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February 14, 2013

Timberwolves confident about chances at state meet

NORMAN — The Timberwolves are heading to Jenks with a single goal in mind: winning a state championship.

That’s the mindset at Norman North, where the boys head to the state meet Friday and Saturday as one of the favorites to win a state title.

And they do it with depth. The T-Wolves have a loaded roster, with both upperclassmen as well as freshmen and sophomores contributing to a dominating regular season of meets. At the Mid-State conference meet two weeks ago, North won 13 events, with sophomore Justin Wu setting a conference record in the 200 freestyle and freshman Maddie Sarantakos, who swam a full second faster than the runner-up in the 50 freestyle.

Things won’t be nearly as easy at the state meet as they were at the conference meet, where North won both team titles going away. In Jenks, the T-Wolves will face plenty of competition, especially from the hometown Trojans.

Not that the Timberwolves are worried about the pressure.

“We know it’s going to be tough, but we’re optimistic,” senior Alex Zhu said. “We’re not expecting anything, but we’re going to fight for it.”

The group has been prepping for this meet since last season, when they realized they had a legitimate chance at a title this year.

“For some of us, this is our last meet,” senior Kendon McGehee said. “And we know how close we are. I’m going to pour my heart out and leave it all in the pool.”

All four Norman teams are close, practicing alongside one another twice a day every day. That has created a sense of camaraderie for the T-Wolves as the boys build toward a possible state title.

“I feel like I’m an honorary member,” said North senior Dovie Rayburn, who besides rooting for her teammates is looking to finish as high as second place in the 100 freestyle. “Over the last year I’ve really grown up and learned a sense of team. I’m really excited for them and for this last meet.”

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