer off because I had a lot of problems where mentally I didn’t know what I wanted to do anymore,” McCammon said. “But, I came back and I knew what my goals were going to be for this season and I worked really hard at achieving those.
“I wanted to make podium at state and I did that.”
His path to the finals included a conference championship that resulted from an undefeated regular season, with first loss being a second-place finish during the sectional round to the eventual state champion.
“He came in as a pretty well rounded and talented diver as a freshman,” Pendleton Heights swim head coach Jeff Maydak said. “He has certainly done nothing to disappoint in his two years with us. He is a hard working individual.”
After he made his way back to the pool from his brief hiatus, McCammon told Pendleton Heights diving coach Kevin Rockhill that the 2020 Olympic trials were a long-term goal that he wanted to strive toward.
Rockhill said he quickly challenged McCammon to not wait for 2020, but to target 2016.
McCammon has lofty goals for someone who first entered not knowing where to swim or dive after spending two years in gymnastics.
“When I walked in my very first day in seventh grade,” he said. “I sat at the other end of the pool, I looked over and (the divers) were just laying on the mats and I said that looks easier.”
He quickly found success came at the price of hard work and dedication.
“If I put this amount of time and hard work I want to make a statement,” McCammon said. “I worked hard to where I wanted to be. If you work hard you can get to where you want to be. That goes for all other athletes too, not just diving.”
Athletes of the Year This is the fourth in a series of five stories honoring the Herald Bulletin's Athletes of the Year for the winter season. Stories on the Girls Swimmer/Diver of the Year, Girls Basketball Player of the Year and Wrestler of the Year can be found at heraldbulletin.com/sports. Still to come is the Boys Basketball Player of the Year.