It hasn’t been a career filled with state medals for Christin Phillips.

But the 2006 Stillwater High graduate can claim something only state champions and a few others can claim: winning their final race.

Phillips, who will join teammates Alex Stroukoff and Alex Parker for Monday’s All-State Games, won the consolation final of the girls 100 breaststroke at last February’s State Swimming Championships. The top eight in each discipline advance to the final with Nos. 9-16 competing in the consolation finals.

For Phillips it was a nice way to go out and Monday night she will finish her competitive swim career.

“I was excited when I found out because my swim career wasn’t quite over just yet,” said Phillips, who started swimming as a sophomore. “I think it is going to be a blast and having two really good friends there is going to be nice, too.”

The breaststroker was a big part of a fourth place 200 medley relay squad last February.

“(Christin) hung in there and qualified (for state) very late in the season,” said SHS coach Kurt Goebel. “If you win the consolation final that means you are among the ten best in the state. She did a very good job for us, and the fact she only joined us as a sophomore, to get to state, is quite an accomplishment.”

“I’m going to miss the routine of swimming everyday,” Phillips said. “I haven’t really decided what I’m going to do to replace it.”

Stroukoff finished her prep career with a very strong showing at the state meet. She was eighth in the 200 freestyle, 10th in the 500 freestyle and part of an eighth place 400 freestyle relay unit.

Parker’s butterfly helped earn her a scholarship to Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn. Parker made two straight trips to the state 100 butterfly finals, finishing fourth in 2006. She also joined Phillips, Amanda Boyer and Christin Rink on a fourth place 200 medley squad.

“(Parker) became one of the better flyers we’ve had,” Goebel said. “She is certainly one of the reasons we did so well in the medley (relay). And I think she is only going to get better if she continues to work at it.”

Stroukoff is a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to 12 athletes representing each sport.

“That’s three pretty good seniors the girls team is losing,” Goebel said.

Swimmers hit the pool Monday night at 6 at Tulsa Union’s 6-7th Grade Center.



Saying goodbye

“I don’t think the All-State Games are about winning races or the actual competition,” said Stroukoff, who will attend Oklahoma State University with Phillips. “We could train very hard, but everybody pretty much knows who is faster in certain events. I really think it is about the 40 swimmers saying goodbye to high school swimming and people we’ve known for a long time.

“This is more about the journey to get to All-State for the seniors.”

Stroukoff competed for five years in the YMCA program and for three seasons at SHS. Finding something to replace swimming is high on her list.

“When you have such a small team you become really close,” she added. “It’s more of a lifestyle. There are days I wish I could go back and just keep swimming. I’ve been working a lot to fill that void but I have to find something to replace it.”



Scheduling conflict

Stillwater High’s Stephen Clarke was selected for the East boys squad, but will not participate. He is already in Austin in preparation for his first semester at the University of Texas.

At the 2006 State Championships, Clarke finished second in the 100 freestyle and fifth in the 50 freestyle. His four-year career rivals any in the history of the program.

Cross country may be in the former Pioneer’s future.

“Swimming and cross country are very similar in what it takes to be successful,” Goebel said. “Peter certainly has the ability to make that transition to running after a really good swimming career in high school.

“He’s the type of kid who can probably do whatever he wants if he puts his mind to it.”

Clarke is also a Thorpe finalist. However, athletes must compete in the All-State Games in order to receive the award.

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