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Swimming: Family time a challenge for the Armagast family

Bishop Noll swim coach Pam Armagast stands with her two sons Brand(left) Logan who swim for Munster as they pose

Bishop Noll swim coach Pam Armagast stands with her two sons Brandon (left) and Logan who swim for Munster as they pose for a picture at Calumet High School swimming pool on Friday December 21, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times media

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Like a lot of families, the Armagasts of Munster are looking forward to a little more together time over the holidays.

But they’re not hitting the road to see faraway relatives or welcoming visitors. Instead, this is a chance for Pam Armagast to see a little more of her sons Brandon and Logan.

That typically doesn’t happen much during the winter because of their hectic and often conflicting schedules. Pam is the head boys and girls swimming coach at Bishop Noll, while Brandon and Logan swim for Munster, where they are a senior and freshman, respectively.

This is the one and only season all three of them will be involved in high school swimming at the same time. So they’re hoping to enjoy the ride – even if the moments together aren’t as frequent as they’d like.

“They know this is a busy time for me and I’m an all-or-nothing person,” said Pam, who has turned around a Noll boys program that had just a handful of swimmers when she arrived.

“I’m going to be working out a schedule to see if I can have some time with them. They do so much work at Munster over Christmas break. Most kids at Munster sleep when they’re not swimming (during the holidays).”

Her kids hope the stars will align in that regard.

“With the holidays (upon us), we’ll be able to see more of her,” Brandon said.

“I hope we can spend a little more time together as a family in the evening,” Logan said.

That doesn’t happen much when school is in session. Brandon and Logan usually have workouts before and after classes and are asleep early. But Noll doesn’t have a pool and the Warriors commute to Calumet to practice after the home team is done, meaning Pam’s swimmers don’t hit the water much before 6 p.m. each day.

Though Pam has been around the sport for a long time, first as the Munster age-group coach, both Brandon and Logan have taken circuitous routes to their present spots on the Seahorses’ roster.

Brandon swam when he was younger, but stopped for a while and didn’t resume till he got to high school. Logan was a football and baseball player until he started getting into the family business when Pam got to Noll.

“Logan was with me when he was in sixth grade for Bishop Noll’s first conference (championship),” Pam said. “I think that’s why he decided he wanted to swim, he loves those kids so much.”

Logan even took part in some of Noll’s workouts. “He’d always come home and complain about how tired he was,” Brandon said. “(But) he got more and more used to the practices.”

While Logan is grinding away at workouts, Brandon hasn’t been able to do the same lately. He’s had to deal with a pair of injuries. First, he needed stitches after hitting his head on the pool wall during a backstroke workout and then he broke a bone in his foot in a non-swimming incident.

“My brother and all my other teammates tell me how much they miss me,” said Brandon, who hopes to be competing again sometime in January and is doing weight work to stay strong.

“I’m really missing him being there,” Logan confirmed. “He usually takes me to practice in the morning. Now I have to find my own ride.”

When Brandon returns, they could again find themselves squaring off against each other in the sprints as they did before his latest injury.

“We’re still competitive,” Brandon said. “I’m the older brother. I don’t want him to beat me.”

“It will be interesting at sectional time,” Pam said. “We will all be on the deck together.”

It’ll be a little more precious family time for three people who don’t get a lot of it much of the winter.



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