NORMAN — It may be a week late, but Oklahoma’s first-ever regional swimming meet is here. Both Norman schools, including the Norman North boys team that has designs on a second-straight state title, will compete Friday and Saturday in Edmond for the regional crown.
It’s the first year the sport has implemented for swimming the regional system used for other events. Whereas before any swimmer who swam a certain time would qualify for the state, now the top eight competitors from each of the two regionals will qualify, along with the next eight best times from either regional.
Norman swim coach Kent Nicholson said the new system should be comparable to the old in terms of how many swimmers advance, and he expects to qualify about the same number of swimmers as a year ago.
Rankings update: Despite remaining unbeaten on the year, the Washington girls have fallen to No. 4 in Class 3A, despite receiving two first-place votes. The Warriors are 19-0 but remain ranked behind three teams that have lost games in Adair, Alva and Verdigris.
Adair and Verdigris both lost to teams in higher classes — No. 1 Adair’s only loss was to Norman North at the Tournament of Champions — while Alva lost to Class 2A’s third-ranked Fairview. Washington has beat several ranked teams in classes both higher and lower than 3A, but the Warriors have yet to play a top-10 team.
In Class 6A, Norman North moved up to No. 7 after getting several players back from injury, while Norman High moved into the rankings for the first time, at No. 20. Southmoore and Westmoore are ranked 17-18 in the most recent rankings.
On the boys’ side, Norman North is ranked ninth after winning seven games in a row, including Tuesday’s Crosstown Clash. Moore and Southmoore are No. 16 and 17, respectively.
Brown to return next week: Norman North’s Najji Brown, who was a regular rotation player until an injury several weeks ago, is back on the practice floor and expected to suit up against Moore on Friday, though he isn’t expected to play.
“Hopefully he’ll be able to play next week, at least for a few minutes,” coach Bryan Merritt said. “I’m not sure how much that will be and he’ll have to work his way back in, but it will be nice to have him back.”
T-Wolves looking ahead: North is 15-5 this season, with four of those losses coming by three points or fewer.
One of those games came against Moore, the squad North will host on Friday. And the Timberwolves haven’t forgotten about that game, where they lost by three points after a horrendous shooting night.
“We’ve got that on the back of our minds,” Merritt said. “We owe them.”
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