Ryan Barnard

Ryan Barnard, of Pendleton High School, will compete in the 200-yard individual medley, breaststroke, 200-yard free relay and 200-yard medley relay at the 5A state swim meet this weekend.

On whiteboard in his room, Ryan Barnard has a list of swim times he would like to achieve.

After his performances last weekend at the Intermountain Conference District Swimming Championships at the Hood River Aquatic Center, the Pendleton senior needs to rework his chart.

The 6-foot-2 Barnard qualified for four events at the 5A state swim meet Friday and Saturday at Tualatin Hills Aquatic Center. Prelims begin at 1:45 p.m. Friday. Finals 1 p.m. Saturday.

Barnard will compete in the 200 individual medley, the 100 breaststroke, 200 medley relay and the 200 free relay.

“He has made it to the final round before,” Pendleton coach Tony Nelson said. “We are happy for top six at state. You have to be extremely gifted to win state.”

The 200 medley relay is up first, where Barnard will swim the breaststroke (second leg). Finishing out the relay team are Matthew Miltenberger (backstroke), Cahill Robinson (butterfly) and Tyler Spratling (freestyle).

The Bucks won the district title in a time of 1 minute, 49.62 seconds.

Barnard will have a quick turnaround (about 15 minutes) before competing in the 200 IM, an event he won at district in a school record time of 2:04.32. Jon Jennings (2017, 2:06.90) previously held the record.

The 200 IM is where Barnard shines.

He is seeded third behind Jonathan Yordy of Lebanon and Nic Ashland of Corvallis. He beat both of them last year at state.

“I’d love to be in the top three in both (individual races), and I’d love to win the 200 IM,” said Barnard, who was sixth at state last year in the event.

He will get about an hour break before hitting the pool for the 200 free relay along with freshmen Robinson, Andrew Williams and Kaleo Theis. Barnard will swim the anchor leg.

A 30-minute break will have Barnard back on the starting blocks for the 100 breast, an event in which he broke a 29-year-old school record in a time of 1:02.04. The previous record was set by Dan Allen in 1990 (1:03.64).

“He has always been fast and driven to work hard,” Nelson said. “Athletic ability and a drive to compete — that is rare. Thankfully, he has that.”

From purple to green

Barnard swam for Hermiston High School the past three years, but when the Bulldogs were set to move into the WIAA and the Mid-Columbia Conference, he wanted to stay in his comfort zone. He was able to get a waiver to attend school in Pendleton.

“Hermiston is getting so big and crowded,” Barnard said. “I wanted more of a reasonable class size, and a lot of my friends graduated last year. I had more friends at Pendleton than I did Hermiston because of club swimming.”

The two schools have been rivals for years, but Barnard said he fit right in.

“Everyone was welcoming,” he said. “It’s a very good environment and I really enjoy going to school there. It was an easy transition.”

While at Pendleton, Barnard has done his best to leave his mark. He wanted to put his name by four of the eight individual event records. He has three — 200 IM, 100 breaststroke and the 100 backstroke (56.52), where he broke another of Jenning’s records (2017, 57.04).

He had his last high school practice Wednesday, which brought back memories.

“It’s a little sad,” he said. “I’ve gone through a lot of training partners, most were older than me and have graduated out. This year, Cahill has been one of my partners. He is going to be really fast. I have enjoyed every minute of it.”

Nelson said he will miss Barnard and his leadership.

“He works extremely hard every day,” Nelson said. “He works to achieve his goals. It’s good for the younger guys to see what you have to do. It’s good to have someone like that. Hopefully that impression sticks with them.”

The future

Barnard has plans to attend the University of Idaho and study engineering.

The Vandals do not have a swim program at present, but are scheduled to have one up and running in two years.

“They have a club team, and my plan is to swim with them next year,” Barnard said. “Then I will evaluate whether I want to join the team or not my sophomore year.”

Be rest assured, he will be taking his goals sheet with him, albeit filed away in his computer.

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