Nicholson coaches the one sport in which both sides of the Crosstown Clash feel more like teammates than rivals, and he even gives much of the credit for one school’s title to the swimmers from the other school.
“The very best team I’ve ever had since I’ve been coaching, if it hasn’t been for the Norman North boys, has been the Norman High boys this year,” he said. “And what’s made these North kids so good is the competition.”
It’s really quite cool.
In the best possible way, the rivalry that is the Crosstown Clash has never been more heated, electric or seemingly important. Yet here are these swimmers, on both sides of it, pushing each other to new heights by working together.
Nicholson said it made no difference to him, but who doesn’t love the fact that the T-Wolves beat, among others, Jenks in the Trojans’ own pool?
Instead, he will save that energy for the fight to get the Tigers and T-Wolves their own pool. Because the Murray Case Sells complex at OU is dilapidating before our eyes and should it every close, T-Wolves and Tigers will have nowhere to splash.
Nicholson finally has another state title, but the fight for the sport goes on.
“We’ve been working for people to notice us because we need a pool,” he said. “We’ve got a bunch of kids and we’ve got a bunch of fast kids.”
Hopefully, soon enough, in their own pool.
So that’s the back story and little on the story going forward. The story of Norman’s pied piper of the pool, of a true believer in his sport, who convinced others to take the plunge.
It’s a good story.
Saturday, they celebrated.
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