Discipline is an important thing for every athlete, and Peninsula High School swimmer Donovan Cummings has demonstrated plenty of it during the past few years.
Cummings isn’t the fastest guy in the water for the Seahawks, but he’s only in his third year of competitive swimming, and he was good enough to be part of Peninsula’s 200-yard freestyle relay team at last year’s Class 3A state championships.
Two years ago, Cummings was lauded for his bravery: He jumped into the Burley Lagoon and rescued a girl who was drowning. He earned an award from the Red Cross in the process.
Cummings is hoping to set a personal record in two weeks at the South Puget Sound League championships, and he took a few moments before practice last week to answer a few questions from The Peninsula Gateway:
The Peninsula Gateway: How did you get started with competitive swimming?
Donovan Cummings: I played hockey for 11 years, and I decided to try picking up a new sport. Hockey and swimming at the same time were too tough to maintain during school, so my dad told me to swim, and that’s what I did.
PG: What did you know about Peninsula coach Craig Brown’s program when you started?
DC: It was a lot more difficult than I was expecting. The practices were a lot harder than I thought they would be, and it’s more of a self sport. It’s not really a team sport. You’ve got to push yourself.
Probably the biggest adjustment to me was being in the water, because I’ve played a lot of sports, and being in a different environment in the water is kind of weird. It’s my third year now, so I’m pretty used to it.
PG: What is your role on this year’s team, and what are your goals for your senior season?
DC: Considering I’m a freestyle sprinter, I just want to get faster times. If I qualified, I wouldn’t be attending the district or state meets, because I’m going to be doing a DECA (marketing club) trip. I’m definitely pushing toward our league meet and getting better at that.
PG: What do you enjoy doing with your spare time?
DC: I definitely practice a lot. We only had six days off during the holiday break, and other than that, I have to make sure I eat well and sleep a lot, because I can definitely know the difference in practice.
When I’m not swimming, I hang out with friends, go snowboarding. Crystal Mountain and Snoqualmie Pass are fun places.
PG: What are you planning to do after graduation?
DC: I want to attend Western Washington University. From there, I want to study wildlife ecology and marketing. They’re two really different things, so I don’t know what I’m going to do with them.
My dad was an underwater photographer for 17 years in Hawaii, and he really got me interested in that. I just took three years of marketing classes, plus the DECA club, so that should help, but I don’t know how those two are going to go together.Sports Editor Neil Pierson can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_neil.