By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript
OKLAHOMA CITY — It was a clean sweep for Norman North, and it wasn’t close.
The Timberwolves took the top spot on both the girls’ and boys’ side of the Mid-State Conference swim meet Saturday at Oklahoma City Community College. The girls won the event by more than 100 points, defeating second-place Edmond Memorial 534.50 to 389.50, and the boys cruised to a 28-point victory over Memorial. NHS finished third on both sides, losing by just 9.5 points to Memorial on the boys side.
It wasn’t an unexpected result, but it was still rewarding for the T-Wolves, who will be state-title contenders when they travel to Jenks in two weeks for the state meet. North won 13 events at the conference meet, including the girls’ 50-yard freestyle, where freshman Madie Sarantakos won the event in her first major final. Her time of 25.25 was a personal best and nearly a full second better than the runner-up. She also won the 100-yard butterfly.
“High school swimming is way different than club swimming,” she said. “It’s more stressful, and you have schoolwork and everything to keep up on, but my teammates have all helped me through. I’m excited to have done so well today and I’m ready to see what I can do at state.”
Sarantakos wasn’t the only one to have a big day. North sophomore Justin Wu bettered the conference record he set yesterday by recording a 139.92, taking nearly two seconds off his one-day old record. Coach Kent Nicholson said North’s Alex Zhu, who swam his fastest time in the 200 medley relay, had an exceptional day.
“We had our best time by quite a bit today, and we want to go after the state record next,” he said after the race. “This was a really good sign today that we have a chance to get it in two weeks.”
Another highlight of the meet was NHS’ Shelby Brown, whose victory in the 500 freestyle didn’t surprise anyone but herself. The senior hadn’t competed in the race at all this season, but coaches thought she stood a good shot at state in the event so they entered her into the race at the conference meet.
And Brown didn’t let them down, swimming a 5:30.65 to win the event.
“I hadn’t done that race at all this year because I didn’t really want to do it,” she admitted after winning the race by more than six seconds. “It’s a hard and tiring race. But seeing how well I was able to do today after not preparing for it I’m excited to race at state.”
The meet was a great springboard for both schools heading into the state meet in two weeks, Nicholson said.
“We swam really well this weekend,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of kids setting personal bests even when they’re tired from training, and you’ve got to feel good about that.”
Follow me @Chosler88
For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.