Yukon swimmers prepare for state meet

Isaiah Auld dives from the starting block during practice Thursday at Gold’s Gym in Yukon. Auld, who will end his high school career this weekend, holds every men’s swim record at Yukon High School. Auld, along with three other Yukon swimmers will race at the state meet this weekend. Photo / Terry Groover

Isaiah Auld swam down the center of the swimming pool at Gold’s Gym on Thursday afternoon to cheers and all the while getting splashed by his teammates.
It was his last swim as a high school swimmer in his home pool.
Auld was among the seniors given a special send-off Thursday afternoon.
For Auld, it was the end of an era that has made him the most successful male swimmer in Yukon history. He holds every individual swimming record for men at Yukon High School.
Saturday, he is expected to swim for a medal at the Class 6A swim meet in Jenks.
He is one of three Yukon individual swimmers in the meet, along with a relay team, which he also is part of.
The meet began Friday.
Coach Bruce Clifton said he has high hopes for Auld, as well as the rest of the team.
“Isaiah, seed-wise, is set up where he should medal in state. Clayton (Berg) and Ayden Howard are going to have to cut some time, but they have potential,” said Clifton.
In addition, the team’s 400-meter relay team has also qualified for the meet.
Clifton said he is happy to have the four swimmers, plus two alternates, headed to the state meet.
He said qualifications have become more difficult over the past few years after additional teams were added to Class 6A.
“Just making it there is an accomplishment. Medaling is an elite swim,” he said.
Clifton said Auld is leaving a legacy for others to follow.
“He’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime, once-in-a-decade kids to come along. As a coach, you feel privileged to be a part of it. He is going to leave a huge legacy,” he said.
However, the coach said that Auld came into the program with the goal of doing just that.
Clifton said he had told Auld as a freshman that he has the potential, in the 200 freestyle, of breaking the state record.
And while that hasn’t happened, as of yet, Clifton said it is still seen as a goal.
“I could tell from the very beginning that he was something special, that he had the potential and the ability to bring this to the next level,” Clifton said.
“You can just see it in some kids, the ‘it’ factor. But it was more than than that. It was more of ‘I’ve got a goal, and I’m going after it.’ He did that, even as as a freshman,” the coach said. “He sets a goal, and he works hard to get there.”
The coach said Auld stays laser-focused on his goals.
While Auld will wrap up his high school swimming career this weekend, he will continue to swim for his club team, Bison Aquatics.
That effort has sent him to the Junior Olympics, where he has swam against some of the best young swimmers in the nation.
Clifton said his goal is for the team to represent Yukon the best they can at the state meet.

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