For the first time in school history, members of the Yukon swim team left the 6A state championships with a medal hanging from their necks.
The Miller boys’ 400-yard freestyle relay team captured eighth place at the state swim meet in Edmond with a time of 3:38.45. Yitzhak Ramirez, Ethan Davidson, Blake Eberhardt and Isaiah Auld made up the team.
“I am extremely proud of the guys that accomplished winning medals,” Yukon coach Bruce Clifton said. “We knew going into regionals they had a chance of doing something that had not been done here before and they stayed focused on that goal and pulled it off. That showed the determination of not just those guys but our entire boys team.”
Clifton added that it is going to help the program immensely.
“What it means to our program is that we showed we can compete at the state level at Yukon,” Clifton said. “It plants the seeds of expectations for the coming years. It will also help bring more kids into the program. Success breeds success and people want to be a part of that. It’s also nice that people in the swim world took notice that we are on the rise.”
As a combined team, Yukon finished 14th in the state with 68 points at the state meet.
The Miller boys took 11th place as a team and the girls finished in 18th place. The 11th place finish for the boys is the highest finish by any Yukon swim team.
Bartlesville won the combined team competition with 697.5 points and the girls’ team competition with 465.5 points. Norman North took first in the boys’ team standings with 431 points.
In the boys’ 200-yard medley relay, Yukon placed 10th with a time of 1:53.81. Davidson, Braden Crawford, Ramirez and Eberhardt made up the team.
In the girls’ 400-yard freestyle relay, the Millerettes took 14th place with a time of 4:33.68. Amanda Toney, Johana Aguilera, Madison Lee and Lauren Boswell made up the team.
In the boys’ 50-yard freestyle, Auld finished in 14th place with a time of 23.49 seconds. In the boys’ 100-yard butterfly, Ramirez placed 12th with a time of 56.74 seconds. In the 100-yard freestyle, Auld took 13th place with a time of 50.60 seconds and in the boys’ 100-yard backstroke, Davidson finished in 21st place with a time of 1:02.54.
“This was a historic weekend for our swim team,” Clifton said. “Not only did we earn our first medals, the boys team came in 11th place, which was the highest finish of any Yukon swim team to date. They broke the records in all three relays this weekend. The girls team broke the school record in the only event they swam in. Isaiah (Auld) broke his own record in the 100 free and Yitzhak (Ramirez) broke his own record in the 100 fly. Everyone ended up swimming a personal best sometime this weekend. So overall, I am overjoyed how things went. It will be a weekend to remember.”
Clifton said he made sure his underclassmen will learn from their experience at the state meet and apply it for the future.
“I actually pulled them aside and talked to them about the reasons they were there,” Clifton said. “I talked to them about how they were the future of the program and they were chosen to be there because we saw the ability in them to compete at the state level. I told them hopefully the experience of being there would turn their ability into a capability by creating a goal they could now visualize. I want them to take the experience and understand the purposes behind practicing.”
The 2017-2018 swimming season was an historic one for Yukon. Clifton talked about how this year could impact the future of Miller swimming.
“The determination the swimmers showed at the state and regional meets has been a part of the team all year,” Clifton said. “It is always an enjoyable year for coaches when the athletes are self-motivated. I think the senior leadership we had this year played a huge part in that attitude. Many of the underclassmen fell right in with that attitude and haven’t looked back. The freshmen and new swimmers have been an excellent addition to what we already had. They took Yukon swim to the next level.”
Clifton said the bar has been raised for Yukon swimming.
“Every season is different, and you never really know how it will come together over the long run but we definitely like what we have coming back next year,” Clifton said. “Some of them will have to step up and fill the roles of the seniors we are losing this year, which won’t be an easy task. But overall, we have a good nucleus from which to build. We are heading in the right direction and we want to keep that going. I fully expect them to expect that of themselves also. If this year is any indication of next year, they will do exactly that.”