Despite the unusual schedule, Yukon swimming came into their host tournament with relaxed attitudes.
At Mitch Park in Edmond, the swim team hosted their Yukon Invitational. Originally scheduled for Dec. 8, the Invitational took place Dec. 22, during the holiday break.
Coach Bruce Clifton was surprised to see his swimmers arrive to the tournament with easy-going attitudes and a competitive spirit.
“Actually, I think they were a little more relaxed knowing that they didn’t have to go back to school any time afterwards,” he said. “They seemed to enjoy themselves. It turned out to be a much bigger swim meet than I thought it would be.”
Mitch Park held 20 schools and more than 360 swimmers from around Oklahoma. Many schools, such as Putnam City and Carl Albert, were from the metro but some, like Altus and Guymon, had a longer journey.
Yukon came away with ninth place overall with a score of 225.5. The boys placed ninth at 119 points, and the girls had 106.5 points which was good for 10th place.
Isaiah Auld did his usual damage in the water, taking first place in the 200-meter freestyle. Auld’s 1:52.60 gifted the Millers 20 points.
The junior’s consistent stroke in the pool has landed him several Yukon school records. At Mitch Park, he began breaking his own records.
“There’s no drop off from last year which is good,” Clifton said. “He set all kinds of school records last year and now he’s coming back. A lot of the records he’s setting this year is breaking his own from last year.”
Auld carried the spotlight for the boys, and for the girls, it was a slight struggle.
The girls relay team had trouble placing among the top of the standings. In the 200-yard freestyle relay, the Millerette team, comprised of Madison Lee, Alyssa Wilson, Jordan Raley, and Johana Aguilera placed eighth with a time of 2:03.81. This would be their best placing.
In the 400-yard freestyle the group of Abigail Joseph, Jessica Compton, Lindsey Spangler, and Lynlee Cummings placed 15th out of 16 at 5:41.74. The 200-yard medley relay saw Jozzlynn Sale, Chelsea Fuston, Emma Gooch, andMakayla Gilbert finish at 2:53.43, good for 14th place out of 15.
Clifton saw promise in his girl’s team.
“I was really happy with the girls,” he said. “I think the girls had one of the better meets they’ve had all year.”
Among the several races Yukon competed in throughout the day, Clifton felt his teams did well overall, citing their poor performance at their most recent meet.
“Well it’s always cutting down the times, but we had a rough meet the one before this,” he said. “I was kind of hoping this would be a time for them to refocus and I feel like they did that. It puts us where we need to be going into January. There’s a lot of stuff I can talk to them about.”
Yukon will spend the rest of their break regrouping and trying to tweak the little things.
“I’m going to sit down with them and try to get them to refocus and help them refocus,” said Clifton. “Kind of explain to them more what we’re going after. Just set some goals for themselves.”