Yukon advances swimmers to state meet

For most athletes on the Yukon swim team, their season came to a close last week.
Competing at the 6A West Regional in Edmond, several Millers had good days, but just not good enough.
“I am extremely proud of how they performed,” Yukon coach Bruce Clifton said. “Almost all of them cut time both days.  Eleven of the 23 we took made it to finals.”
Clifton said his goal for his swimmers was to see improvements in their times, and most did.
“I think the reason that happened is they gave it all they had competing.  That’s all I can ask of as a coach,” Clifton said.
Led by Isaiah Auld, three individual Yukon boys advanced to the state meet. They also were able to earn a spot for their 400-meter relay squad.
Auld took second in the 200-meter freestyle after posting a time of 1:45.14. He was six seconds behind Norman North’s Daniel Wilson, who took the regional title.
Auld came back and took third in the 100-meter freestyle. His time of 48.22 was just four seconds off Wilson.
“Isaiah is right where he has been working so hard for all four years he has been here,” Clifton said. “He is seeded fourth in the 200 free at state and sixth in the 100 free.”
Clayton Berg snagged a spot at the state meet with his eighth-place finish in the 200-IM. The freshman swam a 2:24.56 to earn the trip.
Aydan Howard finished with a time of 5:24.22 in the 500-yard swim. That was good enough to grab the final place in the event and move on to state.
Howard also advanced in the 100-yard backstroke after a swimmer from Mustang was disqualified.
Farris Abdelaziz joined Auld, Berg and Howard on the squad’s 400-meter relay. They placed fourth in the event after posting a 3:42.35. Edmond North took the relay title with a 3:29.10.
Unfortunately for the Millers, none of the Yukon girls advanced to state. But Clifton sees the foundation has been laid.
“Even though no girls made it to state, they did break two school records,” Clifton said. “Jozzlyn Sale in the 500-freestyle and the 200-free relay consisting of Hannah Rich, Madison Manning, Lynlee Cummings and Victoria Hiatt.
“What bodes well for the future is that they’re two freshmen and two sophomores.”
While most of the Yukon swimmers have few years left to accomplish their goals, this will be the last trip to state for Auld.
“Isaiah is one of those once-in-a-decade, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime, kids that a coach has the privilege to be a part of the story,” Clifton said. “He has always done what he needed to be successful, and I expect him to finish strong at state.”
The State Swimming Championship Meet will be held at the Jenks Aquatic Center beginning next Friday.

Swimmers dive into the pool at the start of a race during the Yukon Invitational in December. Photo / File

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