By Jason Elmquist
STILLWATER, Okla. —
The Stillwater High swim teams may have had some tough competition during Tuesday’s Senior Night at the Stillwater YMCA, but coach Kurt Goebel was more than happy with the outcome.
The SHS boys team finished just nine points behind Norman North and blew out Norman High — a team which beat Stillwater earlier this season — by 60 points. On the girls side, the Lady Pioneers — who compete in Class 5A — finished 52 points behind Norman North, a 6A squad, and beat Norman High by nearly 50 points.
“Norman North is a really good team. They are the best in the West and we swam really well against them,” Goebel said. “Our kids swam relatively well for right now. I was pleased. It was a nice senior night.”
While the competition was tough on the special night recognizing the hard work of the seniors, several of the seniors preferred it over an easy opponent in their last home meet as Pioneers.
“I think we wouldn’t have pushed ourselves and swam fast,” said SHS senior Syndey Goad, who won the 50-meter freestyle in a time of 29.73 — three seconds ahead of her competition. “Then it would have been a bit of a bummer in that regard.”
The strong showing comes on the heals of a sweep of Broken Arrow on Thursday after a monthlong break between competitions.
“I was a little worried about that break. I think some of these kids had some conditioning problems and that certainly was concerning,” Goebel said. “But so far, we’re OK. I think we’re making up for that time lost.”
The Lady Pioneers kicked off the night right with a first-place finish in the 200-meter medley relay. The group of Goad, sophomores Brooke Njaa and Alex Thomas and freshman Lauren Gattis clocked a time of 2:18.19 — two seconds ahead of the competition.
“I think we’re doing really well for having such a long break and some people not doing much over the break,” Goad said. “But I fill that, at least I, have improved a little bit the last few weeks.”
The performance by both squads had several of the senior swimmers already looking to the state meet in the middle of February.
“I’m excited. I hope we win 5A state instead of getting second again,” said Goad, who was part of last year’s state runner-up team in Class 5A.
Senior Tommy Hall added of the boys team, “I’m ready. I’m ready for this. I want to try to take first.”